[lit-ideas] Re: One small step for mankind

  • From: Andy Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 29 May 2004 10:50:59 -0400 (GMT-04:00)

I'm not a PITA member, but I think this is terrific news.  Truly, one small 
step for mankind.  

Andy Amago

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Paul <Robert.Paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: May 29, 2004 1:33 AM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] One small step for mankind

Even chickens get a better life under new animal laws

By Kate Connolly in Berlin
(Filed: 28/05/2004) 

Chickens can no longer be kept in cages and dogs cannot be restrained by 
choke collars under animal protection laws passed by the Austrian parliament 

The legislation, the strictest in the world, has been under discussion for 
more than two decades. It also stipulates that it is illegal to place animals 
the care of minors, to display pets in shop windows or to use wild animals in 
circus acts or other spectacles.

Chickens in Austria can no longer be kept in cages

Cattle may not be tethered with rope, and it is no longer allowed to use 
electric shocks to train animals, or to dock their tails or ears. Some
wept as the law was passed by a comfortable majority following a five-hour 
debate, while others waved soft toys in celebration.

Animal rights groups welcomed the changes, but the country's farmers reacted 
angrily, arguing that forcing them to keep only free-range chickens would 
increase prices and lead to a flood of eggs from foreign battery hens. Fritz 
Grillitsch, the president of the national farmers' association, called for 
compensation for farmers.

He said: "While we welcome aspects of this law, what pains us is the ban on 
cages, which is an attack on farmers, their families and their livelihoods."

He said Austrian consumers had a duty to rethink their behaviour by buying 
local products even if they became more expensive because of the new law.

Even some animal rights activists gave warning that the law could fail 
animals if it led to the import of animal products from countries with poor
records. Despite strict protection laws, many animals are imported annually 
into Switzerland and Germany and kept secretly in substandard conditions.

The law which will come into effect next January, will set fines of between 
#1,400 and #10,000 for animal cruelty. Inspectors will patrol the country and 
make random checks to ensure that the law is implemented correctly.

Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel said the law was a "pioneering example" for the 
world on how to treat animals, adding that he would push for similar laws to 
be implemented across the European Union.

The animal protection spokesman for the Socialists, Ulrike Sima, said it was 
a "day of joy" for Austria and her counterpart for the Greens, Brigid 
Weinzinger, said the law signalled that "Austrian society has bettered itself".

The most controversial aspect of the law concerned the slaughtering of 
animals according to religious practices. The far-Right Freedom Party, the main 
supporter of the law, had called for a total ban but, under a compromise deal,
rules now state that suffering must be cut from "three minutes to just a few 
seconds" through the administration of tranquillisers.
Robert Paul
Reed College
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