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Bad news for animals as the UK coalition government scraps welfare improvements

UK coalition government scraps or stalls improvements in animal welfare

In what's being called The great animal rights betrayal the coalition government in the UK has scrapped or stalled Labour initiatives to improve animal welfare before they were to come into force. According to an article in today's The Independent on Sunday, "The Agriculture minister James Paice, who part-owns a farm in Cambridgeshire, has been behind most of the moves – which have infuriated welfare groups. In the latest of a series of controversial decisions, Mr Paice this week delayed by five years a ban on beak mutilations of laying hens due to come into force in January." 

And this is only the beginning. "In an additional move, the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) halted a series of prosecutions of abattoir operators based on secret footage which caught slaughterhouse workers kicking cattle, pigs and sheep. Tim Smith, head of the Food Standards Agency, which enforces slaughterhouse standards, said of the images: 'The cruelty on show is the worst I have seen.' Defra said the prosecutions would have failed because the footage had been obtained by trespass. Animal Aid, which shot the film, described the decision as 'political'".

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The betrayals include game birds, circus animals, slaughterhouse cruelty, badger culls, and beak trimming. This is incredibly bad news for animals and shows no concern for their well-being. It's essential to voice our opinions so that the people behind these egregious moves know that they have little support. Letters to The Independent can be sent by clicking here

 

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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