Sunday, August 2, 2009

Filling the Ark: Animal Welfare in Disasters

Filling the Ark by Leslie Irvine is a thoughtful discussion by one of the "new wave" of animal advocates. The author is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder and also a volunteer with her local humane society who took part in the efforts to save pet animals following the devastion caused by Hurricane Katrina. She documents the huge suffering and loss of life which took place in livestock and research animal facilities and which received very little media coverage and argues that we should be pressing for effective risk reduction efforts for these animals. Intensively farmed animals are often much more vulnerable in emergency situations than dogs, cats or horses because they are closely confined and unable to make any efforts to save themselves. Leslie Irvine argues that emergency preparation should be part of welfare standards for farm assurance schemes for food production animals and of animal care and use standards for animals used in scientific research. This is an important book which should be on the shelves of anyone involved in campaigning for improved conditions for animals.

Incidentally, anyone interested can view the emergency preparedness sections which are part of the Freedom Food welfare standards.

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