EU Refocuses On Animal Welfare Issues

The European Commissioner has started off a meeting that re-launches the EU platform designed for addressing animal welfare issues. The platform will have about 75 representatives from different stakeholder organizations, including scientists, NGOs, EEA and EFSA among others. This time all main players of the EU are gathering to exchange ideas and contribute their experiences on how to improve animal welfare.

The commission is re-launching the platform as per a barometer survey that had been published last year. The survey showcased that most Europeans see animal welfare as an issue that is important and would like to see changes being brought about in how the animals are protected. Animal welfare improvement cannot be looked at through legislation only. The platform is not a forum where new legislation would be discussed or created. The motto is that everyone holds responsibility and hence, the key objectives are to get a mutual understanding as well as a trust to be built up among the players. The platform will aim at promoting dialogue among competent authorities. The renewed focus of EU on animal welfare issues and how legislation is being implemented will hopefully have positive repercussions across the EU member nations.

The platform will include societies, businesses, authorities, and scientists who can have an impact on animal welfare problems. The platform will work to coordinate the actions with a focus on ensuring that EU rules in this category are applied better. For that to happen, information exchange and best practices need to be known among the stakeholder organizations. Businesses need to come up with voluntary commitments on how to promote animal welfare on a global scale.

The members of the platform are selected to ensure that there is a fair representation among the different sectors with a focus on balance among different geographies and gender. The work practice of the platform will include meetings twice a year. In the first, the commission will identify priority work areas and reallocate resources among the members. This will enable sharing of information and resources from one member organization or group to another. It will also help facilitate ideas and best practices among the different member entities.

It is hopeful that a renewed focus on EU on animal welfare issues and legislative implementation will lead to bettering of animal welfare in different farms, food industries and in commercial activities where animals are deployed. It will certainly help address health issues that arise related to animal related food and products.

Help Farm Animals, As Well As Domestic Ones

If you wish to help animals, this should not pertain only to the animals you can harbor in your home. June, as the beginning of summer, is often known as kitten season as cats are known to give birth to a large number of kittens than shelters are able to give away. Hence, many communities ask pet owners to adopt a cat in the month of June which is also known as Adopt a Cat Month. At such a time the animal protection organizations like the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals increase their appeal to the public who can donate funds to spay and neuter animals in order to control animal population.

Some animal advocates are asking a change of perspective in such a time. They ask animal charities and donations to be sent across to help other animals. They are referring to farm animals like pigs, chicken and others who are raised on farms for the food industry. Effective animal treatment should not only be restricted to ones that are kept as domestic pets but those that are bred to be used for human consumption.

This change of focus needs to come by for not only companion animals but for the animals that provide us food. The focus on companion animals makes sense as there are millions of shelter cats and dogs who get euthanized every year as the shelters are unable to accommodate them. However, besides helping to make the conditions of these animals better, the focus has to be on the state of farm animals and to bring about standards and conditions that ensure that they are reared in good conditions. Most people are appalled as to how farm animals are kept but the reality is that the focus is less on how they are bred and what conditions are provided to them during their lifespan.


The Deceptions of the Animal Rights Movement

lg-nlg-animal-rights-eventThe movement for animal rights is the only US social movement that has a history of working with criminals in the underground, ones that the FBI have actually named as single issue terrorists.  Of course the leadership of the animal rights movement never seem to condemn acts of violence as long as they are carried out for their cause which, in itself, represents part of this radical and unethical movement. Most of the animal rights groups only seem to work towards their own fundraising purposes through exploiting problems with animal welfare. Many times, their campaigns to raise money are merely raising concerns about a business that uses animals somehow, telling people how cruel they are so they can take the moral high ground and raise some money in the process. The HSUS and ASPCA just recently paid out $15.75 million and $9.3 million respectively to the owning company of Ringling Bros circus in order to settle a suit where they paid someone to go on the witness stand against the circus and give a testimony that was not credible.

The legal status of animals is another area that the proponents of animal rights and animal welfare tend to disagree on.  The advocates for animal welfare call for laws that protect animals.  Those who are on the side of animal rights push to give rights to animals, an idea that would require the legal status of animals to change.  This would also need to put into place administrators in government that would make decisions, or be the voice for, the animals.  At it’s core, the movement in animal rights is about politics, not about improving the care of the animals. It is about power for them.  It is more specifically about deciding on how to best treat the animals, and whether there will even be private ownership of animals at all, or if the animals will be given a sanctuary for refuge from human use and ownership.  The ideology of animal rights would be to separate animals from people and forever sever the bond between humans and animals.

The Western ethical tradition is the framework that the principles of animal welfare come from.  It is a tradition that looks for tolerance for diversity and the views of the minority and then uses education and knowledge to advance its cause rather than using coercion.  Just looking at the animal rights leaderships willingness to work with illegal factions and to misrepresent their motives and beliefs shows how different they are from the animal welfare faction.



Animal Rights vs. Animal Welfare

A lot of times, proponents of animal welfare will also call themselves advocates for animal rights because, to them, the term appears to represent their beliefs, but animal rights and animal welfare are based off of completely different beliefs and they achieve their goals using totally different tactics. Animal rights proponents are against using animals in any way, shape or form, no matter how humanely or how responsibly they are used. On the other hand, animal welfare proponents believe in the responsible use of animals as long as it is humane.  The animal rights position motto from PETA shows their position quite well, demonstrating their system of beliefs that animal abuse and animal use are one in the same. They claim that animals are not ours to use for entertainment, to eat, to experiment on, to wear, or in any other way to abuse.

an_animal_rights_activist_fromEven though the activists for animal rights use issues of animal welfare to promote their agenda in their campaigns, their beliefs on animal rights are in conflict with the views of around ninety four percent of Americans, who are meat eaters. Not only that, but out of those who are vegetarians and omnivores, a large percentage of them keep family pets, hunt or fish, go to zoos and circuses, ride horses and/or use animals in some form or fashion.  They also often enjoy the benefits that come from animals being used for medical advances.  Overall, Americans are mostly unaware of the animal rights activists true agenda. That is likely the way the activists want it, though, considering how they, when speaking to the public, hide their true beliefs under rhetoric about animal welfare to mislead about their true agenda to their audience.  When speaking to their loyal followers, though, they tend to state all of their positions clearly.  The campaigns for animal rights will often use deceptions that are strategically against businesses and owners that use animals. Many times, people that see themselves as advocates for animal rights are just animal loving people that are interested in helping to improve the lives of animals.  They do not know the path that has been charted by the radical animal rights leadership.



What is Animal Welfare?

background-animal-welfareOftentimes, people will use the terms animal rights and animal welfare to mean the same thing, suggesting that the two ideas represent the exact same principles, practices, and concerns.  The differences between these terms are quite significant, though.

To put is simply, animal welfare refers to the relationships we humans have with the Earth’s animals and our duty to assure that those animals that are under our care are treated as responsibly and humanely as possible.

The interest in animal welfare is not something that is a modern idea, despite its popularity in today’s world. At least ten thousand years ago when animals were being domesticated in Neolithic times, people were concerned for the welfare of animals. It was that care for the animals that led to domestication of animals, animal husbandry (breeding and caring for animals), and animal agriculture.  The development of agriculture is considered, by many historians, to be one of the most important human history events.

In the Neolithic era, the animal welfare practices that were formed put people in a position where they were obliged to consider the welfare of their animals in order for their own purposes to be achieved. They began to see how, through taking care of the animals, the animals would in turn take care of them.  Because of this, their own self-interest demanded that they treat their animals well. This exact same ethic is still around today, mostly in places where taking care of animals hand-on happens.  This human-animal bond is a very special relationship.

At Colorado State University, an animal science professor named Dr. Bernard Rollin believes that the technology of the twentieth century broke the ancient contract because it allowed we humans to harm animal’s well being by putting them into environments and to uses that increased their productivity but actually did the animal harm.

This idea is the challenge of today’s world.  We have to be able to provide animal welfare in this nation that is urbanized and technological rather than rural and agricultural.  These days, only about two percent of Americans live on farms, with only half that farming as their primary occupation.  In the 1800’s, ninety percent of people were farmers in America. If we continue to see this trend, concentrated farming will become more the norm, making the welfare of the animal even more critical.