VEGA News Item

An Unholy Sacrifice: Ritual Be Damned! - 09/06/2006
The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), a Government-appointed agency, has done just what it’s required to do in one respect – that is, to advise the Government – but it has recently repeated recommendations, on the basis of new evidence, that the Government has rejected in short order: it is a return by the FAWC to a ban at first advocated about 15 years ago on practices of ritual (or religious) killing of animals for sales or distribution of the meat.
Explanations to abbreviations and links to websites can be found towards the end of this news item.

1. The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), a Government-appointed agency, has done just what it’s required to do in one respect – that is, to advise the Government – but it has recently repeated recommendations, on the basis of new evidence, that the Government has rejected in short order: it is a return by the FAWC to a ban at first advocated about 15 years ago on practices of ritual (or religious) killing of animals for sales or distribution of the meat.

2. Before the 1930s animals were killed for their meat by cutting the throat and bleeding out (until much of the blood drained out of the wound and ultimately the heart stopped). For some animals, especially the larger species, attempts were made to fell the animal prior to the throat cutting, bleeding out, and butchery. A pole-ax was used for this purpose: it consisted of a long-handled hammer with a spike as part of the head of the weapon. Wielding the pole-ax required great skill and strength in the slaughterer and the results of mishits were appalling. Use of shooting with a free bullet was deemed unacceptable in the rough conditions in slaughterhouses.

3. After WW1 the consequent developments in weaponry, as well as the desire by animal welfarists for less cruel methods of killing, the captive-bolt pistol was invented, so that the animal restrained in a pen or in a cradle could be struck on the forehead by a bolt propelled from a gun that projected about an inch from the muzzle of the weapon. The animal was thus stunned and the cut could be made for the bleed-out to begin. This was – and is – the stun-sticking-bleeding out method, in which instantaneous stunning was claimed to be achieved (like a sock on the jaw in boxing putting the victim down for the count); the heart continued beating and a bleed out ensued in the assumption that death would supervene without recovery of consciousness (or sentience, the feeling of pain) in the stricken animal. In some slaughterhouses a rod was thrust into the head through the hole made by the bolt in order, by a succession of thrusts (pithing), to damage the brain further so, so that the animal’s death-throes were subdued and risks to slaughterers from flailing kicks and jerks were reduced. Hygiene and safety requirements led to practice of these procedures off the floor, the ruminants being hoist by a back leg after stunning for bleeding out over a gully or pit.

4. The whole process was deemed an advance justifying the designation of humane killing or slaughter. The word abattoir was introduced (from the French abattre, to batter down) as a euphemism for slaughterhouse or shambles, and laws were drawn up in effort to ensure some sort of competence in the process. However, 70 years later and after continuous efforts at cataloguing shortcomings and essaying improvements, “humane slaughter” remains a recurring challenge to animal welfarists trying to remedy the flawed processes by which billions of animals are massacred, and this enormity is likely to continue. Even with a failure rate of 1% in the equipment humane pain and suffering are inflicted on billions of animals. Culling as a result of the spread of viral diseases and the like, of which swine fever, foot-and-mouth, flu variants, and BSE are notorious – which are all part of the food-producing industry – results in emergencies in which large-scale operation of inhumane procedures is resorted to. The enormity of even supposedly humane practice is overwhelming in disgrace: in the UK the killing industry in this green and pleasant land slaughters over 2 million poultry averaged day-in day-out for the whole year. The waste in terms of pollution caused by disposals of blood, tallow, entrails, feathers, and feet desecrates any pretence at civilized respect for the animals and the environment – and for human workers in what were once officially and aptly categorized as offensive trade.

A Euphemism Too Far
5. Establishment of the efficacy of the stun (to render the victim instantaneously unconscious and insentient) and its persistence through the processes of sticking and bleeding or until the loss of blood induces a state from which recovery is impossible is assessed by experiments on anesthetized animals, which would be as offensive to animal rightists as those used in procedures for medical purposes. In the conditions of a slaughterhouse the stricken animal’s eye-flick response suffices. If the interval between the stunning attempt and the lethal cut is too great the animal may return to consciousness and so the sticking procedure subjects the victim to a “second death”, now analogous to Jewish and Muslim practice. There is much evidence that sticking alone does not achieve instant loss of consciousness, nor that the bleed out in religious practices is irreversibly and immediately effective. In Jewish practice the transverse cut with a very sharp special knife may need to be augmented by a stab into the main vessels in the chest cavity. This sequel to the ritual cut may be carried out by a non-Jewish slaughterer; it should be executed rapidly after the first cut.

6. Different species react differently to the cut because the vasculature and circulatory systems in the neck and head differ. The Jewish cut severs the main supply of blood to the brain through the vessels in the neck but, as with the normal procedure, there are doubts in some animals of a contraction of arteries and veins so that drainage of the blood in the head and loss of activity in the brain are slow. Some gruesome experiments done in New Zealand and shown in London by MAFF (now DEFRA) on a video proved that the severed head of an animal could exhibit signs of conscious responses. We have also collected evidence from the functioning of human victims of the French guillotine that the severed head showed distinct signs of recognition and consciousness. The Sikh method of slaughter of food animals entails beheading, but the community in the UK are prepared to forgo any right to practise this method: they abide by “normal” British custom.

7. Stunning by a captive bolt probably doesn’t kill, any more than a boxer out for the count won’t recover, except for a headache (although repeated instances – as in footballers who shock their brains by vigorous headballing – set in train longterm punchdrunkenness as a sign of brain damage). The blow delivers a shock to the stricken animal’s brain; a free bullet can be aimed so that the effects of the blow and of pithing are combined and a deeper and irreversible death may ensue. Killing by a free bullet is dangerous in a commercial slaughterhouse and by licensed slaughterers. The bullet may emerge with force from the back of the animal’s neck or lodge somewhere in the body and present an untoward surprise at butchery or at the table. And the captive bolt may fail by being ill-aimed or by being ineptly armed or loaded – it gets very hot and dirty, for instance, and needs constant maintenance. Failures may mean repeated attempts and multiple assaults on the animal and consequently “avoidable” suffering. The stun may last only a short time, so the supervening effects of the cut and bleed out must be achieved expeditiously. A tally of the number of cartridges used and their calibre and of the delay between dropping the animals in its pen, opening the box, hoisting it by a back leg and administering the cut over the bleeding pit are essentials that supervisors, such as vets of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS), must ensure, whatever the exigencies of mishaps on the slaughter line.

Dogged by Dogma
8. There remained, however, some other obstacles, owing to religious rituals important to Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs. In particular, Jews and Muslims would not accept any interference prior to the ritual cut, which had to by carried out by a cleric the appropriate persuasion: a stunned animal was not deemed “healthy” or “physiologically perfect” for sticking and bleeding out. The law had to be phrased therefore to exempt the slaughter of animals for consumption by Jews (kosher) or Muslims (halal) from preliminary stunning. The Sikh method (jatka) was beheading, guillotine-style, but this community was content to accept the standard methods with prior stunning. Before WW2 the Muslim population in the UK was small, but supplies of halal meat were required to victual ships in British ports, many of the crews being laskars from areas such as Goa, who were Muslims. Before this time many ships carried live animals in pens to slaughter during long voyages. While Muslims will accept kosher meat, strict Jews do not regard halal products as acceptable.

9. Other methods of commercial slaughter are resorted to in the UK and other countries. The aftermaths of the discovery of BSE and the risks of injury and contamination of the brain and nervous system and thus to consumers of specified risk materials (SRMs, which would otherwise enter the food and petfood-chain as offals or organ meats or for manufactured products, such as mechanically recovered meat, MRM), have drawn attention to these matters. Distribution of this contamination is even more suspect in sheep and goats, but conclusive evidence of transmissible spongiform enteropathies (TSEs) to human has not been proven: nor have such products from other ruminants such as deer been similarly incriminated. Milk and blood at present escape categorization as SRMs.

10. The animal’s heart will continue to beat for several minutes before the drainage of blood ceases. Butchers recognize this as completion of the bleedout; however, about half remains in the body, and cuts of meat from the body may continue to twitch involuntarily for another few minutes.

11. Spinal cord is included among the SRMs. In some countries severance of the cord (e.g. by a poniard cut to the back of the neck or by dislocation –wringing or pulling the neck) may be practised. Poultry, in particular, may be subjected to this method of killing, especially in emergencies and culling. There is strong evidence that it is not “humane” and as questionable as the ritual cuts of Jewish and Muslim slaughter. Wielding a captive bolt pistol on birds is difficult and labor-intensive. Wild deer (for venison) are routinely shot by felling with the heart and lungs as targets, with ensuing attack, aided by gundogs, to complete a neck cut, bleeding out, and gralloching (disembowelling or evisceration), prior to rapid removal for further butchery in a refrigerated larder. Undamaged heads and antlers are kept or sold as trophies. Some farmed deer are shot from above into the head, felling them and apparently ensuring an effective stun prior to exsanguination. (Use of gundogs in rough shooting introduces other animal welfare issues, currently occupying the Government’s Animal Welfare Bill, on the rights and wrongs of tail-docking).

12. Killing animals for consumption by people suffers from restraints that do not apply to the “putting down” or “putting to sleep” of favored livestock such as pets or companion animals. Methods routinely applied in slaughterhouses and knackers’ yards would not be acceptable practices under a Home Office licence nor do they reflect the intentions in the Animal Welfare Bill. The old Cruelty to Animals Act covering experimentation on animals was at least blunt in its language. The law pertaining to commercial livestock is littered with qualifications that could occupy many expensive hours with lawyers: descriptions such as “undue”, “unnecessary”, “avoidable” applied to nouns such as cruelty, pain, and suffering illustrate that such common practices in farming in the slaughterhouse are normally and legally unassailably cruel and painful, and entail suffering – and are certainly not humane. The common methods of “harvesting” fish and leaving them to die by suffocation, as well as carbon dioxide stunning or electrocution causing immobility well before unconsciousness, are procedures, whether applied in marine contexts or to farmed fish (the rearing of which alone grossly contravenes the Five Freedoms), are inhumane practices in which all communities are accomplices. Farmed fish are often starved for 7-10 days prior to slaughter. 70 million fish are reared and slaughtered in the UK each year. The high stocking density of farmed fish leads to fin and tail injuries, and the liveability is 70-90%. The FAWC’s unequal applications of bans duck the consequences with excuses that some aspects of food production are outside their remit and the Council professes some wish to extend its responsibilities – but not impressively.

13. Two other methods of commercial killing reflect efforts at appeasing Jewish and Muslim stipulations. They resort to electric shocks and gassing. Electric shock may achieve a stun/kill by applying currents simultaneously to the brain and heart. Gassing does not achieve instantaneous insensibility, but rather a supposedly gradual and not unpleasant sinking into irreversible loss of life. Bleeding out from these processes would follow on a dead animal. Butchers seem to have overcome objections that this process is acceptable as an alternative to practices in which the heart of the live animal continues to pump to the end. Use of electricity and ensuring standards requires much of this ramshackle industry, although post-slaughter electrical methods of tenderizing meat have been used quite widely. Gassing calls for much care over the administration and composition of the gas. It is being applied as an adjunct to the housing of growing livestock, as a means of reducing stressful journeys between the “farm” and slaughterhouse. Mass-gassing in sheds, as in a cull in an epidemic of zoonotic disease, is being seriously considered, with carbon monoxide as a cheap lethal agent; otherwise, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon have been mooted, notably as mixtures, carbon dioxide alone being irritant and inducing gits of choking before insensibility sets in.

14. Experience of survivors from assaults, injuries, or epileptic fits or the like can offer some clues on the depth of insentience achieved during their period of unconsciousness and therefore of the likely efficacy of the stun in “pain-free” methods of killing, reinforces evidence adduced from the physiology of pain. In the meat-context the animal’s state of injury and terror just before the stunning attempt must be taken into account. Return of consciousness in the interval between the stun and the cessation of brain activity will find the animal hoist by a back leg and in agony with the pain of broken and dislocated joints. Terrified animals will release copious quantities of stressor hormones, such as catechol amines (e.g. adrenaline and noradrenaline) and cortisol, which will affect the color and texture of the muscle as DFD (dark, firm, dry) or PSE (pale, soft, exudative) and thus may affect habitual consumers of such meat. Some breeds are especially sensitive to such shocks, owing to a genetic characteristic common also to people. Livestock literally likely to die of shock prior to slaughter are therefore unsuitable breeds for the production of meat.

15. Changes have been made in traditional procedures over the many years of “humane slaughter” and they are continuing in Jewish practice in the UK: hobbling and throwing of animals to ready them on the floor for the cut were superseded with rotating pens for the larger animals and cradles for the “smalls” (sheep and goats). Experience with the casting pen showed that this improvement was flawed, so efforts have been made to adapt normal procedures for the cut, with cattle penned upright with their head in a yoke allowing an upward thrust of the sacred knife. There was some reluctance to adoption of the last practice because it required extra strength of the shochet (the rabbi who wields the knife) and doctrinal objections were raised that the animals were falling on to the knife and thus suicidally contributing to their own death. And if he C and E can boast a pope in every parish, Jews have inconsistent voices among Boards of Shechita with different interpretations of their scriptures.

16. The Meat Trades Journal of 2nd of December 2005 illustrated in a single issue the confusion that overhangs the testimony in discordant voices in the halal industries. An account on page 15 of an electronic Stunning Assurance Monitor (SAM) gives the slaughterman “an immediate picture or ‘profile’ for use of electrical stunning tongs. The screen shows the speed of start up, the time taken for the power to reach optimum level and the length of time that the correct power level, measured in amps, is applied to the animal’s head. The results are recorded and transmitted in real-time to the managers responsible for quality control, including the Official Veterinary Surgeon (OVS), via computers timing and current. The guidelines suggest 1.3 amps for 3 seconds for pigs, 1.0 amp for 2 seconds for large sheep, and 0.6 amps for 2 seconds for lambs”. Other adjustments may be made “to overcome problems such as blood splash”. Customers may therefore receive information “at the most critical point of processing”. The system “has already found favor in the halal meat industry, which requires that the animal feels no pain and is alive at the point of bleeding. The Halal Food Authority has given its blessing in principle and the Halal Corporation has already issued it with a certificate to confirm that SAM stunning complies with Halal rules”.
(This press release can be found on VEGA’s database, no 14282).

17. However, on page 6 of the same issue of the Meat Trades Journal we read that “the national Halal group opened its first centre for fresh meat and poultry products at Tesco Extra in Slough… in response to growing demand for halal meat and poultry products at established supermarkets”. This is “National Halal’s first foray into a supermarket. It has two independent halal centres in London and one in Birmingham. All the company’s products are produced stun-free in strict accordance with Islamic Shariah requirements”. The National Halal Food Group believes that this venture “will bring all communities together”. The products will include ready-prepared meals, canned meats, cocktail sausages, hotdogs in vacuum packs, and items for school lunchboxes.

18. “Mistrust of halal meat” has prompted the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) to delay work “to improve the halal meat supple chain” until its needs for unanimity across the Muslim community” are met, and Mr Naved Syed, chairman of the UK Halal Corporation now complains that “EBLEX is happy to collect levies from the many slaughterhouses that operating to halal standards. However, it’s unwilling to give the sector the backing it needs to develop” (The Grocer 13 May 2006). “It’s time we need a new levy body – HEBLEX, the Halal English Beef and Lamb Executive – to remove the mistrust in the halal industry”, says Mr Naved Syed.

19. Meat for commercial sale as kosher undergoes two inspections, one by the shoma, a Jewish official mainly concerned with the integrity of the lung, and the final examination by the Meat Hygiene Services official, who is mainly concerned with the carcase and the innards for general stipulations of hygiene and suitability, with whatever interpretations s/he dares to make on matter of animals’ welfare. If the examiner’s verdicts agree that the meat is “fit”, it can be sold as kosher; if the shoma accepts it, but the MHS inspector condemns it, it can’t go into the commercial market; if the verdicts go the other way, the meat is non-kosher (treif or trefa), but may be sold without distinctive labelling into the general market or for manufacturing.

20. In UK practice Jews do not accept hindquarter meat as kosher, because they can’t afford to pay butchers to undertake the delicate tasks of porging the meat, which entails removal of nerves and blood vessels. This meat is sold into the general trade, again without notice of origin and details of slaughter. The best cuts of beef come from the hindquarter so Jewish meat-eaters, if they obey the rules in earnest, have to make do with forequarter cuts that have to be rendered as kosher for the Jewish kitchen by salting. The Jewish cuisine reveals many effects at overcoming the impediment. Animal welfarists, the RSPCA, vets, and the FAWC object to the passing off of meat killed by shechita in supplies of “ordinary” meat and they seek bans on the whole process; however, they have shown little exercise of consumer power in taking pains to assure themselves that they are not buying and eating meat and commodities from processes they condemn; nor do consumer organizations, retailers nor the Food Standards Agency offer the public reliable help in the matter. Some farmers and the Soil Association can offer valid assurances that none of their “approved” meats goes through a slaughterhouse (or a slaughter line) following Jewish and/or Muslim practice, with the corresponding assertions of traceability; however, a general coyness over the origins of meat covers a reluctance to dwell on these matters.

21. Precedents for the required disclosures may be found in plans to force local councils to release information in a “scores-on-doors” style on the results of hygiene inspections carried out in restaurants and food establishments. The Information Commissioner has insisted on a star rating system that will enable the public to make comparisons and judgements. These disclosures should be linked to the Hygiene Assessment Scores that Meat Hygiene Service applies to licensed slaughterhouses and cutting plants.

22. Halal meat has risen in recent years from a minor market to a sector of the greatest growth in the Meat and Livestock Commission’s book. In contrast to reticence over Jewish supplies halal is a word now prominently displayed – as is organic – and in the view of some Muslim authorities fraudulently applied. Some cookery-writers seven deem it worthy of premium status. The commercial significance has resulted in a reversal in which Muslims complained that in institutions such as hospitals and schools they had to suffer enforced vegetarianism; their views are now requited and it is the supposed animal welfarists who have to flex the muscles of abstention or compromise their objections to Jewish and Muslim methods of “humane” killing. Satisfying Muslim requirements has been easier than influencing Jewish practice, partly because of laxer religious intervention and of stronger commercial pressures. In some slaughterhouses meat inspectors have quietly eased in stunning practices and other procedures of general type, which have only been disrupted when a local imam is prompted to investigate allegedly heretical practices.

23. Stun-kill methods of electrical stunning have also allowed some commercially-minded Muslim authorities to accommodate them as suitable for production of halal meat, presumably believing that the stunning jolt precedes, even by the merest second, the killing shock. New Zealand’s abattoirs have achieved agreement with authorities in the Middle East and in other countries, such as those in Europe, that their methods of slaughtering sheep satisfy all the stipulations: exports of boxed lamb cuts for Muslim countries are labelled halal, but the word is left off for the same meat sent to Europe. This commercial arrangement obviated the exportation of live sheep to, say, the Middle East for ritual slaughter there. Such transhipments from Australia have attracted much objection from animal welfarists. Nor are they limited to livestock production in the southern hemisphere: the ailing British livestock industry is embarrassed likewise with movements of live sheep for celebrations and sacrifices at the eid festivals and for the hajj pilgrimage. Such movements and massacres are associated with heavy risks to welfare and hygiene to the stressed animals and to human consumers of the meat.

Locally, a Bloody Shambles
24. VEGA has drawn attention of the FAWC and other welfare groups to a Dispatches program on C4 TV just over a year ago of the workings at Oldham slaughterhouse, called Slaughterhouse - The Task of Blood, which has the distinction of providing the Jewish, Muslim, and “normal” populations, predominantly in the Manchester area. This film can be obtained for consideration on a computer, and is available for downloading here (opens up in Real Player, 59.30 minutes). It concentrates on the human aspects of the degradation associated with participation and complicity in these offensive trades in godforsaken conditions; workers and clerics were given opportunities to discuss their responsibilities and their views on the bullying, taunting, and racism evident in the place. Only the MHS vets responsible for the hygiene and welfare were not identified, although we recognized one or two. This omission was official policy. Oldham slaughterhouse has been prosecuted several times. An official of the MHS explained to us that efforts were being made to keep the slaughterhouse from the chop because of its importance to Manchester’s meat trade. The local C of E vicar was another notable absentee; perhaps offering a few roundelays of All Things Bright and Beautiful or of the 23rd Psalm to the tune of Crimond would seem out of place in a slaughterhouse.

25. We consider the FAWC’s second attempt to seek a government ban on Jewish and Muslim slaughter ill-judged when its own credentials are flawed. Jewish and Muslim vegetarian societies illustrate a lead that the FAWC could exhibit, with the RSPCA, CIWF, and other animal welfare interests, in a concerted effort to halt and reverse the toll taken of all the animals subjected to the horrors of the slaughterhouse. We recommend also a greater reading of the religious scriptures and tenets, strict interpretation of which would mean that hardly any of Britain’s commercial livestock are “fit” even to arrive at the place of execution. All the rituals remain an assault on common decency and they flout all expressions of mercy. This is the spirit in which the FAWC should approach this subject, particularly in the spirit of a forthcoming international conference at the Royal Society, organized by the Universities’ Federation for Animal Welfare and the British Veterinary Association on the theme The Quality of Life – The Heart of the Matter. Our just-published manifesto on this subject explores the issues further.

Respect for Life
26. We have consulted Muslim commentators of repute, one of whom has furnished us with an English interpretation of the Qur’an under the auspices of the Muslim Community Education Centre. The Qur’an, like the Bible and other religious texts, refers in many places to the treatment and use of non-human animals. Many of the passages resonate with observations familiar to reader of Jewish and Christian scriptures. It has to be emphasized that meat declared kosher and halal (and Jehovah’s Witnesses prefer halal) comes from the common stock in the UK reared and handled by agents with various or no political persuasions; and it is commonly recognized that all types of bleed out on expiring or living animals do nor drain the organs and tissues completely.

27. Teachings that have been cited to us by Muslims authorities include:

• Each animal should be treated with gentleness and respect
• The Qur’an devotes chapters or paragraphs to named animals and some insects, e.g. The Cow (the biggest chapter), Cattle, The Ant, Bees, The Spider, The Elephant, Sheep, The Goat, Camel, Horse, Donkey, Fish, Birds etc.
• Every kind of animal is a Community like us... “There is no animal on Earth nor bird, which flies on wings, but they are communities like you.”
• Each kind of animal has its own way of eating, sleeping, reproduction, language, recreation, social life, feelings, needs (culture and habits…) which should be studied, then respected, and then fully facilitated.
• Animals will be raised on the Day of Judgement, man will be questioned by God if s/he has mistreated any animal in their life, and justice will be given to every animal
• In Islam, Muslims are ordered to give each animal his/her rights, among which are
i. Water
ii. Natural conception, pregnancy, offspring, motherhood, and breast feeding
iii. Security/shelter and safety and protection from wild carnivorous animals
iv. Protection from cold/rain/drought
v. To be treated when affected by any illness
vi. To live among its own community/society
vii. Freedom and access to sun, air space, and opportunity for flying, jumping and playing (recreation)
• In effect, “the 5 Freedoms are granted and guaranteed to every animal in Islam”.

28. The niceties adduced to preclude procedures before the ritual cuts that would render the animal unsuitable for progressing into the kosher or halal trade are ludicrous in modern marketing practice. “Animals must be free from any signs of injury or disease to enter the kosher food chain” is the statement quoted in a recent Meat Trades Journal (26 May 2006) for such paragons of physiological perfection. Many of the animals intended for these processes are actually “spent” breeding stock, barreners, broken mouthed, and castrated – not to mention bruised and terrified, with the consequent outpourings of stressor hormones. They may arrive at the slaughterhouse filthy and need clipping and they limp in with diseased feet and with partial blindness and evidence of abscesses at sites of injection and the results of previous or current bacterial infections. Infested organs or tissues found in the meat inspection may be carried through into the food chain after excision of the diseased parts. The victims may arrive at the premises for the very reason that they are “poor doers”, a description that could cover many imperfections. Witnesses tell of shochets and shomas unperturbed by wounding of a bloody animal thrashing wildly to extricate itself from a crush before the exhausted victim succumbs to the ritual knife. The rules presumably reflect a desire for a vigorous bleed out but similar drainage can be achieved by accurate cuts on a dead animal suitably hung.

29. Other examples of preslaughter violations of the farming code indicated by interpretations by Muslims of testimony in the Qur’an are:

• Artificial insemination of cows and ewes and some poultry in efforts at enhancing meatiness of livestock resulting from crude genetic manipulations. Dystokia (calving difficulties) and cesarians result. These unnatural interventions yield biological freaks
• “Ethnic cleansing” of sheep susceptible to scrapie (possibly masquerading as BSE)
• Synchronization of estrus in cows and ewes by means of drugs and induced early “spring” lambing. For these purposes the animals may be administered the hormone melatonin.
• Dehorning and disbudding of cattle and sheep
• Tail docking of sheep and cattle
• Electroejaculation of rams
• Confinement of birds so that they cannot fly or are at risks of exposure on free range – an alien environment in which their defences and roosts are compromised of denied them
• Likewise, denial of aquatic animals the appropriate amenities of lakes
• Zero-grazing systems for dairy catt  

Registered Charity No. 1045293
© VEGA - 2008