headline according to the front page of the 'left leaning' Independent
newspaper on Saturday, 13 November 2010. The rest of the story is down
below for what it's worth. We are being led to believe it has become a
tragedy for animal rights that the Tories are in power, that the Labour
government was going to create a kind of heaven on Earth for the animals
and that the animals have been betrayed. They have indeed been betrayed
but it's not really news! What this story does is divert our attention
and keep us focussed on the illusion they call democracy. One AR group
forwarded the story to their email list renaming it The death sentence
for animals under a Tory government. This is a typical train of thought,
but what is the truth? Have animal rights suffered a telling blow?
was under the 'Opposition' Labour party that we were taken into multiple
never ending wars causing millions of innocent lives to be violently extinguished,
both human and animal. They killed the brave and uncompromising Barry
Horne while he struggled valiantly and suffered terribly in his prison
cell while trying to get them to hold the public inquiry they promised
and which so many of us demand of vivisection. Labour backed the 1986
Animals (Scientific Procedures) Bill which was sold as the saviour of
the lab animals but instead, as predicted, it made matters even worse.
They introduced the Terrorism Act and a raft of other legislation specifically
aimed at animal rights campaigners. They arrested animal rights people
for giving out leaflets on the street. They failed to end hunting as they
promised prior the 1997 election and have instead since persecuted hunt
monitors and hunt saboteurs mercilessly. Remember what they did to Brain
Griffiths and Steve Christmas and the hunt thugs who attacked them?
is the depth of contempt for the animals and their advocates that come
the 2010 election they were once again teasing the animal vote by pledging
to enforce the hunt ban if re elected, something which they went out of
their way to avoid doing during previous terms in office! They promised
to abolish the LD50 test, to ban tobacco, alcohol and weapons tests and
experiments on primates. They forged ahead with nuclear and GM and took
us into the bowels of the EU fascist dictatorship. They cynically saved
the criminal HLS from going bankrupt with tax payers' money in 2001 causing
500 animals to die there every single day since. They ensured the grotesque
Oxford animal laboratory was opened. Remember what they did to Mel Broughton?
They oversaw and covered up the murder of weapons inspector David Kelly
and the London tube bombings. If you have a conscience the full list is
utterly sickening. Just how many animals did they help in thirteen years?
Far less than the average committed activist can save in one day. Prior
to doing nothing they condemned the Tories for doing nothing!
if it were true that Labour cared about animal rights as this front page
headline indicates and which most of the population will have digested,
the fine detail of what they had planned for the animals is revealing.
The article makes five key points.
Keeping of game birds such as pheasants in cages.
may have one day introduced a 'Code of Practice' for the bird blasters
to consider not caging for the first few months of their life young birds
reared for shooting. Or they may not have introduced it but this is still
a spineless document that essentially legitimises an industry dedicated
to producing millions of birds every year to blast out of the sky. According
to page 1 of DEFRA's proposed Code of Practice of July 2010: “Failure
to comply with a provision of this Code shall not of itself render you
liable to proceedings of any kind.” Meaningful stuff eh! The outcome
being there are just as many dead and injured birds crashing from the
sky then as now. Hardly conducive with giving them their rights!
Issue: Use of performing wild animals such as tigers and elephants.
Labour minister said that if they were re elected for a fourth term he
was "minded" consider banning the last few circuses from using
wild animals (four of them have around 40 animals behind bars). This after
failing to act for the previous 13 years. How many of us were teased by
this distant hope of some small incremental change to the wholly oppressed
animal kingdom and gave our vote of approval to the system so cruel? Conclusion:
Inconclusive but on the evidence unlikely to change anything for either
the increasing number of non wild animals used in circuses or the remaining
Issue: Cruelty against pigs, sheep and cattle by abattoir workers.
are 350+ slaughterhouses in the UK each one inflicting the most terrifying
cruelty on infant and adult animals. Pregnant cows, unwanted infant dairy
calves, eight month old lambs by the million, chickens too many to count
and huge bulls. There are horses and pigs by the truck load all acutely
aware of their fate as they are crammed into the slaughterhouse death
chamber for a few hours after arrival before they are lined up for the
shackles and knifes, so terrified that the whites of their eyes bulge
and they shit themselves. This is real terror on mass scale!
'animal rights minded' Labour government had reluctantly allowed the early
stages of a prosecution of four slaughterhouses over extracurricular cruelty
caught graphically on film by an innovative animal rights group, two of
which were soil association approved! Such scenes are widespread in slaughterhouses.
The prosecutions have now been stopped under the blue team. We are told
they would likely fail because the legal system that protects the status
quo disapproves of footage obtained covertly. The same system exists whoever
is in power. Had these cases gone to court the impact on the lives and
deaths of 500 million animals annually led to their brutal premature and
unnecessary end would have meant diddly squat. Let's face it the system
does not punish for such crimes. To add cameras to the killing room which
may be monitored by some unmotivated government official or meat industry
worker is no solution to such a desperate situation. Have we also forgotten
how often these cameras 'malfunction' or the footage becomes 'lost' when
it matters? All the time! This prosecution was not about animal rights
and there is no desire to protect animal rights. The conclusion: 500 million
dead animals. No change there then.
Issue: Spread of bovine TB from wild badgers to cattle
deception. Instead of the proposed badger kill we are told that Labour
would have vaccinated infected badger populations against TB instead.
But nearly 3000 of them were trapped and killed under Labour, at a cost
of £35,000 each one.
are produced by murderous drug companies and are notoriously ineffective
and a very real threat to health as seen here: Vaccination
True Stories and Vaccination
Articles. It's clear there is insufficient independent evidence to
support any idea that vaccine manufacturers have served the greater good
with these or assorted chemical products.
jury is still out after 40 years over the question of how badgers are
passing a respiratory lung infection to cows. Badgers turning over soggy
cow pats looking for dung beetles and breathing in the infection being
a simple way for them to catch TB from cows. It's origin is likely the
unnatural cattle husbandry and herd movements. While the science and the
dairy industry haven't managed to figure it out some experts are in no
doubt that “cattle are the MAIN reservoir and transmission is 99-100%
cow to cow (and spillover to badgers and deer etc” http://www.badgersandtb.com/
Or how about the £49 million
Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB report on badger culling which
concludes that the main source of infection is transmission not from badgers
to cattle, but from cattle to cattle. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmenvfru/130/130i.pdf
honest data makes clear that regional badger eradication would make no
meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain and clearly some
eradication policies under consideration would make matters a great deal
worse. With farmers clamouring to be licensed to shoot badgers on their
land in some cost cutting quick fix massacre that their friends in government
favour, there may be a silver lining in this whole sorry saga. Badgers
would not be targeted in any coherent way by the gunmen and family groups
split forcing animals to disperse further afield, potentially spreading
the disease more rapidly than it currently is and ultimately destroying
the very industry these lunatics think they are saving! The irony of it.
costly vaccine would be a nice little earner for some drug company supplying
it which may harm the badgers sooner or later and which would of course
fail to save the precious dairy industry from self inflicted TB without
drastic changes to their modus operandi. So even if some government minister
could be trusted the badgers would be blamed again and killed either by
animal farmers or the government. Conclusion lots of dead cows and lots
of dead badgers. As was.
Issue: Mutilation of laying hens.
top of the beak is sliced off with a hot blade: 20 million hens were confined
to cramped battery cages throughout Labour's tenure each one suffering
extreme cruelty every day of their short lives. Labour did nothing to
ensure the industry prepared for the end of beak trimming. This necessarily
means removing the cause of the cannibalism - the factory farming of millions
of birds - which they were not bothered to do. They will continue to have
their beaks trimmed so the damage they do to each other is minimised and
saved for the slaughter men to inflict. The score: Under the red team
20 million dead birds with trimmed beaks, under the blue team same.
Labour reign was a disaster for those of us seeking progress and it always
will if our belief that the mentality that got us into the mess can get
us out of it. Yet in response to the election of the Tories and this media
version of events, some animal rights activists have reacted with campaign
calls to return the Labour Party to power in order to save the animals!
What a tragedy! If they will betray the animals that have no vote then
what hope do the rest of us have?
nature of the beast that rules our lives is such that positive change
cannot ever come if we continue with our self destructive impulse to feed
it with our energy. Until we fully realise that the bad guys manage both
teams for the benefit of our entertainment, and we adapt our efforts accordingly,
everything we hold dear and dream about will go the way of politicians'
pledges. We are being played in a game. Labour don't care for animals
any more than the rest of them, they just pretend to (and not very hard
at that) in order to control the hopes and dreams of the animal lovers.
This is a system built on chaotic cruelty and greed and as long as we
shore it up with our approval and our resources and our votes we will
only slowly advance our cause, while helping the enemy gain a greater
foothold on all our lives.
we deal with our changing world is up to each of us – hopefully
united - but burying our heads in the sand and seeking the return of the
other apparently slightly less awful bunch of lying thieving bastards
of the real evil which hides in the shadows and controls what we see and
hear is not an answer.
we need is a sweeping change in attitude towards all living beings. What
neither we nor the animals need is some forlorn hope that in a few years
time a front man for the control system might possibly become a hero of
the animal rights movement and provide some window dressing to an aspect
of the institutionalised violence. What the animal rights movement needs
is to distance itself from calls for CCTV in slaughterhouses. We've always
uncovered the best footage from these places. Persistent and widespread
distribution of that footage is all that's missing and we wont get that
from such a proposal. This is where we come in. This is our moment. Our
time to shine. It's down to us. Reacting with calls for the enemy of love
and compassion - government - to do something meaningless after the event
smacks of defeatism.
seeking animal rights we must stop falling into the trap of believing
that the lesser evil is the way forward. It is not. Evil does not give
animals' rights. Nor do we call for less cruelty in mechanised intensive
egg extraction systems and do not ask Big Pharma to inject its animal
tested concoctions into wild mammals. Otherwise it's animal abuse and
we oppose that. We are the future of this planet and the rules are changing
according to the laws of nature not according to the media or the politicians.
Keith Mann (14 November 2010)
The Independent Saturday
13 November 2010 : The Great Animal Rights Betrayal
scraps protection for hens, game birds, pigs, cows, sheep – and
Millions of hens have part of their beaks sliced off to stop them pecking
at each other in confined units, but campaigners say there is no need
for this if flocks are well managed.
The delay in the beak-trimming ban emerged in a press statement headed
"New safeguards for chickens", which hailed the introduction
of a limit on overcrowding of meat chickens which will have little impact.
The RSPCA said it was "extremely disappointed" by the decision,
describing beak trimming as "an insult to hens' welfare".
Another policy reversal, affecting hundreds of thousands of game birds,
was taken following lobbying from the Countryside Alliance and other shooting
groups. Mr Paice rewrote the new game-bird farming welfare code to remove
a ban on keeping them in cages.
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".
Furthermore, the Government is reducing the presence of official veterinarians
at livestock markets, to the concern of the British Veterinary Association.
According to the BVA, Mr Paice has also expressed doubt over plans compulsorily
to label kosher and halal meat from animals killed without being stunned.
Defra has been stalling on a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses,
which Labour indicated in March it would introduce, keeping 40 tigers,
elephants, zebras and other animals performing tricks. Defra says it will
announce its plans "later in the autumn".
Mr Paice again pleased farmers and angered welfare groups by overturning
Labour's opposition to a badger cull and proposing farmers trap or shoot
the protected mammal in order to curb the spread of bovine TB, which can
be spread by badgers. He downgraded a research programme into vaccination,
an alternative method of controlling the disease that killed 25,000 cattle
last year. A cull is likely to provoke widespread protests.
Another Conservative proposal – to hold a free vote on overturning
the ban on fox hunting – will be fiercely opposed.
Current concern, however, is greatest about the U-turns on farm animals
because of the huge numbers involved. While there are no authoritative
figures, the proposed game-bird cage ban would have improved the lives
of hundreds of thousands of the 40 million game birds bred annually for
shooting. Beak trimming is estimated to take place on 20 million of the
UK's 29 million laying flock. Tabling plans to limit the keeping of broiler
chickens to 39kg per square metre, a more crowded level than the industry's
basic standard of 38kg, Defra revealed it would ban trimming by hot blades
but allow the less brutal but still painful infra-red method.
The Government's vets on the Farm Animal Welfare Council had recommended
allowing infra-red trimming because of the egg industry's failure to prepare
for the ban, which had been scheduled for eight years.
Compassion in World Farming was "deeply disappointed" by the
decision. Its chief policy adviser, Peter Stevenson, said: "It is
frustrating that the egg industry has not managed to meet the 2011 deadline.
At the same time as the British industry has been failing to phase out
beak trimming, the Austrian industry has successfully reduced the practice
so that now less than 2 per cent of hens are beak trimmed."
Animal Aid's campaign manager Kate Fowler said: "The Coalition Government
has wasted no time in removing a raft of popular measures that provided
important protection for farmed and wild animals.
"It seems the Lib Dems can't or won't rein in the Tories. The commitment
to repealing the Hunting Act is the most high profile part of the Government's
anti-animal welfare package. But badgers, animals at markets, game birds
and animals in circuses are also under threat. As for slaughterhouse cruelty,
if this Government's vets can't or won't take action and the Government
won't prosecute, then there is no one to stop slaughterhouses becoming
Mr Paice said: "These comments are surprising and disappointing.
Cutting bureaucracy doesn't equate to poorer welfare for animals –
we listen to expert groups and always base decisions on robust scientific
evidence, including that of the Farm Animal Welfare Council. As far as
bovine TB is concerned, these groups appear to ignore the welfare of cattle."
Game Birds - Issue: Keeping of game birds such as pheasants in
cages. - Number of animals: affected Hundreds of thousands.
Last government policy: In one of its last acts in power, on 15 March
2010, Labour introduced a new Code of Practice for "game bird"
production which in effect would have banned the use of battery cages
for breeding pheasants within months.
What the Coalition has done: Animal Welfare minister James Paice withdrew
the code and replaced it with a new version which allowed "enriched"
cages to remain. The decision followed lobbying from shooting organisations,
such as the Countryside Alliance and the Game Farmers' Association.
RSPCA comment: "The RSPCA is concerned that the Government has overturned
expert recommendations against the use of cages to breed game birds in
England. The Society is calling for proper scientific research to establish
how to best meet the birds' needs under Section 9 of the Animal Welfare
Act. In the meantime, the aim is to persuade the industry to act in accordance
with the scientific principles of welfare and avoid using cages."
Circus Animals - Issue: Use of performing wild animals such as
tigers and elephants.
How many animals affected: Around 40. Four British circuses use wild animals:
the Great British Circus, which has tigers, lions, camels and zebras;
Peter Jolly's Circus (camels, zebras, snakes and crocodiles); Circus Mondao
(camels and zebras); and Bobby Roberts Circus (camels and elephant).
What was going to happen?: On 25 March 2010, Labour's environment minister,
Jim Fitzpatrick, said he was "minded" to ban performing wild
animals after research showed that 94 per cent of the public supported
What the Coalition has done: The Coalition said it was considering whether
to proceed and would announce its position "in the autumn".
James Paice told the Commons he was sympathetic to a ban but said his
colleague Lord Henley was mulling over issues.
RSPCA comment: "The RSPCA believes the circus is no place for a wild
animal. It does not believe that wild animals should be subjected to the
confinement, constant transportation and abnormal social groups associated
with circus life. The UK Government promised three years ago that wild
animals in travelling circuses would be banned – yet lions, tigers,
elephants and other animals still tour the UK. We want to see the urgent
introduction of regulations under the Animal Welfare Act."
Slaughterhouse Cruelty - Issue: Cruelty against pigs, sheep and
cattle by abattoir workers. - Number of animals affected: 29 million.
What was going to happen?: Prosecutions had been started against four
operators at five abattoirs, and nine workers, following an undercover
investigation by an animal welfare charity, Animal Aid. It found poor
conditions at six of seven slaughterhouses it investigated between January
2009 and April 2010: footage showed animals being kicked, slapped, stamped,
and picked up by fleeces and ears and thrown into stunning pens. Some
sheep had their throats cut while not properly stunned.
What the Coalition has done: The Department for Food and Rural Affairs
dropped the prosecutions, saying it had become aware of legal precedents
where courts had refused to accept "unlawfully obtained video footage".
Instead, the Food Standards Agency has asked the 370 slaughterhouses in
England and Wales to install CCTV cameras.
RSPCA comment: The RSPCA does not wish to comment on specific court cases.
Badger Cull - Issue: Spread of bovine TB from wild badgers to
cattle. - How many animals affected: 6,000 badgers could be killed in
the first year.
What was going to happen: In July 2008, the then Environment Secretary,
Hilary Benn, ruled out a cull, saying a cull would worsen rates of bovine
TB outside of culling areas. Instead he committed £20m more into
trials of a vaccination programme for badgers in six areas.
What the Coalition has done: Proposed that farmers in areas of heavy TB
infestation cull badgers by cage-trapping and shooting them, or by "free
shooting" as animals emerge from their setts. It has scaled back
trial vaccinations to one area.
RSPCA comment: "On the basis of the current science, welfare concerns
and practicality, any decision for a widespread cull of badgers would
be totally unacceptable. Farmers or any non-statutory agency carrying
out a cull... would make the welfare issues involved in killing badgers
worse. It would be near impossible to police or monitor such a cull and
could make enforcement of the Protection of Badgers Act very difficult."
Beak Trimming - Issue: Mutilation of laying hens. - Number of animals
affected: 20 million.
What was going to happen?: Labour decided to end beak trimming, which
is carried out to prevent laying hens pecking and cannibalising each other
in cramped battery cages. A ban enacted eight years ago was due to come
into force on 1 January 2011.
What the Coalition has done: After the egg industry said it was not prepared
for the end of beak trimming, the Coalition will delay a complete ban
by at least five years, until 2016. Instead, the Government banned trimming
with hot blades and allowed another technology which still causes pain
RSPCA comment: "The RSPCA is extremely disappointed that no specific
date has been set for a ban on beak trimming for laying hens. The mutilation
of all livestock is undesirable."