Writing To Further Animal Welfare

Posts tagged ‘politics’


Badger Culls Going Ahead in June

The following press release issued in February 2013 confirms that the culling of badgers will go ahead in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire.

Despite scientific evidence which questions the validity of the DEFRA case for culling, thousands of these animals will be slaughtered from June this year.

Please join the campaign to STOP this from going ahead at http://www.savethebadger.com/

Press release

Badger culls to go ahead this summer

The pilot culls will last for 6 weeks and will be repeated annually for four years.
Two pilot badger culls to tackle the spread of bovine TB will go ahead this summer in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson confirmed today. Speaking at the National Farmers Union (NFU) annual conference, Mr Paterson announced that authorisation letters have been issued by Natural England confirming the culls can proceed this summer. Mr Paterson also announced a reserve pilot will also be prepared in Dorset in the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent one of the cull areas from being used. This is part of the ongoing planning to ensure there are no delays to the cull proceeding this year. Owen Paterson, Environment Secretary, said:

Bovine TB is spreading at an alarming rate and causing real devastation to our beef and dairy industry. The authorisation letters issued today confirming culling can proceed this summer in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset is an important step towards taking the action we need to tackle the spread of this disease in wildlife.

I am determined that there are no further delays this year. That is why we have taken the sensible step with the farming industry to elect a reserve area that can be called upon should anything happen to prevent culling in Somerset or Gloucestershire.

These pilot culls are just one part of our approach to control and eradicate this dreadful disease. We are using everything at our disposal to get to grips with TB including new tougher controls on moving cattle, increased herd testing and working to get effective vaccines ready as soon as possible.

The experience of countries such as the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Australia and New Zealand shows that TB in cattle cannot be controlled without also tackling the disease in the surrounding wildlife.  In New Zealand, the number of infected cattle and deer herds has been reduced from 1,700 in the mid 1990s to fewer than 100 in 2011. This is as a result of rigorous bio-security measures, strict cattle movement controls and proactive wildlife management. The authorisation letters issued by Natural England mean that culling will be able to proceed at any point from 1 June. The pilot culls will last for 6 weeks and will be repeated annually for four years. The pilots are being carried out to test the chosen method of culling through free shooting. The pilots will be independently assessed to check the method is both effective in removing enough badgers and humane. The reserve pilot in Dorset will be prepared in the same way as the two licensed areas so that it is ready to proceed if necessary in the summer.

Are you for or against the cull? please leave your views

Horse Meat in Beef Burgers!

The latest animal welfare news to hit press relates to horse meat being present in beef burgers at Tesco’s, there have been  many outraged complaints from people who are concerned that they may have eaten horse instead of beef! As I listened to the article I started asking myself why?

I have also been reading about the planned slaughter of whales by the Japanese, I had downloaded the minutes of a meeting between interested countries and parties and what hit me most was the gulf between the views of the animal welfare /environmental lobby, the whalers and other commercial participants.

One comment stuck in my mind from the Japanese perspective which was “why should whaling be seen as anything different to the farming of any other animals” the Japanese feel that they are being treated unfairly and that the animal welfare groups use emotional blackmail to put pressure on them to change their practices.

I am not in favour of eating horse whale or in fact any other sentient being but I can see a certain hypocritical aspect to some elements within the animal welfare community. Unless we can truly say that our personal actions do no harm to animals do we have we the right to criticize the actions of some sectors of the farming community whilst supporting others?

Is it crueller to kill a baby dolphin then a chick or a lamb, is the distress any less? Many people are happy to eat a range of farmed animals inured from the realities of the process involved in the treatment and killing of their food whilst decrying the actions of whale and dolphin slaughterers.

There could be an argument to say that at least whales and dolphins had a natural life before falling foul of their executioners whilst many farmed lives live in abject misery before becoming our food.

The problem as I see it is to do with lack of self-motivation and apathy, we live in a society where we are encouraged to take the easy route through life, millions of pounds/dollars are spent every year on marketing meat products in such a way that we are shielded from the reality of the consequences of our actions, and it is not only the animals that are suffering, in the UK alone over 50% of the population is obese and the production of meat to feed the millions takes a staggering toll on the environment.

And what do we do when we have produced all this food? We throw away or waste over 50% around the World!

And it is not just our requirements for food that cause problems for the animal species on this planet, our love of pets and our use of animals for sport and recreation causes a great deal of misery, neglect and disrespect for animal life.

Many people will say “if we make small steps we will eventually solve the problem” but if you think about it how can you help solve a problem if you are part of it? Also by attacking certain parts of the farming community whilst supporting others we undermine our own principles lessening the value of our arguments. We all need to become less polarised and in many cases put our own houses in order before attacking others.

Like most things in life the responsibility for animal welfare and most other matters of concern with our planet lie not with large corporations, government or other bodies who we can conveniently blame for the atrocities they commit, but with us the consumers of animal products, the users of resources, the need that feeds the demand.

The consumer dictates what the corporations produce for us although they will try and sway our choices. If enough people gave up using animal products and demanded more animal/environmental friendly solutions then someone would produce them, because in the end it comes down to supply and demand.

Ok so this “Utopia” is a long way off but for me unless I am clear about what my objectives are now how can I work towards my long term goal? And of course my Utopia is another person’s hell, as a reader you need to decide where your life values lead you.

If you want to be “animal friendly” then don’t do it piece meal, embrace the whole philosophy and make those changes to your lifestyle that if emulated by us all would make a real and genuine difference. The benefits of an animal friendly diet do not stop at ending the suffering for animals, you should also benefit from a healthier lifestyle and significant financial savings.

Over the next couple of months I will be publishing articles that go into how you can benefit including;

  • The advantages of an Animal Friendly diet
  • An AF meal planner
  • Saving money eating AF

And a survey designed to find out our true AF credentials

I look forward to hearing your comments on this post

Paul Svendsen


Badger cull ‘mindless’, say scientists


Badger cull ‘mindless’, say scientists

You don’t have to be a scientist to see that this is wrong! I just hope the government has the sense to stop this pointless and heartless exercise before hundreds of these wonderful creatures are killed. You can sign the E-petition against the cull by following this link http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257

let kindness and caring replace  greed and cruelty”

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