Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let's talk turkey...and welfare...

When video comes out like that is linked below, there are no excuses or rationals that can explain away what a viewer sees. Without even a need for context, anyone can tell that something isn't right in this video.  And the Canadian's for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals would like you to lobby for change by the company, to the CFIA and through legislation.  

Noble goals for welfare but as always the question arises - did anyone do anything about the abuses or questionable practices they were seeing while making their video? Did they make a call, which in Manitoba would go directly to a provincial Welfare Vet?  Did they raise a ruckus that day, or the next on the news? Uh, well, no.  The reason?  The more bad stuff you can pack into one report the more of an 'impact' you'll have.  Well, uh, no...not really...because people who can think, and do think, will ask what you did for THOSE ANIMALS on THAT DAY...and the answer would be NOTHING.  

No excuses for anyone either on the (mis)handling side nor on the videoing side - neither were holding the welfare of any animal to a higher standard that day or any before or after it.  The truly sad thing is a report like this will lose credibility with those who could affect change for the very reasons stated above - you didn't do anything when you could make a difference, so why should you be believed right now?

We should speak up for welfare, and many groups do just that on a daily basis for all animals - companion, farmed and research.  We need to speak out for those without a voice regardless of what animal they are - but we should not wait to compile a report or make a political statement or do something that will catch the eye of the media. We need to pick up the phone and make a call to show that we care - right here, right now. 

As much as I hate the anamorphisic attitude that animals are people in animal suits, I have to ask - if it was your child being thrown onto a school bus would you video it and make a report about school bus abuse when they graduate or would you be calling right there, right then?  The latter I would fervently hope and pray...and would you not do the same for any other child, senior or person, pet or creature?  So WHY NOT for a farm animal?  Think about that...and next time you have a chance make the call!

Manitoba's Animal Care Act (There are provincial and federal statutes to Google - get busy!)

Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Animal Transportation Regulations

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