Codes will never take the place of real legislation

There appears to be the usual hand-wringing over an announcement that the UK govt. is to abolish animal welfare codes in England.

Let’s be clear on this, these codes are just guidance. You can get away with the absolute bare minimum that slaughter and welfare legislation require codes or not.

In fact you can get away with far less than the legal minimum as we’ve seen on numerous occasions so what use are codes of practice?

As it’s obligatory for staff involved in slaughter and animal ‘husbandry’ to be aware of these codes it’s claimed that these can be used as a prosecutorial tool should the law be broken. Again as we see with depressing regularity extreme cruelty hardly even reaches a courtroom.

Support for codes or gentlemen’s agreements is at times used as a fudge by groups and individuals who are either too cowardly, too corrupt or usually both to support real changes in law. This position is notably deployed to avoid supporting the introduction of mandatory CCTV in abattoirs.

These will never be a substitute for solid legislation and proper enforcement. Let’s throw our weight behind fighting for that instead.


Election bulletin 2016


There’s a campaign active at the moment involving some of the more establishment- friendly groups appealing for candidates to sign a pledge to work for improvements for animals if elected.
This alleged vow contains a list of vague, non-specific ‘promises’. Ideal for unscrupulous politicians of all stripes to steal your vote while committing to nothing.
Some of the organisations involved have a history of covering the backs of MSPs and Ministers while they throw Scotland’s animals onto the fire. It comes as no surprise that they would facilitate a PR stunt for a political class responsible for inadequate legal protections and to whom some in the movement have become too close for comfort.
There are some good, committed names in there too sadly. We’re disappointed that they’ve allowed themselves to have been pulled into this caper.
This will be a big election. We can shape the future for animals in Scotland but this will need more than empty theatrics.

We all deserve better than that, human and non-human.

We know there are decent politicians in our nation and there’ll be more on the way in. Let’s show them that thousands of SfA supporters, their friends and their families are right behind them.
Please contact candidates in your area and ask them to support Scotland for Animals’ 5 points:

1) Mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in slaughterhouses

2) Amendment of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act to allow heavier penalties for cruelty

3) A public inquiry into the efficacy of the use of animals in research

4) Clear labelling of meat from animals not stunned prior to slaughter

5) A ban on the use of all animals in circuses

This would be a good start.

If you would like to help with our 2016 election campaign or want us to send our election leaflet and poster get in touch. Also available to download here:


We’ll be here to provide free consultation for any candidates.

Let’s lead the way

John Patrick


With friends like these, animals don’t need enemies

I was talking to a young muslim guy at one of our events recently about animal welfare. He told me how disgusted he was at the treatment of animals he witnessed when visiting relatives in Pakistan, I won’t go into what he told me.

During the course of the conversation we ended up on the inevitable subject. To stun or not to stun.

This was a decent guy, we agreed on everything until this point. Then it looked as if we were going to fall out.

We debated back and forward for a good half hour until I pulled the scientific data out and showed this to him. He was confused, he claimed that imams at Glasgow mosque had repeatedly assured worshippers that not stunning was the most humane way forward and produced compelling (but ultimately bogus) ‘evidence’ exposing the evils of the stun.

The guy told me he felt used. Causing animal suffering was unislamic he said. The guy had been cheated out of his right to apply his deeply felt belief that animals should be treated with as much compassion and care as possible.

This incident is typical of the misinformation and self-serving hypocrisy surrounding one of the most important welfare issues of our time.

last Monday MPs debated a motion to outlaw unstunned slaughter at the UK parliament. This was prompted by a petition launched by the British Veterinary Association and the RSPCA which allegedly called for it’s end.

Scotland for Animals made the decision to ask our supporters not to sign. I believed at the time that this was a sham and a publicity stunt. I still do.

The motion was undermined by the BVA/ RSPCA’s own claims, based on highly dubious foundations, that over 80% of animals slaughtered for halal meat are stunned. They scuppered their own petition and I believe they scuppered this deliberately as they don’t actually support a ban.

The usual suspects were wheeled out screeching about ‘community relations’ and ‘racism’. Diane Abbott MP at least had the honesty to admit she wasn’t there to discuss facts but how calls for a ban were offending her constituents. Animal welfare seems to be the only issue where evidence is ignored and everything rests on the ‘sensitivities’ of those benefitting from suffering.

To be honest I’m sick of hearing about ‘sensitivities’. Grow up.

I’m also angry when hearing self-appointed ‘community leaders’ and vote grabbing politicians whine about how offended they are and branding anybody with the audacity to stand up for the right thing as a racist or a bigot.

Sadly animal welfare organisations have joined them in slandering decent people as you can see here. To protect their lucrative careers they would rather sneer and smear than stand by their guns. They’re all in it together.

What’s just as important in fighting for the rights of animals is fighting any attempt to turn the people who want this against each other. We aren’t atheists, muslims, jews, christians, black or white, we’re members of one community who have the fibre to want an end to suffering and abuse.

Don’t let either side divide us.