Articles on Animal welfare

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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…
We take animals’ liberty every day, but is calling them slaves accurate? Rev Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos ClintJCL/Flickr

Can an animal be a slave?

Is the confinement of animals for human purposes akin to slavery? Are some animals slaves? Slavery is an evocative concept. Treating someone as a slave is one of the worst things you can do to them. Using…
Revelations of cruelty in Australian abattoirs cause outrage, but probably not boycotts. ABC/AAP

Will consumer horror undo the meat industry?

Last year, revelations of cruelty to cows in Indonesian abattoirs led to outrage in Australia. The assumption was that these sorts of things could never happen here. Last week, a NSW abattoir was closed…
Where does it come from? Flickr/Allerina & Glen MacLarty

More animal abuse revelations – is it fair play?

We have entered a new, digital, era in animal protection, yet one in which a legislative backlash against video exposes is stirring in parts of the US. Last week brought another revelation of animal cruelty…
Pet cats are single-minded hunters, but are they wiping out native species? bolg/Flickr

Jury still out on whether cats are killers, but prison is on the cards

In “The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson”, Mark Twain equated keeping a cat to domestic bliss: When there was room on the ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat, the cat was there – in sunny weather…
When discussing animal welfare, it’s hard to look at it from the animal’s perspective. phik

What is the value of an animal’s life?

Which is the greater deprivation for an animal: to live a good-quality life abbreviated at less than its natural term by painless slaughter for meat, or to never live at all? How much of an animal’s life…
Chimps, like humans, can relive painful memories and grieve for loved ones. tgraham

Almost human: why a laboratory is no place for great apes

Twenty years ago, Jared Diamond’s book “The Third Chimpanzee” highlighted a startling fact. If we adhere to the scientific rules for classifying species (taxonomy), humans should be classified as a third…
Beef processing contributed to Cargill’s $US2.7 billion in earnings this year. AAP

The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of: Cargill

Welcome to “The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of” – an ongoing series from The Conversation that sheds light on big companies with low profiles. Today, The University of Queensland’s Clive…

Climate change causes animals to shrink

In a review of past studies researchers have found that 38 of 85 documented plants and animals have shrunk in size due to…
Are puppy farm protesters part of a growing wave of interest in animal rights? forced rhubarb

Australia increasingly uncomfortable with animal cruelty

I may be wrong, but recent indicators suggest animal suffering is going out of fashion. I have been tracking the ebb and flow of the animal protection movement as a first-hand observer since the late 1990s…

Stem cells could be used to save animals

Scientists have produced stem cells from endangered species for the first time. It is hoped that the production of stem cells…
Four year-old Ayen Chol died after being attacked by a neighbour’s pit bull cross (AFP PHOTO/William WEST)

Breed blame-game: banning Pit Bulls won’t work

The recent death of four year-old, Ayen Chol from a pit bull attack has again prompted calls to ban the breed. But instead of focusing on a particular breed, or responding to single events as they occur…
Kangaroo populations are robust and abundant. Wombalano/Flickr

From pests to profits: making kangaroos valuable to farmers

The Scottish eat their deer and the South Africans their springbok. Australia’s national icon is gentle on the environment, doesn’t emit methane, is good to eat and could be a great source of income for…

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