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.

John

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.

Beware the new animal champions

You may have seen a story in Scottish papers this morning regarding the Scottish Environment Minister Aileen McLeod’s alleged ”concern” that the fox hunt ‘ban’ in Scotland may be being flouted.

Nonsense. You can still technically hunt foxes in Scotland quite legally if you play the game which most hunts do.

I believe the Minister will be well aware of this and the many holes in the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 because if she isn’t she shouldn’t be in the job.

The same Minister for the Environment who appears to have discovered her moral outrage recently gushed over the Scottish Gamekeepers Association at the Young Gamekeeper of the Year Awards effectively thanking them for writing Scottish Government policy.

The hunting and shooting lobby were praised “…..for all the long term support which you have provided to Scottish Government in various areas of policy, development and implementation and making sure we are implementing best practices of conservation and wildlife and wildlife management.…”.

The Scottish Government’s apparent repositioning on the ethical high ground is more to do with the vote in England next week where Scottish SNP MPs will be put on the spot of whether to vote against a repeal on the hunting ban there or abstain. It know’s there’s overwhelming public disapproval of fox hunting and wants to make political capital from this.

After years of inaction on this shambles of a law in Scotland suddenly Ministers here are loudly spinning themselves as the new guardians of animal’s rights. Between this and their smoke and mirrors animals in circuses stance you’re talking a propaganda exercise worthy of 80’s Romania.

If you’re an SNP member ask why the hierarchy are cherry-picking issues which are easy to fudge but great for PR while working hard to block attempts to protect animals at slaughter, washing their hands of animals abused and killed in research and a pile of other scandals.

Many SfA supporters are also supporters and members of the Scottish National Party. They tell us that they’re disappointed with party officials in government who are paying lip service to animal welfare while allowing the abuse industry to run rampage in our country.

With a grassroots push you could truly position yourselves as a real party for animals human and non-human (this goes for all the parties). It would be a shame if the career men and women at the top are allowed to take that away from you.

Politicians need to learn you can’t ride 2 bikes with only one bum. Pick a side.

J

Earthquake or squeaky fart? We’ll see.

On may 8th Scotland woke up to a very different political landscape. Different that is in the dominant party.

This has been touted as a defining moment, a sea-change, a revolution even. My friends say I’m a cynic but I’m not convinced.

I’ll stick to the Scottish situation as that’s where my experience lies and I don’t want to patronise my English, Welsh or Cornish comrades who will no doubt know the lay of the land there better than me. We’ve seen politicians come and go with promises to change the world. This is often very quickly forgotten once they realise that to keep their careers, lavish expenses and salaries far beyond the reaches of most Scottish Citizens (no, we’ll never be subjects even though it says it on our passports) they need to keep their heads down and toe the line.

With regards to the parties and animals rights/ welfare you couldn’t get a fag paper between them policy wise. All display varying degrees of “we’d love to help but we can’t as it would cost jobs/ upset religious groups/ cause your granny to die of cancer/ spark the breakdown of society (delete as applicable).”.

Another factor that’s neglected is the power of the Civil Service. These unelected individuals effectively frame government policy and it doesn’t matter who you vote in, they’ll still be advised by the same Civil Servants.

So what happens when Civil Servants go rogue? You get this: http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=5323fef14402c8a6293efe8c3&id=48da7fa58b&e=2f77016e41 and this: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5323fef14402c8a6293efe8c3&id=d68ab3d3b7&e=352310fc9d and who knows what else we’ll never find out.

There are Civil Servants, MSPs, MP’s, Councillors and elected Community Representatives across Scotland with integrity and honour. Because of the current situation where officials prefer to deal with crooked, ‘animal welfare’ organisations who have been counting their substantial salaries over the corpses of dead, brutalised animals for years many politicians genuinely don’t know that they’re being conned.

What we need is real political change. From top to bottom it’s broken and needs stripped and rebuilt. If you voted last Thursday join that party and change it from the inside. If you didn’t get active and start contacting your representatives, takes 5 minutes here: https://www.writetothem.com/

To the newly elected MPs and sitting political reps of all stripes? Let’s work together and build a new Scotland for humans and non-humans.

Scotland for Animals aren’t the neds/ thugs/ degenerates/ malcontents (again, delete as applicable) that a small but very powerful alliance of industry, bent animal groups and the officially corrupt would lead you to believe.

We’re wee furby’s really. Call us.