Richard Dawkins: ‘When I see cattle lorries, I think of the railway wagons to Auschwitz’

The evolutionary biologist talks about becoming a vegetarian, Brexit, Donald Trump and, inevitably, God

Richard Dawkins’ application of logic applies right down to his socks, which he refuses to waste time matchingCHRIS MCANDREW FOR THE TIMES

Is this what it was like, Richard Dawkins wonders, for ordinary people in Nazi Germany? “There’s a kind of laziness if you live in a society where things are just accepted. People might have been vaguely uneasy about what was going on in Germany but also thought, ‘Oh well, everyone else is doing it’.”

What crime is it that he thinks that we, like Germans in the 1930s, are blind to? It is, perhaps, a surprising one from him: the crime of eating meat. Dawkins, 76, is not known for being a woolly, liberal, tofu-eater. He is better known for his espousal of red-in-tooth-and-claw evolutionary logic and, even more so, for his three million-selling atheist book The God Delusion. Speaking from his Victorian Gothic house…

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 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/when-i-see-cattle-lorries-i-think-of-the-railway-wagons-to-auschwitz-m3t0hntmk

Why did the Crown waste resources prosecuting woman who gave water to pigs?

Animal rights activist Anita Krajnc gives water to a pig in a truck

Christie Blatchford: Why did the Crown waste resources prosecuting woman who gave water to pigs?

by Christie Blatchford

These days, you can hardly pick up a paper or click on a news site without reading another story about the woes of the Canadian criminal courts.

They’re chronically short of judges! There aren’t enough Crown prosecutors! Legal aid is a mess and no one qualifies to get a lawyer any more! The buildings are old and crumbling!

And delay: Such a hue and cry about delay in the courts.

Since about six months ago, when in a case called R v Jordan the Supreme Court of Canada pronounced upon the unacceptable length of time it takes to get a case to trial in this country, and blamed what it called “a culture of complacency,” knickers have been in a knot across the land.

Defence lawyers are pressing to have charges against their clients dismissed because of egregious delay, years sometimes. Prosecutors say no, wait a minute – we’re doing our best here with limited resources. Judges are all over the map, here throwing out cases, there throwing up their hands. There is wild talk of such drastic measures as doing away with preliminary hearings.

Halton Region, west of Toronto, is no different, and maybe worse.

A simple Google search reveals that for the past five years, there’s been a steady drumbeat of whingeing emanating from the bar and the judiciary in the area, particularly about the “unmitigated disaster” that is the Milton courthouse, as one local lawyer has called it.

Area judges have taken judicial notice of the situation, meaning they’ve worked criticism of government into their decisions.

“Let the ministries that fund and operate the various arms of our court system be forewarned,” Ontario Court Judge Stephen Brown said in a March 8, 2012 decision in which he tossed a case of impaired driving. “Failure to increase judicial and physical resources to match the growing population will quite possibly result in a floor of delay applications being granted.”

Seven months later, Brown was at it again: “Because of the chronic persistent and growing demands on the limited resources in Halton Region, we are slipping further into a crisis situation where the lack of allocation of government resources by way of an increase in judicial resources and a proper physical plant and infrastructure to deal with the explosive growth in this region is leading to a breaking point.”

So the point is made, and undoubtedly legitimate: There’s no time or resources to waste in the justice system.

It’s in this light that the trial of animal rights activist Anita Krajnc might be considered.

On June 22 two years ago, Krajnc and other activists on a traffic island took advantage of a stopped tractor trailer (it was stopped at a red light) to talk to and pet the 190 pigs inside being taken to a nearby slaughterhouse in Burlington.

As a short video that was played at trial shows, the pigs were clearly thirsty and some of them were panting, and breathing open-mouthed.

Krajnc began giving some of them water.

The truck driver got out of the vehicle, approached her and asked what she was doing, told her to stop, and then phoned 911. He later went to the local police station to file a complaint, and Krajnc was charged.

(In the interests of full disclosure, let it be known that I have a white-and-pink English bull terrier, aka “a pig dog”, so named for its magnificent resemblance to a pig – big pig ears, piggy sort of snout and body, sort of dogs in pig skin. Balancing off that bias, I eat bacon, or at least I did until I read the expert report of Dr. Lori Marino, a neuroscientist who testified at trial. Her evidence was that in fact pigs are dog-like, every bit as sentient and capable of feelings as dogs are. They are also ridiculously cute, but that’s just my view.)

In any case, however one sees Krajnc’s cause, the fact is that the overburdened and impoverished justice system nonetheless allowed this prosecution not only to proceed, but also to eat up seven full days of court time, and all the public resources that entails – seven days of salary for the judge and prosecutor Harutyun Apel, court officials and security officers, court reporter and clerk, etc.

Blessedly, both for Krajnc and the taxpayer, she was represented pro bono by lawyers Gary Grill and James Silver.

Prosecutors had offered to settle the case with a peace bond, Grill said in a phone interview, but that was hardly reasonable given “she believes she’s done absolutely nothing wrong” and also recognized a PR and public education opportunity when she sees one.

A request for comment to prosecutor Apel Thursday resulted in a referral to the spokesperson for the attorney general’s ministry, who at first referred the query to the agriculture ministry, but when pressed – this is an issue which is clearly within the AG’s bailiwick — then declined to comment until the appeal period is over.

The government is considering an appeal? What, insufficient public funds haven’t yet been squandered?

As Gary Grill said, “There’s definitely real money being spent on this. Nobody in Milton can ever say they don’t have the resources.” Amen.

200 Year Old Whale Killed–Enough is Enough!

Comment by Captain Paul Watson:

For 200 years this incredible whale has swum through the waters of the Arctic Ocean.

200 HUNDREDS YEARS!!

Two centuries ago it was 1817. This whale was alive before the American Civil War. This whale was alive before Thomas Jefferson died. This whale was alive before the ship ESSEX was sunk by a Sperm whale. This whale is older than the Mormon church!

When this whale was born, African Americans were just commodities to be bought and sold. When this whale was born, women had very few rights and Native Americans were being slaughtered. well, because of manifest destiny, killed because of White American culture.

And now some 16-year old kid is a frigging “hero” for snuffing out the life of this unique self aware, intelligent, social, sentient being, but hey, it’s okay because murdering whales is a part of his culture, part of his tradition.

He went out in his “traditional” metal boat, powered by a “traditional” outboard motor, armed with a “traditional” exploding harpoon and “traditional” high powered rifle and they all hauled the great grandmother of a whale into the shore with a “traditional power” winch.

I don’t give a damn for the bullshit politically correct attitude that certain groups of people have a “right” to murder a whale.

Their so called “right” is not as important as the right of the whales to live, survive and to thrive.

TWO HUNDRED GODDAMN YEARS and this little prick snuffs out her life just because because he legally can. I hope he chokes on the blubber.

People like the Yupik, the Faroese, the thugs in Taiji, the Orca killing scum in St. Vincent and the whaling gangsters of Iceland, Norway and Japan are despicable murderous bastards all justifying their cruel infliction of death in the name of this mother of all justifications – culture.

Am I angry? Damn right I am. Enough is enough. I don’t care what self righteous ethnic label anyone may want to pin on themselves, killing a whale can never be justified in the name of tradition or culture.

TWO HUNDRED GODDAMN YEARS!! WTF!!

And for those who demand that I respect anyone’s “right” to kill a whale or a dolphin, my answer is I have never, I do not and I will never respect the infliction of suffering and death to any cetacean.

And for those who say, well you eat meat? No I don’t, and I would no more respect this horrific murder of this incredible sentient being than I would of the culture of cannibalism.

And by the way I have been to Gambell in 1981 where I saw the Yupik shooting walrus with M-16 rifles just for the ivory. The number of stinking rotting Walrus bodies I saw that summer was obscene.

https://www.adn.com/…/a-teenager-on-a-gambell-whaling-crew-…

Sixteen-year-old Chris Apassingok struck the 57-foot-long bowhead.
ADN.COM

Trump Junior’s plans for Saturday morning in Montana causing controversy

Apr 19, 2017 6:38 PM PDTUpdated: Apr 19, 2017 6:38 PM PDT

Trump Junior’s plans for Saturday morning in Montana causing controversy
BOZEMAN –We are learning more about Trump Junior’s plans for Saturday morning and it’s sparking some controversy with local environmentalists. The Ravalli Republic reported that Gianforte told a crowd in Hamilton Monday that he plans to take Donald Trump Jr. Out to shoot prairie dogs.

It’s important to note that shooting prairie dogs in Montana is completely legal, but at least one wildlife advocate says it is far from ethical.

Dave Pauli Senior Advisor for Wildlife Policy with the Humane Society of The United States said, “I was disappointed I guess that any national or international politician or celebrity would have the opportunity to come to Montana in the spring and their first choice of things they want to do is shoot prairie dogs.”

In a Facebook post posted on Wednesday, Pauli voiced his frustrations about the idea of Gianforte and Trump Jr. Spending their time in Montana shooting prairie dogs.

The Facebook post has garnered a lot of attention with more than 300 likes and 400 shares in just a few hours. And there are plenty of comments on both sides of the issue.

Ruth Gessler Farnsworth simply said, “Awful.”

While Jeremy Parish said, “totally legal and encouraged. Just like the coyote slaughter in most states.”

Shane Scanlon Communication Director for Greg Gianoforte says Ginaforte is proud to hunt in Montana. Scanlon released a statement saying…

“Hunting is a big part of gain forte’s life; he’s a sportsman and an outdoorsman and tries to get out when he can. He’s just looking to have a good time with Donald Trump Jr. and shooting some prairie dogs this weekend.”

Pauli says he’d rather see the duo hit a shooting range.

Trump Junior’s first appearance in Montana will be on Friday in Kalispell, from there he will visit Hamilton and close out his trip in Bozeman.

He’s attending several fundraisers for Gianforte who is running against Democrat Rob Quist for Montana’s lone congressional seat.

Rescue Gajraj the Elephant From Torture at Indian Temple

https://animalpetitions.org/243668/rescue-gajraj-the-elephant-from-alleged-torture-at-temple/

Target: Modi Narendra, Prime Minister of India 

Goal: Rescue Gajraj the elephant, who has been tortured and held in captivity for over 50 years, from the Satara Temple.

A 63-year-old elephant named Gajraj has been living in devastating conditions for most of his life. Currently, he is being kept in chains as a tourist attraction at the Satara Temple in India. Before he was there, he was used by handlers to beg visitors for money. Since becoming ill and too sick to continue doing that, he was left at the Satara Temple.

Gajraj’s living conditions were revealed anonymously to The Sun newspaper in the U.K. in the form of video footage. Due to being chained to a hard floor, he has developed abscesses on his hind quarters and elbows. He reportedly spends time every day trying to free himself from those chains. Pictures also show that the ends of his tusks have been cut off and that he has overgrown and broken toenails on all of his feet.

He is also exhibiting classic signs of severe psychological distress, presumably as a result of both his social isolation and the terrible conditions he is living in. He is apparently not receiving the appropriate care because he can no longer make the handlers any money, but he does not deserve to die in agony because of that.

Something needs to be done to save Gajraj and to prevent this from happening to more animals in the future. Sign this petition to demand that the appropriate measures are taken as soon as possible.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Modi Narendra,

Gajraj the elephant is dying in agony at the Satara Temple and it seems that no one at that facility cares. You have the power to do something about this and to send someone in to rescue Gajraj before it’s too late.

He has spent the majority of his life being tortured and held in captivity. At the Satara Temple, he is chained to the ground and completely alone. This is driving him into severe psychological distress that no living creature deserves to experience.

We ask that you help save Gajraj and take the measures necessary to implement legislation that prevents this from happening to more animals in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

https://animalpetitions.org/243668/rescue-gajraj-the-elephant-from-alleged-torture-at-temple/

Karmic Disaster: Dead Meat as Gastronomic and Economic Sustenance

http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-karmic-disaster-dead-meat.html

An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

John R. Hall, The GreanvillePost.com
April 2017

A nation of zombies feeds on the flesh of dead animals, salutes, pledges allegiance to, and sings the patriotic songs of the Empire which spreads death and destruction worldwide. Few have noticed Bad Karma nibbling away at their sorry asses. Few have noticed the Fall of Empire in progress. Their national borders are prison bars, their economy in shambles, their hopes and dreams gone. When it comes to neighbors, love has been replaced by fear. More firearms than humans populate the land…

sue coe
By Sue Coe, the world’s foremost political artist focusing on humanity’s tyranny over non-human creatures.

Hindu scriptures teach that anyone who kills or causes harm to other sentient beings is in for a big dose of Bad Karma as a result. The shit can hit the fan in this lifetime or in some future reincarnation, but it will happen. Not that I personally subscribe to Hinduism or any other religion, but I do believe that there’s a large dose of merit in their world view. A lot can be said for lifestyles which involve veganism and peaceful coexistence with our fellow beings. Stray from the path, commit the crime, and you’ll eventually do the time. Like the Hindus, we’ll define “sentient beings” as including (most) humans, all other creatures with eyes and mothers, and most importantly Mother Earth herself; for she’s borne the brunt of harm caused by her thoughtless, careless, greedy human children.

Dead meat is the fuel that powers Empire, and the resulting karmic disaster now bites all its citizens in the ass in oh so many ways. We’ve been told since birth that we need to kill and consume cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, rabbits, and/or squirrels, to maintain a necessary level of protein in our diets. Whack ’em, gut ’em, skin ’em, cook ’em (optional), and eat ’em. We’ve also been instructed to drink the milk meant for calves, in its many forms, and to ingest the embryos of large birds. If you are a believer in the studies and lifework of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, or are even mildly observant, you understand that your morbidly obese friends and neighbors (or you) are dying prematurely from meat/dairy/egg-intensive diets, in ever-increasing numbers. Heart/coronary artery disease, cancers, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and untold other karmic paybacks are their rewards for either directly killing animals or buying their dead flesh from Safeway’s meat case, and consuming it. If Dr. Esselstyn is correct, by the time the average meat-consuming high school graduate in The U.S.A. accepts his diploma, coronary artery disease is already ravaging his body.

Dead meat is the fuel that powers Empire. War is its business, and fast becoming its only business. Bombs, bullets, missiles, rockets, warships, and warplanes are its preferred delivery methods. Its young people are lured into the bloody, tangled web of death and destruction by slick-huckster, pseudo-patriotic, U.S. Military-glorifying advertising schemes. The lucky do their time, emerging with bodies largely intact, suffering only a lifetime of residual mental anguish and PTSD, souls stolen away, brains scrambled, expressionless, and aimless, demented, self-doubting heroes to the masses who cheerlead Empire’s wars. Warfare for profit drives the stock markets. In my lifetime alone: A few million dead Koreans, a few million dead Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, a few million dead Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, and Syrians, and the market values of Boeing, Exxon-Mobil, Raytheon, Halliburton, Monsanto, and Northrop Grumman soar. Billionaires, corporate executives, bankers, and politicians rake in the blood money. Combat boots leave their marks upon the faces of dead populations across the globe, as the looming shadow of Bad Karma darkens the land.

Dead meat, the fuel that powers Empire, brings a tear to the eye of Mother Earth. Mega-corporate meat-growing mass-execution operations grow sentient mammals and birds in immobile squalor, pumping them full of antibiotics and growth hormones, raping (force-breeding) them, stealing their progeny and milk, unceremoniously slaughtering them, and feeding them to the masses of sick, mindless, obese humans. Filling the atmosphere with the stench of uncontained defecation and urination, and contributing more greenhouse gas emissions than all other sources combined. Crops feeding death-row, USDA-inspected, four-legged or feathered prisoners consume more water in Empire than all other uses combined, both domestic and agricultural, not to mention the associated, indiscriminate use of toxic soil-killing herbicides and pesticides connected with corporate agriculture.

Dead meat. Populations of third world countries cry out for food and drinking water, but receive bombs instead. Citizens unfortunate enough to live in oil-rich lands yearn for basic needs, but find themselves to be testing grounds for Empire’s newest, state-of-the-art WMD’s. But who needs rice when you can have depleted uranium? Countries ravaged, war’s ultimate goal; death, destruction, chaos. Dead meat litters broken countrysides. Empire’s exceptional citizens stuff their fat faces full of dead meat. They watch in awestruck approval the fireworks of death, in countries they can’t find on a map, on their favorite corporate “news” channels. Meat; it’s what’s for dinner. Meat; it’s what you become if you’re not in sync with Empire’s agenda. Meat; it’s what all sentient beings are, in the eyes of those who push the buttons and pull Empire’s strings. Resources to be harvested. Meat.

sue coe
By Sue Coe, the world’s foremost political artist focusing on humanity’s tyranny over non-human creatures.

The U.S.A. is now ground zero for karmic disaster. A nation of zombies feeds on the flesh of dead animals, salutes, pledges allegiance to, and sings the patriotic songs of the Empire which spreads death and destruction worldwide. Few have noticed Bad Karma nibbling away at their sorry asses. Few have noticed the Fall of Empire in progress. Their national borders are prison bars, their economy in shambles, their hopes and dreams gone. When it comes to neighbors, love has been replaced by fear. More firearms than humans populate the land. Pawnshops and porn stores offer temporary solace from wretched lives of impending poverty and loveless relationships with despised partners. Self-loathing zombies cover their bodies, head to toe, with senseless colorful graffiti, squalor of the skin, ill-conceived epidermal etchings. Drug and alcohol addiction run rampant. Hungry, homeless, hopeless people beg on every street corner, while others turn a blind eye. The Police State grows like a malignant tumor across the land, but soulless faces buried in miniature electronics fail to pay heed.

It would be easy to end this sordid little piece on a hopeless note, for Empire’s apparent future appears to hold little in the way of hope. If only there was someone who might have a chance of gaining enough power to turn things around, end constant warfare for profit, and bring a degree of sanity to The U.S.A. before Bad Karma brings the wrath of the rest of the world down upon us in a big and final way. Someone who would have the huevos to run for and be elected POTUS, buck the power of The C.I.A., The U.S. Military, the neocon/neolib war consortium, and Wall Street. A John F. Kennedy reincarnate. Maybe a disillusioned combat veteran who’s also a beautiful, well-spoken, and fearless U.S. Congresswoman from Hawaii. Someone who’s travelled to Syria (with Dennis Kucinich), spoken with President Assad, doubts that he was responsible for the sarin gassing of his people, and would be extremely hesitant to EVER AGAIN start another war. How about a lifelong vegetarian Hindu? President Tulsi Gabbard….hmmm. We can only hope and dream. Karmic disaster is imminent as our karmic debt comes due, but there may yet be time to bury Empire and save The U.S.A. Hope springs eternal.


The Greanville Post Senior Contributing Editor, John R. Hall is a street-trained agnotologist with an advanced degree in American Ignorance. Other hats include: photojournalist, novelist, restaurateur, mountaineer, grocer, nurseryman, and janitor. He’s written three novels which have been read by almost nobody: Embracing Darwin, Last Dance in Lubberland, and Atlas fumbled. An untrained writer and college drop-out, he began his short career in journalism writing the ‘Excursion’ column for The Jackson Hole News & Guide. More recently he penned the ‘Left Column’ for The Molokai Island Times; appropriately on the island once known as a leper colony. John currently resides, writes, and protests injustice in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and walks among the spirits of those who once occupied the 79 Disappeared Pueblos.

Texas Lawmaker Wants to Legalize Hunting Feral Hogs from Hot Air Balloons

 https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-lawmaker-feral-hogs-hot-air-balloons/

Policymakers in Texas continue to scratch their heads over the state’s feral hog problem, and the solutions are getting weirder.

Hot air balloon  FLICKER/IRULAN_AMY

Researchers and policymakers for years have searched fruitlessly for effective ways to significantly drop feral hog population levels in Texas, with proposals ranging from eating our way out of the problem to widespread poisoning.

Roughly 2 million wild hogs are estimated to live in Texas, and they cause more than $50 million in damage each year. The invasive animals’ high breeding rate and lack of predators have fueled their proliferation in South, Central and East Texas, leading to big business for hunters and trappers.

In 2011, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, then a state rep, passed what became known as the “pork chopper” bill, legalizing the hunting of feral hogs from a helicopter. On its face, the bill sounded more like a joke than an actual solution.

Hunter prepares to shoot feral hogs with a rifle from a helicopter.  YOUTUBE/NICK LEGHORN

Turns out, it’s really hard to shoot anything from a helicopter. In addition to being ineffective, the method is also very dangerous (and not just for the hogs.) The only results produced by the bill were some crazy YouTube videos and an industry in which people pay upwards of $3,000 per hunt to pick off pigs from a chopper.

Enter state Representative Mark Keough, a Republican and pastor from The Woodlands. He told the Observer that he “loved” Miller’s pork chopper bill and found himself asking: “What are more ways we can take more feral hogs?”

After chatting with hunters and conducting his own informal research, Keough believes he’s found an alternative solution: hot air balloons.

His House Bill 3535 would authorize Texans to hunt feral hogs and coyotes from a hot air balloon with a permit.

If the idea seems crazy, that’s because it is. No one hunts from a hot air balloon. Go ahead, Google it. “I haven’t found people anywhere doing this,” Keough admits.

But he thinks it would be pretty damn sweet to try. (It’s currently illegal, or he would’ve tried already, he said.)

The fast-moving helicopter approach, Keough says, has a lot of “safety issues,” leads to many misses and often scares off the hogs. “They’re smart,” he said.

Feral hogs damage land in rural areas, but have increasingly caused problems in suburban and urban areas.  U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Hot air balloons, on the other hand, are more stable, slower and offer a better rifle-shooting platform, Keough said.

Last July, 16 people were killed in the deadliest hot air balloon crash in U.S. history near Lockhart when the pilot lost control and crashed into power lines. The incident led to calls for stricter regulation of the balloon industry.

Still, Keough says, “It’s far safer than if you were hunting out of a helicopter.”

But more effective? Probably not.

Even Keough admits there’s a good chance hunters could spend all day in a balloon and not shoot anything. And its clumsy, slow-moving nature will keep hunters from effectively chasing the animals.

The animals, which can grow to weigh 100-400 pounds, have a gestation period that’s shorter than four months and litter sizes of up to 12. They are considered a non-game animal, meaning there are no seasons or bag limits, but a state hunting license is required.

Billy Higginbotham, a professor and wildlife and fisheries specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, said the balloon strategy faces the same problem as helicopters in the eastern third of the state: trees.

“Aerial gunning by any vehicle [in East Texas] is not widely used because of the extensive tree cover,” Higginbotham said.

State Representative Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands.  FACEBOOK

Keough said the “pork choppper” bill “was more about creating an industry” and that no single strategy will significantly reduce hog populations.

“I think there is a possibility [with hot air balloons] for an industry, but the motivating factor is this is another way to get rid of the problem,” he said

Keough also sponsored legislation that would require more research on the effects of widespread lethal pesticides, including warfarin, before they can be used on hogs. The measure passed the House Monday.

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesperson declined to comment on pending legislation, citing agency policy. HB 3535 would require the agency to license individuals who want to hunt from the balloons.

Keough, who said he’s “interested in anything that will help us get rid of these things,” believes his bill represents the spirit of Texas.

“We’ve got a problem here, and we are willing to fix it ourself,” he said. “We have that Western, swashbuckling, cowboying type of way to deal with things. It’s part of the culture, it’s different than any other state.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported no license is required to hunt feral hogs in Texas. A state-issued license is required, although there are no seasons or bag limits.

Bird Flu Pandemic Hasn’t Changed Atrocious Conditions at Poultry Farms

http://koreabizwire.com/bird-flu-pandemic-hasnt-changed-atrocious-conditions-at-poultry-farms/80831

The government’s recent move to encourage bigger cages in order to prevent another avian influenza from spreading on a massive scale like the one which transpired last November is being met with a lukewarm reception and skepticism among critics over the lax nature of the newly introduced rules. (Image: Kobiz Media)

The government’s recent move to encourage bigger cages in order to prevent another avian influenza from spreading on a massive scale like the one which transpired last November is being met with a lukewarm reception and skepticism among critics over the lax nature of the newly introduced rules. (Image: Kobiz Media)

SEOUL, April 17 (Korea Bizwire) – Despite new government measures that require farmers to make use of larger cages, the horrific conditions that poultry live under at typical factory farms in South Korea are unlikely to change soon, which have been identified as one of the major factors behind the recent influenza Type A pandemic that causes illness to people.

The government’s recent move to encourage bigger cages in order to prevent another avian influenza from spreading on a massive scale like the one which transpired last November is being met with a lukewarm reception and skepticism among critics over the lax nature of the newly introduced rules.

Existing poultry farms will have 10 years to update their old cages in accordance with the new standards, but critics say the grace period is too long, and that simply making cages slightly bigger won’t get to the root of the problem.

According to current laws regarding poultry farming, chickens are being raised in a space smaller the size of an A4 sheet of paper (0.05 square meters or 0.5 square feet), which means 1 square meter per 20 chickens. When the new rules take place, poultry farms will be required to have their cages built at least 0.075 square meters in size.

The EU already banned (in 2003) the construction of any more of the so-called battery cages, a term that refers to small wire cages in which hens spend their entire lives with little to no space to move around. Since a total ban on battery cages took place in 2012, an increasing number of farmers have adopted free-range farming.

South Korean poultry farms however, have been bucking the trend and engaging in activities that border on animal cruelty, such as keeping the lights on during the night to maximize egg production, exploiting a physiological phenomenon in which a drastic environmental change suddenly increases the egg production of hens.

Despite opposition from animal rights groups, little has been done to secure the wellbeing of farm animals in South Korea.

A representative from the Korea Association for Animal Protection (KAAP), Lee Won-bok, was critical of the government’s move to tackle avian influenza, calling it a ‘makeshift plan’ that will bring little to no change.

“AI pandemics occur almost every year due to the poor living conditions of farm animals, not because of the size of cages,” Lee said.

Hyunsu Yim (hyunsu@koreabizwire.com)

More than 350 animals

Matted dogs

From HSUS.org

We are finding dogs living in inches of their own urine and feces, with coats matted so heavily that they can barely walk, puppies choking on toxic fumes and many animals suffering from a variety of skin and eye conditions.

Animals rescued from neglect

Sadly, it isn’t just dogs and puppies who are suffering.

So far, our Animal Rescue Team has found more than 350 neglected animals — including cats, donkeys, a horse, bunnies, chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep and an alpaca.

Jim, the cruelty we’re witnessing is heart-wrenching. We will stay here until every animal is on their way to a better life.

This rescue is only possible with the help of compassionate supporters like you.
Thank you so much,
Sára Varsa
Senior Director, Animal Cruelty, Rescue and Response