Readers' letters - January 25
CCTV in abattoirs
I am writing to you as I am concerned about the pain and fear millions of animals in the UK are experiencing at the time of slaughter.
I am calling on you to take action to combat this immense, unnecessary suffering.
Firstly, I would urge you to support a call for new legislation that will require all slaughterhouses to have CCTV. Monitored CCTV is an important deterrent against abusing animals – be that in any kind of slaughterhouse.
It allows officials to observe slaughter without being observed themselves.
The hard evidence provided also makes it easier to punish those who abuse animals.
Ultimately, CCTV protects animals. This should be a minimum legal requirement in the UK.
The huge benefits of such a scheme far out-strip any cost.
The UK should not scrimp on something as basic as protecting animals at the time of slaughter.
Secondly, I would urge you to support an end to the slaughter of animals without effective pre-stunning.
While I appreciate this can be a sensitive issue, I would stress that this is an issue of animal welfare – not one of religious freedoms.
Animals should not be allowed to suffer such extreme pain and fear, as they do when slaughtered without effective pre-stunning, be it because of religious beliefs, inadequate stunning equipment or incompetence of staff.
The Government must take action to tackle this huge problem by strengthening the laws around the welfare of animals at the time of killing.
All animals, whether slaughtered by halal, kosher or ‘standard’ method, should be rendered totally unconscious before the throat is cut.
This means the legislation must 1. Prevent all slaughter without stunning and
2. Ensure stunning renders animals insensible to pain until death.
And finally, whilst slaughter without pre-stunning is allowed to continue, I urge you to call for mandatory method of slaughter labelling on all meat products.
Consumers should be given the choice to decide for themselves whether or not they consume meat from animals that have been pre-stunned.
While these products are not adequately labelled, consumers may inadvertently buy meat from animals that have not been pre-stunned.
This skews perception of demand for these products.
NHS does not need revamps
What does it take to get people to understand that the main problem with the NHS is that it has been subjected to almost continual ‘radical overhaul’ – aka ‘reform’ – almost since it was created (WEP Letters, January 21).
The last thing it needs is more meddling by know-nothings dedicated to the pursuit of an ideologically driven agenda.
Right wing letter writers who argue for ‘radical overhaul’ of the NHS would do well to recall that, before the 2010 general election, Cameron promised the NHS was safe with the Tories.
No sooner was Cameron in Downing Street than Andrew Lansley was let loose to throw the NHS up into the air like a bunch of Pooh Sticks and see where it landed.
Meanwhile Iain Duncan Smith was playing havoc with social care, egged on by Osborne.
What a catastrophic triumvirate.
Michael Gove’s scorn for ‘experts’ is consistent with Conservative thinking – there isn’t much and it is
certainly not joined up.