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“Britain prides itself on being a nation of animal lovers,” says The Times. But while we lavish attention on our pets, we allow far too much cruelty to be inflicted on farm animals. Last week’s horrific footage of a farmworker hammering pigs to death is but one of many reported incidents of animal cruelty in farms and abattoirs. And it’s nearly always activists who uncover these cases, rather than the bodies supposed to monitor standards. Unlike Sweden and Germany, we still allow farrowing crates, which prevent pregnant sows moving or turning around for weeks on end. And unlike other EU countries, we have not voted to ban the “enriched cages” for chickens that are little better than standard battery cages. It’s no wonder that last year the Animal Protection Index downgraded our animal welfare score, from an A to a B. We need higher standards and better enforcement, and should be prepared to pay for it. On average, food accounts for just 8% of our total expenditure, “less than any other country in the world except the US and Singapore”. If we really love animals, let’s show it.
The Times

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