There is a widespread assumption that moving to higher welfare systems and outcomes for farm animals invariably entails a substantial increase in production costs. However, analysis of industry data shows that in certain cases, such as changing from battery to free-range eggs or from sow stalls to group housing, higher welfare farming adds little to the costs of production. In addition, higher welfare farming practices can achieve economic benefits as compared with intensive production. In better welfare systems, animals will tend to be healthier. This can lead to savings in terms of...more >>
European Union (EU) law contains a range of helpful provisions designed to protect farm animals on-farm, during transport and at slaughter. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognises animals as “sentient beings” and requires the EU and its Member States, when formulating and implementing their policies in certain key areas to pay “full regard to the welfare requirements of animals”. EU law has prohibited some of the worst aspects of industrial livestock production: veal crates have been prohibited from 2007, barren battery cages...more >>
"Cruelty must be whitewashed by a moral excuse, and pretense of reluctance”. Had George Bernard Shaw been witness to Australia’s thirty year trade in live animal export, he would have found abundant examples of both. Now is the time to expose the falsifications used by government, industry, and disappointingly, even certain members of the veterinary profession, to justify and maintain a trade that is inherently fraught with serious animal welfare risks at all stages.
Sentient, The Veterinary Institute for Animal Ethics, is fundamentally opposed to live...more >>
From combat boots to wellingtons
In January 2005 I got the job as military legal adviser to the very top of the Danish army, The Danish Army Operational Command (DAOC). Having obtained my law degree only a few months before, this was a drastic and exciting beginning of my academic career. The military world was however not new to me as I had worked as an army infantry officer since 1995: full time for two years and in the reserve during my studies. But my lack of practical legal experience at the time combined with
Australian lawyer Geoff Bloom wrote a paper for the AAWS International Animal Welfare Conference (2008) which applied "general thinking and practices about regulation within Western liberal democracies to the subject of regulating animal welfare." The abstract of that paper states that the paper "focuses on how animal welfare might be regulated to promote and protect improved animal welfare outcomes consistent with the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. Specific features of animal welfare must be understood in order to regulate it, like the inability of animals to represent...more >>
Under European Union regulations that were promulgated with overwhelming popular support, seal products may neither be placed on the European market internally nor imported into the EU. As seal hunting occurs primarily outside the EU, three seal product exporting states, Canada, Norway, and Iceland, complained to the World Trade Organization that the EU’s actions were contrary to its commitments to free trade under international trade agreements. Many animal advocates hope that this will be the first WTO case to establish that the General Exception found in Article XX(a) of...more >>
The new ‘Ask Philip’ section of my blog is a place for you to ask any questions you like, on any farm animal related topic. I’ll do my best to answer them. Many people are worried about asking ‘basic’ questions. But often these are the very ones that are on many people’s minds. So, having a place where they can be aired and discussed, I hope, is valuable. I also encourage questions that do not have ‘obvious’ answers. I hope that the blog will help engage and promote a greater understanding of the issues.
"You have to run faster and faster just to stay in the same place!"
The Red Queen to Alice, from Alice in Wonderland
The "Red Queen effect" is a metaphor used by biologists to describe the effect of coevolution, in which pathogens and the immune system are in a continuous race against each other to survive. By Kent W Deitemeyer
[pdf made available with the kind permission of Veterinary Forum at ...more >>