Writing To Further Animal Welfare

Posts tagged ‘animal welfare groups’

The Badger Debacle Continues

Badger cull

If any of us mortals failed so miserably to meet our own stated goals we would never be given a second chance. But it seems that DEFRA, with the Governments blessing and financial support can carry on massacring badgers despite.




How is it that DEFRA can ignore laws which state it is illegal to take, Injure or kill a badger?

The whole thing is a joke and typifies how we approach animal welfare when it “may” threaten money-making enterprises.

Not able to shoot in a straight line, the teams of so-called experts resorted to caging the animals first and then shooting the helpless creatures!

Because targets were not met, DEFRA’s own scientific evidence indicates that the risk of spreading TB among the bovine herds in the cull areas has been increased!

So instead of trapping these poor animals in cages and blasting them to pieces, they could have trapped and inoculated them in the first place!

What a wast of innocent animal lives and tax payers money. and what a terrible reflection on our country.

Now is the time to stop the slaughter so please;

Write to your local MP and ask them to sign the Early day motion 299


Please re-blog this

Equines Suffer in Spain

Having lived in Spain for several years and having set up a welfare operation for donkey welfare I have been looking into what other problems face the equines of this country.  I asked a member of Animals Angels “Julia Havenstien” what her views of the situation were?

 “Dear Paul,

Exactly, the number of equines slaughtered in the north west is increasing and the number of exports is decreasing.

It is very difficult to tell where the most equine problems are in Spain. 

Horses for slaughter are raised in north – west Spain (Navarra, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Pais Vasco, Aragon and Catalonia). They are raised in half wilderness/ extensive farms and are only gathered for further fattening about one months before slaughter. Many are slaughtered in the same region where they were born or nearby regions. In Galicia there are some awful traditions when taking the animals down from the mountains and marking them for identification: they used to cut the ears of horses or use ear tags and in order to catch them they use brutal methods. 

If the horses from the northwest that are not slaughtered in the same area, they are taken to the area of Levante and Catalonia for further fattening and later they are exported to Italy or France. The transports from northwest Spain to the area of Levante often exceed 8 hours and thus are not allowed for unbroken horses (they are all unbroken), as well as the transports from the Levante to Italy or the North of France.

Thus there is the problem that unbroken horses are regularly transported over long journeys. The ministry knows this perfectly but ignores it in order to keep the trade going. We filed endless numbers of complaints…. 

Andalucia has no tradition of horse slaughter and no export tradition. In Andalucia in general no horses are bred for slaughter (I know only one dealer near Sevilla).

However, for me the main equine problems are in Andalucia, especially for “riding and breeding” horses

–          Worst holdings
–          No pasturing
–          Kept in small boxes
–          Lack of movement
–          Hobbling very common
–          Brutal riding methods
–          Stallions for breeding that practically never leave their boxes 

 All the best, 


As you can see from Julia’s report although export and slaughter are still major problems, the aspect that is also very worrying is with regard to riding and breeding. How do you tackle a situation that effects tens of  thousands of animals but not in large groups, some breeders/owners will have a couple of animals others twenty or thirty? Although you can check the markets and ask the authorities to enforce animals welfare protection laws in Spain (which do exist but are seldom enforced) many will be bought and sold directly and so go unnoticed.

This is a problem that faces equines all over Europe and will only get worse as the recession continues and will be high on the list of priories for WTFAW in 2013

Paul Svendsen

Support a “Friend of WTFAW” this Christmas

Make a gift to one of the following “Friends of WTFAW” and help animals this Christmas. Their founders have given so much can you help?

Animals Angels


Founder Christa Blanke

Safe Haven for Donkeys in The Holy Land


Founder Lucy Fensom

Save The Dogs (And Other Animals)


Founder Sara Turetta

Nata Libera


Founder Angela Revel Chion

Thank You

Paul Svendsen

An argument for saving badgers

There has been a lot of interest in the plight of badgers in the last few weeks, with just days to go before the possible killing of thousands of these wild animals it is hard not to be swept along with the passion of the debate whether you are pro or against the cull.

Being a non-meat eater for ethical reasons my natural instinct is to abhor the idea of killing any animal for profit and this post reflects my view on the subject, if you would like to add to the discussion  I would appreciate hearing your views.

Since this debate has been going on I have read articles from people on both sides of the argument and tried to make sense of some of the scientific papers that are prolific on the net.

I was reading some interesting material in Wikipedia regarding the history of TB, the latest research suggests that TB was originally a human disease that transmuted to animals and that it was farming practices some 6000 years ago that started the problems in farm animals which went on to cause so many problems through all those years and is still with us now.

The point of mentioning this is that it is us the humans who have caused a problem which has killed millions of wild and domesticated animals through our farming practices and yet it is the wild animals that have to suffer the consequences.

So I write this post from the view-point of a non-meat eater who would prefer we didn’t eat meat at all but who would rather see a terrible situation improved if not resolved.

Over the years we have genetically engineered farm animals to be more and more productive in terms of meat and milk production. Many scientists are commenting that whilst the engineering has improved meat and milk production it has been at the expense of the ability to fight off diseases. so are we responsible for causing this problem and spreading disease through our wildlife?

As BTB is a respiratory disease spread by close contact isn’t it a fact that intensive farming techniques especially the indoor systems provide the ideal environment for the disease to spread?

Where cattle are grazed outside they are very often strip grazed requiring that the animals eat all the grass in a specific area every day, if the area for the day is in the same proximity as a badger trail or droppings doesn’t this force the cattle to eat close to possible sources of infection?

When cattle are bought and sold it is normally through  markets, the risk of cross infection from animals crammed together in pens must be very high, isn’t this one of the biggest causes of the spread of the disease?

The badger is just one species of wild animal, there are many who live in proximity to farmed animals including deer and birds who can carry disease, if the badger cull works is the plan then to expand the idea and cull other species as well?

My ideas for reducing reducing the risk of this disease would be;

  • Breed cattle for hardiness and resistance to disease as well as higher yields.
  • Stop the highly intensive factory farming methods that promote the spread of infections like Bovine TB.
  • Graze farm animals more naturally giving them more chance to avoid eating near high risk areas.
  • Identify and fence of wildlife areas from the areas that farmed animals use.
  • Protect all animal feeds from wild animals as the disease can live for days on materials like hay and silage.
  • Stop using markets to buy and sell animals! It doesn’t make sense, with modern technology all animals should be auctioned on site and moved directly from farm to farm.
  • Design mobile slaughterhouses that can go straight to the farm, this would reduce the stress on the animals caused by transportation and reduce the risk of spreading disease.

These are only some ideas, there are people out there who I am sure have and will come up with more options so that farming and wildlife can coexist. The problem is that in the short term these practices are expensive for farmers and why should they have to face all the costs?

Farmers are only serving the consumer and it is the consumer who dictates the price and quality of food, with a lot of influence from the big retailers!

That’s why it is the consumer that has to push for change. We have got so used to being able to have meat every day and not paying much for it. For farmers to be able to provide an environment for their animals as described above they need to be able to charge more for their product. If we ate half the meat at twice the price, everybody including the wildlife could be happy!

So please use your voice and more importantly your pocket,  if you don’t want to stop eating meat then think about reducing the amount of meat you eat which will be good for your health, for your wallet and for wildlife.

I look forward to hearing your views on this post

Paul Svendsen

WTFAW Campaigns

One of the primary purposes of WTFAW is to improve welfare for animals, a very effective way of doing this is to put pressure on the people who are involved through exposing their activities. Nobody likes bad publicity whether it’s a private individual or a government. Over the years I have been involved with many campaigns that really have made a difference . For instance I worked with a great animal welfare person Christa Blanke and her organisation ANIMALS ANGELS. They have managed to improve the conditions for thousands of animals travelling for slaughter by fearless investigation, relentless campaigning, lobbying and petitions.

WTFAW Campaigns will feature current welfare issues and provide information on what is being done and how you can help, sometimes working with existing charities such as Animals Angels and sometimes under our own initiative. Watch this Space



Fortnum & Mason defends its right to sell foie gras


Fortnum & Mason defends its right to sell foie gras

What do you think about this article in the Daily Telegraph?

How we can allow animals to be tortured like this just so we can have a delicacy to eat!

This is the environment geese should be in, not imprisoned in small cages being force fed! One of the ways we can stop this type of abuse is to not buy from businesses who exploit animals. 

Although WTFAW is small at the moment the larger we grow the more we can help. Please let me and others know your thoughts by providing feedback to this post.

Paul Svendsen

“ignorance is hell for animals”


Do Animals Get Depressed!


This article in the National Geographic asks the question, Do Animal Get Depressed?


You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that most animal give quite clear signals when they are unwell or unhappy, given the way we treat most animals perhaps it’s just easier to believe that they don’t have feelings and not feel guilty about what we do to them.

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