Ethics in Production Animal Practice
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Why can the reality of modern animal production be shocking to the public?
As cultural influences paint an idealised image of farms i.e. small numbers of animals, many species kept, animals live good, natural lives.
What has improved/become an issue with farming over the past 100 years?
- Improved: nutrition, housing, control of infectious diseases
- New issues: greater production pressure, more barren and confined production systems, production related diseases and injuries, increased trading and live transport of animals.
"Do farm animals live a good enough life?" Describe the following views in response to this question: a) contractarian b) utilitarian c) animal rights d) animal rights-utilitarian hybrid
- a) Animals should be kept in conditions that are economically viable. The only reason to treat farm animals better is that an economically significant number of people may want better welfare products.
- b) The welfare of farm animals matters just as much as the welfare of humans. Must try to match growing human health and the pressure on production animals. We have a duty to provide living conditions which are decent compared with the development in standards of human welfare.
- c) The concept of keeping animals for meat is not acceptable. May reject the killing of animals but allow consumption of excess products e.g. milk and eggs.
- d) Accepts that animals are killed for food but would insist on very high welfare for farm animals.
Name and describe are the two strategies used by people to try and cause change for farm animal welfare?
- Animal welfare strategy - gradually reform the system to improve animal welfare (via legislation, increased consumer awareness, etc)
- Vegan strategy - aim for revolutionary change and abolition of animal production by boycotting products
Which vet model (garage mechanic or paediatrician) is more common in farm animal work?
Garage mechanic model - animals tend to be used more for 'service' and farmers have more say in decisions than small animal owners
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