Thursday, 28 April 2016

Nobody move or the farm animal gets it!!

From The Guardian:

With so many loud voices clamouring to be heard in the Brexit debate, there is a risk we will fail to consider those that cannot speak at all – animals. But voting to leave the European Union could have a profound effect on their welfare. Britain has a reputation as a nation of animal lovers, but over the past decade our lawmakers have lagged behind Europe’s in protecting them from harm.

… we have become increasingly reliant on Brussels for strong regulations to protect farmed animals. We have Europe to thank for Britain getting welfare laws for farmed pigs and chickens, such as banning barren cages for battery hens in 2012 and sow stalls – which kept pigs unable to move for most of their lives – in 2013.

Another factor in this debate is what happens to the annual £2.4bn EU subsidies to British farmers in the event of Brexit, around 53% of their incomes, and what that means for farmed animals. If Britain leaves, that subsidy goes, as does farmers’ easy access to the single market. Farming minister George Eustice said in February that the government would pay a subsidy in the case of Brexit. It is unclear how he can promise this, especially as his boss, the prime minister, is still sticking to the line that he has no contingency plans for leaving the EU.

If farmers did end up getting fewer subsidies post-Brexit, the implications for animal rights are poor. Animal farmers are not monsters, and many farms just want to do the right thing – I was raised on one. But as the author Upton Sinclair once said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

That last sentence says it all, really. These people have no shame.


Rich Tee said...

"but over the past decade our lawmakers have lagged behind Europe’s in protecting them from harm"

Yes, because if the EU is making the laws at a supra-national level then there is no point in making them again at a national level.

L fairfax said...

When Tony Blair introduced stricter standards for looking after pigs, pork production fell in the UK because it was hit by imports from the EU.
Outside the EU, we could (if desired lets not debate whether or not it is) insist on very high standards and only let foreign suppliers sell to us if they met them.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RT exactly

LF exactly.

Dinero said...

This BBC interview with Obama. The chairs are so small, it looks like a children's library , there's no explanation on the page.

View from the Solent said...

"... what happens to the annual £2.4bn EU subsidies to British farmers...?"

It is, of course, just some of our own money being grudgingly given back.

The Stigler said...

What L Fairfax said

No other country I can think of has such a Disneyfied view of animals* as the UK. We ban the production of foie gras here, but thankfully the French still produce it.

I can get into a debate about the value of trade or maybe of common standards about things. The EU deciding to use GSM as a phone standard is a good thing the EU did. The EU clamping down on governments forming an airline cartel was a good thing. But this sort of crap is irritating for it's utter vacuousness. Animal rights, women's rights, employment rights? We could just introduce it all as national laws in hours.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Din, good one, I have posted.

VFTS, a) that and b) subsidies to landowners are the very worst kind of subsidies.

TS, this isn't about the EU clamping down (let us assume for sake of argument that EU animal welfare standards are 'about right' which is a moral not an economic question), the British government can just continue applying the legislation after Brexit, if that makes life easier for everybody. Or we might be stricter, or less strict, but fucking hell.