Syllabus of "animal welfare on
modern farm industry from the view point of the citizen "
The above speech was made for the "Symposium
aiming for a farm animal industry that does not cause as much
as damage against animals and the environment", that was
held on the 30th of November in 2002 by Fusako Nogami (a director
of ALIVE: All Life In a Viable Environment)
A drastic change of agriculture in Japan
Since the 1960s ,the amount of consumption of meat and dairy products
been dramatically up.
Japanese traditional diet has included little meat and dairy products.
That is because 60% of our land is covered with mountains and woods
and this condition used to enable us to live in a self sufficiency
style, where we could produce rice and vegetables using rich water
flown down from the mountain.
However, since the 1950s, Japan has aimed at the industrial society.
Farmers went to the city and became labour. They have produced and
exported the industrial products. And in return, they have imported
foods. Farming communities and rural livelihoods has been collapsed.
The rate of Japanese self sustenance for grain is now only 28%.
And more than 90% of fodder, that are fed to farm animals depends
on the importation.
Animals behind closed doors
Now in Japan 20,000,000 pigs, 1,5 million cows, 8 hundred million
chickens, 20,000 horses, and 5,000 goats are annually consumed as
food .(including imports)
The public barely knows what kind of conditions these farm animals
are kept under. Farm animals are regarded as simply as food in Japan.
They do not regard animals as beings closely linked to our lives
and the environment, or even as alive animals that feel pain.
Farm animals are not simple machines to produce food but lives
that feel pain or suffering just like us. Therefore the purpose
of the welfare of animals can be said that we need to care about
animals that they suffer less while they live, and to live in comfortable
conditions as much as possible.
At this point there is a big difference between Japan and Europe
in general concern and even animal protection activities.
Lack of information
In Japan O-157(colon bacillus), contamination by salmonella, BSE,
Foot and Mouth Disease have broken out. They should be called "diseases
caused by the intensive farm industry". These days the safety
of food, contamination of the environment by waste matters such
as excretion of farm animals and unfair consumption of natural resources
are pointed out. However, few people notice that there are problems
such as the methods by which animals are kept behind these issues,
and that we are far behind in measures for animal welfare.
The big reason why we are behind in animal welfare is lack of public
awareness and the secrecy behind which the farm industry operates.
This also applies to other issues.
One of the issues that consumers are concerned with about the safety
of food is too much use of medication to the animals. This means
on the other hand, that animals are in seriously poor health conditions.
The safety of food is a serious problem concerning human life and
we should notice that ignorance about this issue may be fatal.
People as much as possible need to visit farms so that they can
know the real condition that farm animals are in. Our role as an
NGO is to find out what kind of problems there are and to take measures
to change the situation.
Animal abuse in the scene of farm industry
Harsh treatment against farm animals as follows should be improved.
*Cut off a part of body - cut off tails of pigs, cut off tails of
cows, mutilation of pecks of chickens, shave off fangs of pigs,
mutilation of various parts of the body.
*Restraint -take away free movement from animals by putting them
in such as saw stalls and tethers
*Close confinement system - when kept or transported. This leads
many fights by stress or even death by crushing in transportation.
*Poor facilities - hard concrete floor, no ventilation, dusty,
wired floor, slippery floor and lack of litter containers
*Nutritive condition-artificial or replacement milk including meat-bone
meal, unnatural feed, too much feeding forcing abnormal obesity
*Neglect of sickness - neglect of animals after they lose their
economical value leading to death
*Violence -violent acts such as beating animals with stick, whipping
Laws should be adjusted in terms of animal welfare
At the moment a standard concerning the keeping and the managing
of industrial animals (1987) and a directive concerning the method
of disposing animals (1995) need to be revised based on the law
concerning the protection and control of animals.
At the moment when this standard was established, they already
discussed about a treaty about the welfare of farm animals in EU.
Compared with this situation, this standard about industrial animals
simply mentions about hygiene, prevention of disease, disposal of
excretion, prevention of noises. It completely lacks of the concept
of protection and animal welfare.
Laws and standards concerning farm industries should be adjusted
by introducing the concept of animal welfare.
The revolution of modern farm industry may lead not only to protection
of animals but also to the confirmation of food safety, environmental
protection and fair use or distribution of natural resources. We
think that various participants such as consumers, producers, dealers,
authorities researchers and media should be concerned with animal
welfare to take measures towards legal process for this issue.