Letters - July 31, 2017
Making higher animal welfare a priority
The demand for humanely raised pork is rising steadily as people become aware of and disgusted by the appalling cruelty, the reckless over-use of antibiotics in factory pig farms and the intolerable toxic stench suffered by people unfortunate enough to live near one of the 800 mega farms in the UK.
As awareness grows, 40 per cent of sows in the UK live permanently outdoors – a fact conveniently ignored by industrial farming lobbyist Zoe Davis, from the National Pig Association, when she stated: “There aren’t many producers that farm pigs outdoors because there’s not a huge demand”.
The reader can help bring an end to this onslaught of cruelty and blight on local villagers’ lives by not buying the meat from these factory livestock farms.
They can look for a high animal welfare label on the meat. For pigs, that is RSPCA Assured, Outdoor Bred, Free Range and, best of all, Organic. To help understand why this meat tastes better, look no further than FarmsNotFactories website where famous chefs and foodies explain why they would only ever serve or recommend meat from high animal welfare farms.
Yes, it is more expensive at the till but not if the true cost is internalised into a true cost analysis that looks at the antibiotics that have to be given to factory farm animals to stave off disease found in the barren concrete pens that the animals are crammed into.
Antibiotic-resistant diseases, that spread in the overcrowded sheds, reaches the neighbouring community and beyond via the meat. It brings us all ever closer to the day when antibiotics won’t work to cure basic human diseases. A recent survey found antibiotic-resistant E.coli on 63 per cent of factory farmed pork in UK supermarkets.
To spread the cost of buying high welfare, eat less but better quality meat and avoid diseases related to over eating meat like obesity, heart disease and colon cancer.
Why cash for private firm?
I refer to the article in Blackpool Gazette on Monday, July 17, ‘Councillor lift for dancing fund’.
While I accept that dancing is a wonderful hobby and certainly has benefits for people with difficulties, what I don’t accept is the fact taxpayers’ money is being used for a private business.
If this was a community-owned and run project then I am more than happy to see our Clifton councillors plunge money into the project.
But this is a private business, which charges people to attend.
I do applaud the councillors for being constructive in their spending of the ward budget, but surely there are more important things they could plough the money into like the Mereside Boys and Girls Club on Bowness Avenue. The staff and volunteers there do a fantastic job working with children of Blackpool - long hours often unpaid - but with fantastic rewards. A couple of grand from ward funding would go a blooming long way helping them - a worthwhile project if ever there was one.
Mr R B Allen
Gove wrong on farm subsidies
I was astonished to hear that the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, suggests that it is about time farmers started to earn the subsidies paid to them by the state.
Does this man not understand that farmers the world over are paid subsidies in order to produce food for our populations at below the real cost of production?
Without subsidies, the real cost of food would be much higher and unaffordable for a large proportion of our people.
It is ironic that a Tory MP and minister with an obscene salary and huge amounts of benefits, also paid, like agricultural subsidies, out of the public purse, should admonish hard working farmers for not earning their subsidies.
A brief look at House of Commons, in which our MPs supposedly earn their salaries, or should I say subsidies, shows it is almost empty for most of the Parliamentary session.
Where are these MPs who are absent from their place of work on an almost daily basis?
If farmers operated their businesses in a similarly irresponsible and casual manner, this country would be without food.
I am also astounded that a Tory Minister, who I presume is aware that millions of children throughout the developing world are dying of starvation, should require farmers to reduce food production.
To reduce the amount of food produced by increasing the amount of farm land taken out of normal agricultural production to enable beetles, rabbits and weeds to prosper is, in my mind, a genocidal policy which will inflict even more suffering on those poor kids who are starving to death.
Any reduction in food production anywhere in our globalised world will have catastrophic effect on the starving millions, though I doubt it will affect the fine dining enjoyed by our overpaid MPs in the many restaurants and bars in the House of Commons.
All are overpaid at the BBC
I would hope that it is the overpaid males that are paid downward and not females paid upwards - none of them are worth this sort of public money.
I also have to wonder if they are paying the highest rate of tax and we are recouping 40 per cent of their income or as I suspect they have accountants spreading the money around tax havens and tax evasion schemes like the rest of the high earners.