Animal Welfare

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Live export industry sues government over Indonesian cattle trade suspension
Oliver Milman |, Tuesday 28 October 2014

Compensation action is in response to the temporary ban of Australian exports in 2011 following release of footage of cattle being mistreated in Indonesian abattoirs

People and businesses working in the live cattle export trade have launched a class action lawsuit against the federal government over its temporary ban of the trade to Indonesia in 2011.

The class action, filed late on Monday with the federal court, is seeking compensation that could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Morality and our lives with animals
11 September 2014 | Nik Taylor

The traditional point of view in western intellectual thought – and one which is reflected in our own day-to–day views – is that of human exceptionalism, or anthropocentrism: the belief that humans are the central and most important beings on the planet.

We see this belief time and again throughout our intellectual heritage. From early thinkers such as Protagoras, who argued “man is the measure of all things”, through to contemporary expressions of the “heart-breaking specialness” of the human, anthropocentric views abound and are largely uncontested.

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We have animal welfare laws but they don’t stop the suffering
21 August 2014 | Siobhan O’Sullivan | Dinesh Wadiwel

Julian Burnside and Daniel Reynolds wrote recently for The Conversation that:

… animals do have greater rights than asylum seekers in Australia. In fact, Australian law requires that animals be treated humanely, yet allows humans to be treated like animals.

We believe there are deep problems with this reasoning, which also unnecessarily risks dividing two important social justice causes.

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Ten Animal Welfare Myths
9 June 2014 | by Tim Harding, B.Sc.

(An edited version of this essay was published in The Skeptic magazine, June 2014, Vol 34 No 2, under the title ‘Creature Features’. The essay is based on a talk presented to the Mordi Skeptics in February 2012).

The term ‘animal welfare’ is not easy to define, but it usually includes the mental and physical aspects of an animal’s well-being, as well as people’s subjective ethical preferences as to how animals should be treated. These preferences can give rise to a range of opinions about animal welfare; but as we skeptics are fond of saying: ‘people are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts’.

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NSS backs petition to end non-stun slaughter
Posted: Fri, 02 May 2014

The National Secular Society is backing a new campaign by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to end non-stun slaughter of animals to improve animal welfare.
A petition launched by the BVA with the support of the RSPCA calls on the Government to ban slaughter without pre-stunning for all animals.

EU and UK law requires all animals to be pre-stunned before slaughter in order to minimise suffering. The only exemption is for religious communities to meet Jewish and Muslim religious requirements.

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The Science Is In: Elephants Are Even Smarter Than We Realized [Video]
Feb 26, 2014 |By Ferris Jabr

We now have solid evidence that elephants are some of the most intelligent, social and empathic animals around—so how can we justify keeping them in captivity?

Amboseli national park elephants
Elephants walking in line in Amboseli national park, south Kenya.
Credit: blieusong/Flickr

One day in 2010, while taking a stroll in his backyard, Kandula the elephant smelled something scrumptious. The scent pulled his attention skyward. There, seemingly suspended in the air, was a sprig of bamboo decorated with bits of cantaloupe and honeydew. Stretching out his trunk, he managed to get the fruit and break off a piece of the branch, but the rest of the tasty leaves remained tantalizingly out of reach. Without hesitation he marched straight to a large plastic cube in the yard, rolled it just beneath the hovering bamboo and used it as a step stool to pull the whole branch to the ground. Seven-year-old Kandula had never before interacted with a cube in this manner. Determined to satisfy his stomach and his curiosity, he did something scientists did not know elephants could do: he had an aha moment.

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Sea Shepherd claims to have halted Japanese whaling
February 1, 2014 | National Age

Environmentalist group Sea Shepherd claims it has shut down Japanese whaling activity in the Southern Ocean for the past week.Sea Shepherd annually pursues Japan’s whaling fleet through the Southern Ocean in the hope of disrupting the hunt, and has had three ships and about 100 crew in Antarctic waters in 2014.

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URGENT ACTION NEEDED: Shocking abuse uncovered in Egypt
Posted: 8th May 2013

Animals desperately need your voice. This, the 19th live export investigation, again reveals the inherent risks that animals face when exported live to places where laws do not protect them from cruelty. Evidence shows that while live exports continue, animals who leave our shores face extreme risk, and importing countries are left with the damaging impression that Australia condones cruelty to animals.

Terrified animals making desperate efforts to escape after having their throats cut open; others with eyes stabbed; leg tendons slashed; and being butchered while still alive… This is the nightmare endured by animals who were exported live from Australia to Egypt. If it weren’t for the brave actions of one Egyptian vet who alerted Animals Australia, this cruelty may have gone completely unchallenged.

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Ethics and Animals
SUNDAY, 18 JUNE 2006 | by Katherine Rogers


All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small . . . It’s a lovely hymn
with its vision of a world of beauty and harmony. Though sometimes we look around
our world and see so much that is not lovely – the greed, the cruelty, the lack of
compassion, the suffering. At these times we may feel that’s it’s a world we are
striving for rather than a world we actually live in today. But there is no doubt that
there are many people who are striving – who are trying to make this imperfect world a place where all can live in harmony with one another, where there is caring,
companionship and joy of life for all – including the animals with whom we share our
life on Earth.

And this is not new. If we look back over the centuries and across continents and
cultures we see that there have been many – the rich and powerful as well as the
humble and powerless – who have cried out against the cruelties inflicted on animals
and have tried to influence others to give them a better life.

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