Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-06-11-Speech-1-088"

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"Mr President, the treatment of animals is a question of civilisation. Pets are cherished, but cattle is often still treated abominably. Intensive cattle farming has elevated animal abuse to a methodology. The policy is unilaterally focused on cheap production. Animals have degenerated massively into commodities you eat or which earn you money, instead of living creatures with an intrinsic value. It is high time that animals were no longer adapted to suit their environment, but the environment to suit the animals. Drastic improvements are required in terms of their accommodation. For example, pigs and calves must be kept in groups and must be given plenty of straw. The castration of pigs, bobtailing and the cutting of teeth must be banned. Laying hens must be kept exclusively in spacious, free-range bird houses. The artificial, fast-track breeding of chicks and turkeys must be discontinued. Cows must regularly be led to pasture again and geese must from now on be spared torture for the sake of their tastefully prepared livers. It is sheer madness that pigs are dragged across Europe for the sake of being able to label them ‘Parma’. Long hauls with live cattle must be abolished. In my view, four hours, or 250 km, are the maximum. The inspection of cattle transports must be tightened considerably. International trade should be conducted in meat and not in live animals. Proper slaughterhouses must be set up everywhere, so as to restrict transport. Cattle markets must be abolished. The recent disasters may well be the salvation of future animals, but only if we gain the awareness that animals are more than mere production factors. Until such time, animals will suffer, and people will suffer from a lack of civilisation."@en1

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