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Bird flu crisis must not repeat foot and mouth slaughter
Posted 11 January 2006
In response to the panic over bird flu, we see from the British media that chickens in Turkey are being shoved into plastic sacks and buried alive. Yet this appallingly callous behaviour has gone almost unremarked upon.
If and when bird flu does reach this country, the experience of the 2001 foot and mouth mass slaughter indicates that we can expect similar, though perhaps better concealed, violence towards the hapless animal victims. Whatever our understandable concerns about human welfare, there can be no excuse for such brutal actions. After all, it is as a result of the squalid and stressful conditions in which poultry around the world are reared and slaughtered that we now have the bird flu crisis.
The lesson should be clear: where animals are deprived of all that makes their lives worth living, many are going to break down physically and mentally - and human beings will pay their own price. It is time we kicked the meat habit. We can meet all our nutritional needs without eating the dead bodies of mass produced animals.