Fifty years or so ago, Ruth Harrison, who wrote Animal Machines, focussed on the catching of poultry from large units ready for slaughter.
She would now also be horrified to see free range poultry going to slaughter likewise.
The issue that agitated her was the catching and collecting of millions of poultry for slaughter, which was done in a very rough and callous way by unskilled keepers.
That takes us back thirty or so years during which nothing has been done except some efforts by Ruth at catching the birds with assort of harvester, sucking the birds up and gently treating them, but this was not a success and didn’t catch on. So the whole process became more offensive and it involved unskilled labour, untrained in the handling of animals. Now we can hear of labour unwilling to take on the job in prosperous parts of the country and the lack of training to go with it. The matter has now erupted in the Government’s acceptance that the RSPCA should take control of the catching process.
The label of RSPCA as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is, of course, delusionary: what help there is for the animals in their distress when they are treated like cauliflowers, to be loaded into crates and modules and transported miles to slaughter houses.
Others who had voiced their objections strongly were the McDonalds pair in their libel suit. The least that could be said is that the judge declared that McDonalds were guilty of “culpable cruelty” in this process and others.
Have we forgotten these pioneers of opposition to cruelty that knows no bounds? The RSPCA and Freedom Foods have become, like the RSPB, protectors of fortunate animals but not for animals shown no respect in their dispatch and transportation to the dreadful slaughterhouse.
No further progress has been made and the government has neglected the industry. So the RSPCA is operating now in an attempt to address the depopulation of hens showing some decency and respect for their wretched little lives. Their concern is published in an article in Poultry World which by its nature reveals the cruelties, if one reads between the lines:
Getting it right with hen depletion
This must be a scandal that they can obtain the approvals of animal procedures that would certainly offend their rights and respect. Many animal welfarists may think their donations are certainly being misspent and could be used for better purposes.