ALERT: For the full post on this topic – go to the new Pack Mentality site.
The North Carolina Chapter of the Humane Society of the United States is reporting that the North Carolina Department of Agriculture has submitted a budget proposal that includes cutting the state’s Animal Welfare Division.
I found a very interesting article in LiveScience.com, reporting on a study conducted on hens at England’s University of Bristol. It seems the mother hens reacted in a rather extreme way if they felt their chicks were in distress.
It is believed the hens are showing empathy. The hens were separated from the chicks during the experiments but were in close proximity. When puffs of air were directed at the chicks, the hens “responded more intensely with a stress response equivalent to fight-or-flight behavior,” according to the article.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recently modified the veterinarian’s oath to include a concern for animal welfare. The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan noted on Friday the inclusion of the phrase, “prevention of animal suffering.”
It’s an important revision and I hope this is another move forward for animal welfare.
In her feature on the subject, Lisa Hare includes this – “” For decades, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has upheld confinement farming practices, including veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages, and for years, strongly opposed revisions to the oath. “”
The more I consider the information included in the 2009 Nightline report on Amish puppy mills, the more important it becomes, in my view.
Background: A rumor was circulating recently that Nightline had conducted another bit of research into the Amish and their dog-breeding practices. The rumor turned out – unfortunately – to be inaccurate. But in the process, I found the link to the 2009 Nightline report.
In the video – which I posted on February 25 – a Mennonite breeder was interviewed by the ABC reporter. I contend this interview and the scenes from inside his facility are important to the animal-welfare debate.
Greed and the moral compass of compassion cannot live together in the human mind. One will eventually absorb the other.
What we’re seeing of late in the animal-welfare movement – in large part – is battle of greed versus compassion. I never want to narrowly cram everyone into categories, but in a broad sense, this is the problem we face.
One side refuses to consider the fact that animals experience emotions and thus both physical and emotional pain and suffering. To understand this would mean industries that use animals would have to budget compassion into their operations. Maybe it’s changing to free-range facilities to produce eggs or removing pigs from tiny enclosures.
I found a thought-provoking column concerning animal welfare on The Vancouver Sun website, written by Peter McKnight. In the piece, McKnight goes back in time for a history tour of mankind’s treatment of animals – or how society viewed animals in terms of how we treat them and show concern for their welfare.
He reports French philosopher Rene Descartes argued “animals could neither reason nor feel pain, and any behaviours they exhibited were simple automatic responses”
How wrong could Descartes possibly be?
McKnight ends with the following thoughts – and I could not agree more –
“” Certainly, we still have a long way to go. But for the first time in history, there is widespread recognition of animal interests. Indeed, now, as never before, we have come to recognize that animals’ lives matter, not just for our sake, but for theirs. “”
Thankfully, a bill that had been introduced in the Virginia state house that would benefit criminals and cut protections for abused animals has been pulled by the bill sponsor, as reported by Kristin Bissell of the Chesapeake Animal Welfare Examiner.
HB 2482 included provisions to allow accused abusers to keep their companion animals until the case is heard, allow those CONVICTED of abuse to keep their companion animals for at least 90 days AFTER a court has ordered them to give up their animals, repeal current regulations that allow for those convicted to be banned from having or selling or trading companion animals again and eliminate a requirement that those convicted pay for the care of the animals they have abused.