Our attitude towards animals should change


by Sunny
27th July, 2007 at 2:07 am    

[On the previous thread on Shambo, commenter mettaculture made a brilliant point that I thought should be highlighted. It's worth thinking about.]

The point is that we have a system of rules that deals with all communicable diseases in animals by quarantining or killing them. This is hardly scientific.

Treating (which prevents infectiousness in most cases) and vaccinating animals according to the basic principles of epidemiology (the science of measuring disease in populations and interveneing to prevent transmission) is almost never used in Britian and this is because animals are seen as a part of agriculture rather than public health.

So we mass cull badgers, cattle, sheep, foxes etc [because] that’s what the British do. Our plans for dealing with a rabies outbreak are mass slaughter of almost every wild living thing (foxes, bats, owls, eagles) that could possibly transmit Rabies.

Other countries vaccinate and treat index cases to prevent transmission, its more scientific and you get better compliance with farmers (who are likely to underreport anything if their whole herd is going to be slaughtered). Sometimes slaughter is necessary as is quarantine but we don’t even examine alternatives.

The only reason we changed our ridiculous pet quarantine laws (allowing for vaccination) that traumatised animals and fed handsome profits to a government enforced business momopoly, was because Chris Patten wished to bring his pooches back from Hong Kong.

We have an irrational slaughter driven animal disease control policy enacted by blockheads and scientific ignoramouses and an inflexible inhuman and inhumane bureaucracy.

Don’t assume that Government policies are rational or effective or up to date scientifically just because they are there and an official says ‘rules is rules’.
—————
by mettaculture


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  1. Dan — on 27th July, 2007 at 2:28 am  

    The fact is that the lives of other cows and the livelihoods of many Welsh farmers were at stake. If TB spreads in the national herd, the UK will be put under a livestock and meat trade embargo – and there are some governments, notably France, which are eager to undermine British agriculture, which is extremely competitive and efficient compared to their’s. BSE, F&M and then TB – farmers do not need this.

    However, it was sad to see Shambo go. He looked like a nice, friendly and healthy bull. Like Sunny, I am a vegetarian (well, I also eat fish) and have a sentimental attachment to animals. But I am not a Hindu, I do not worship animals and sentiment comes second place to reason.

    What is reassuring is that the Vaishnavites running the temple are not reacting in the way Hindutvadis react in India – and they appeared to be reluctant to make Shambo a cause celebré of the Hindu chauvinist right. It would have been easy for them to take a Hindu fundamentalist line and start burning buses and effigies. It is credit to them that they protested peacefully and with dignity and I hope that this is recognised and appreciated, instead of trying to “understand” and appease violent fundamentalists.

  2. douglas clark — on 27th July, 2007 at 2:40 am  

    Delighted you made a splash of mettacultures’ post. Fully deserved…

  3. ChrisC — on 27th July, 2007 at 9:30 am  

    “Don’t assume that Government policies are rational or effective or up to date scientifically just because they are there and an official says ‘rules is rules’.”

    I certainly don’t assume that about animal health or any other aspect of government policy.

    We know we are ruled by fools, knaves and f*ckwits, yet our (though not my) constant cry whenever the slightest thing happens is “what is the government going to do about it?”

    Thus are we taxed to the f*cking hilt to support an army of incompetents to whose whims we are forced to bow.

  4. David T — on 27th July, 2007 at 12:51 pm  

    Yup – top geezer is our Metta!

  5. sid — on 27th July, 2007 at 1:38 pm  

    Metta stands out as one of the few sensible voices in the freakshow of trolls over at Harry’s Place.

  6. Rohin — on 27th July, 2007 at 2:54 pm  

    Many mass culls are avoidable as metta points out.

    But show me a peer-reviewed study that shows the spread of infectious disease like bovine TB can be controlled by treating or vaccinating. TB vaccines in cows are, like in humans, not very close to being fully effective. An already-infected cow, like Shambo, will not be rendered ‘uninfectious’ by conventional treatment.

    Treating (which prevents infectiousness in most cases) and vaccinating animals according to the basic principles of epidemiology

    This sounds dangerously like pseudoscience to me.

    (sorry I missed the whole Shambo thing, I was going to write an article myself)

  7. Sunny — on 27th July, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    I think there’s quite a few intelligent commenters on HP, yours truly included. No point just listening to the trolls.

  8. Rohin — on 27th July, 2007 at 3:17 pm  

    Did you just call yourself intelligent?

    Surely this is some sort of oxymoron?

  9. Sunny — on 27th July, 2007 at 4:30 pm  

    doh! I meant intelligent commenters on HP, and me. :P

  10. Katy Newton — on 28th July, 2007 at 12:34 am  

    Other countries vaccinate and treat index cases to prevent transmission, its more scientific and you get better compliance with farmers

    It’s also kinder. I find our culling system not only wasteful and unscientific, but cruel on a very basic level. If an animal can be treated, why not treat it, for crying out loud?

  11. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 28th July, 2007 at 7:36 am  

    Sunny,

    I couldnt agree more. More BBQ sauce is what I’d say. Question… When you take chicks out on dates, as a vegetarian, do you allow them to buy meat? If not, why not? :)

  12. Tom — on 28th July, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    Private Eye demonstrated many of these problem in it’s coverage of the Govt./MAFF’s response to F & M in 2001.
    Suffice to say we are ruled by incompetent scientific ignorami, who ignore the best expert advice WE buy for them.

  13. Sunny — on 28th July, 2007 at 12:09 pm  

    When you take chicks out on dates, as a vegetarian, do you allow them to buy meat? If not, why not?

    ha ha! My policy is always that I refuse to buy meat for myself or others. :P

  14. Katy — on 28th July, 2007 at 12:11 pm  

    That is true. When I met Sunny he FORCED me to eat a hummus sandwich, the vegofascist.

  15. Katy — on 28th July, 2007 at 12:11 pm  

    It was very nice and I think he paid for it. But that’s not the issue here.

  16. Sunny — on 28th July, 2007 at 12:33 pm  

    When I met Sunny he FORCED me to eat a hummus sandwich

    Well, you clearly don’t remember me eyeing it hungrily. If you didn’t want it I would have been happy to eat it :D

  17. leon — on 28th July, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

    My policy is always that I refuse to buy meat for myself or others.

    Veggie fascist! :P

  18. Avi Cohen — on 29th July, 2007 at 12:36 am  

    “The point is that we have a system of rules that deals with all communicable diseases in animals by quarantining or killing them. This is hardly scientific.”

    Why isn’t it scientific? Where is the evidence?

    The idea is to stop the spread of disease. Vaccination means that possible side-effects get into the food chain. Surely a serious issue.

    Look at the USA where hormone injections into animals is making the population obese.

    The laws may seem severe but they have served the general population well. Asking to change that without evidence isn’t for the public good.

  19. Katy Newton — on 29th July, 2007 at 12:38 am  

    I do like Harry’s Place, actually, but that doesn’t mean I agree with every single article that’s posted.

    Sunny I am sorry I ate half of your hummus sandwich. Especially as you were in desperate need of something to soak up the booze you’d sunk :-D

  20. leon — on 29th July, 2007 at 12:56 am  

    File HP under ‘more trouble than it’s worth’…

    To me its mission is a shinning example of everything that’s wrong with the left; more interested in fighting itself than its real enemies…

  21. douglas clark — on 29th July, 2007 at 3:01 am  

    Leon.

    Err, yes. Perhaps David T would like to write exclusively here. As he is the only good thing to come out of that place….

    Although Brownie is no idiot, and a pretty moral kind of a guy too.

  22. ZinZin — on 29th July, 2007 at 12:10 pm  

    “Although Brownie is no idiot.”

    Brownie’s defence of Bernard Manning may convince you otherwise.

    “To me its mission is a shinning example of everything that’s wrong with the left; more interested in fighting itself than its real enemies…”

    Splitters indeed organising a safe tribal war.

  23. Leon — on 29th July, 2007 at 11:50 pm  

    Don’t assume that Government policies are rational or effective or up to date scientifically just because they are there and an official says ‘rules is rules’.

    That should be a disclaimer before any reading of government policy tbh…

  24. Sunny — on 29th July, 2007 at 11:50 pm  

    You always single me out.

    That’s because you’re an annoying buffoon. Anyone who doesn’t agree with you is clearly a fascist.

  25. Avi Cohen — on 29th July, 2007 at 11:59 pm  

    “That’s because you’re an annoying buffoon. Anyone who doesn’t agree with you is clearly a fascist.”

    I have never said that. I argue my points.

    Anyone who doesn’t agree with you is clearly a crazy.

    Sorry I am not a member of your fan club and disagree with what you say.

    That means I am not welcome and am a buffoon amongst other things.

  26. Sunny — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:10 am  

    Sorry I am not a member of your fan club and disagree with what you say.

    Don’t be sorry. I don’t want bufoons in my club :)

  27. Avi "Buffoon" Cohen — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:14 am  

    Should I cancel my membership application then :-)

  28. A N other — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:06 am  

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/rod_liddle/article2159206.ece

    hey any good debate these days has to involve muslims. to give the debate to credibilty. this comment only reltates to the article, see link above.

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