Articles on Animal welfare

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The decisions we make about animal welfare are important; even more so if we’re welfare researchers. Jannes Pockele

Animal welfare researchers must be honest about motivations

Many people take the Christmas and New Year period as a time to ponder how they can be a better person. We make resolutions about eating better, doing exercise, being kinder or slowing down. We all know…
What are our ethical responsibilities for racing greyhounds? Jo Anne McArthur

The unbearable lightness of being a greyhound

Background Briefing’s program The Quick and the Dead exposed one of the key animal welfare issues facing the greyhound racing industry: the high rates of euthanasia of healthy dogs. During an interview…
A rat used for cancer research in the United States. Janet Stephens

The elusive ethics of animal ethics committees

More than six million animals are used in experiments in Australia each year. Many endure pain and distress, and most are killed after their use. The research community claims that our regulatory framework…
Ban Live Exports: Melbourne Rally, Saturday, 6 October 2012. Gonzalo Villaneuva

Mainstream crusade – how the animal rights movement boomed

More than a year has passed since Animals Australia and the RSPCA, in conjunction with ABC’s Four Corners revealed that Australian cattle were being routinely slaughtered in Indonesian abattoirs while…
Protests against live exports of Australian animals. AAP/Tim Watters

The live export of animals will always be a bloody business

Although many Australians may feel like they heard the expression “live export” or “live animal exports” for the first time recently, the selling of sheep and cows to be slaughtered overseas has a long…
Healthy animals, perhaps, but is it ethical to confine large wild mammals to a tank for the purposes of profit and education? Greg Lilly

Not all fun and games: the missing ethics of animals in tourism

Animals are a mainstay of global tourism development. They’re consumed in fishing and hunting, and used as part of “experiences” - horses in trail rides, marine mammals in theme parks, whale sharks for…
That’s me: Scientists agree animals are conscious, but public attitudes still lag behind. flickmor/Flickr

About time: science and a declaration of animal consciousness

Are animals conscious? Notoriously, the famous 17th century philosopher René Descartes thought they were not. He believed that possession of a soul was necessary for rational thought and for consciousness…
How do you pick a fake among free-range egg producers? OKNOVOKGHT/Flickr

Where’s the freedom to choose free-range?

Consumers are increasingly concerned about how farm animals are kept, raised, transported, and slaughtered. Most people show their concern by buying “ethical” farm products, such as free-range eggs and…
Piecemeal solutions to welfare won’t do - we need a long-term view. Ian Sanderson

Animal welfare: an urgent issue with a long, slow solution

The government has been plagued by animal welfare problems over the last two years. The biggest issue so far has been the mistreatment of our livestock overseas. Most recently, two shipments of sheep to…
Most drugs fail in clinical trials because of the reliance on animal testing to predict drug behaviour in people. Tatiana Bulyonkova

Animal research provides a flawed model, so why not stop?

Much of the research involving the development of new drugs still uses animals. Apart from moral questions about inflicting pain and death on animals for the purpose of medical research, there are an increasing…
Pastoral nostalgia: people fretted about opening-ceremony animals but not the huge out-of-sight slaughter that’s feeding athletes and spectators. AAP/Dean Lewins

Animals — the meat in the Olympic sandwich

The role of animals in the Olympics — both during the opening ceremony and throughout the wider competition — is rightly generating controversy. When it was first announced that non-human animals would…
An important ‘apex predator’ that should neither be hunted as an enemy nor treated as a pet. With respect and wisdom, we can coexist. AAP/Tony Phillips

The Australian dingo: to be respected, at a distance

It’s the dry season in the Northern Territory, and for many people that means camping under a clear winter’s sky in the Top End. Yet rediscovering nature can be a fraught exercise in wilderness areas like…
Australians have started worrying about how happy their meat cows are - but are they worrying enough to stop eating them? Jon Bragg

Health, environment and animal welfare - a recipe for peak meat

I sponsor two pigs. Emma and Eliza were runaway pigs. They escaped from a farm in Tasmania and live now happily in a farm sanctuary north of Melbourne. Needless to say that I don’t eat pigs, or any other…
Consumers have an image of animal agriculture which is getting further and further from the truth. State Records NSW

Latest animal export exposé reminds us to steer clear of factory farming

It has once again been left to an advocacy group, Animals Australia, to highlight the cruel practices involved in cattle slaughter in Indonesia. Under new rules put in place by the Federal Department of…
There are legal limits to how closely chickens can be packed, but is more space all chickens need? Alan Levine

Fewer hens doesn’t always mean happier hens

The Australian egg industry has seen a large shift in the proportion of chicken eggs coming from non-cage systems, especially free range. There is little doubt that some of this has been driven by consumer…
Guardian animals, a environmentally friendly and adorable way to protect our livestock. Karen Rodgers

Watching over livestock: our guardian animals

True innovation is rare in agriculture. Most farmers are willing to improve the way they work, but these improvements are typically small adjustments to established practice, rather than fundamental changes…
Australians’ strong concerns about animal welfare put us at odds with Asian live export markets; but sharing our food production technologies gives us a potential advantage. AAP

Terms of trade: live cattle exports in the Asian Century

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Today, Professor Clive Phillips takes…
Melbourne Zoo is using baby elephant Mali as the logo for it’s birthday celebrations. But should they be proud of her captivity? Nick Larsen

Celebrating 150 years of captivity

Have you ever felt the vibrations as an elephant stamps her foot in rage? In 2000, I was on the New South Wales Central Coast when Arna the circus elephant did just that. Arna was not happy and her distress…
Why do we care so much about the origin of brutalised cows? librarianidol/Flickr

Live exports controversy: what makes a cow Australian?

New footage recently aired on ABC has again brought to our attention the plight of cattle in Indonesian abattoirs. Scenes of cattle being poked, stabbed, and slaughtered without appropriate equipment has…

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