|relevance:||Animal Welfare Expert|
1/ He has been a journalist for nearly thirty years, and for the past ten years he has increasingly specialised in matters relating to the ethical treatment of animals.
2/ Major articles that he has written on the exploitation of animals have appeared in such journals as The Independent, The Guardian, Evening Standard, New Statesman and Society and Time Out.
3/ He has given public talks on the issues of animal exploitation and acted as a consultant or served as expert interviewee for the This Week television programme, and The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4.
4/ He has briefed MPs such as Sir Richard Body (former chairman of the House of Commons Agricultural Committee) on matters related to pig slaughter and pig swill farming; and framed a series of Parliamentary questions about animal slaughter for Chris Mullin MP.
5/ The farm and food Society requested and received a briefing from him in July 1989, in regard to proposed amendments to the slaughter regulations.
6/ In 1989 he was presented with the Peter Wilson Award "for outstanding journalism exposing the cruelty of blood-sports" by the League Against Cruel Sports.
7/ In the basis of his writing and campaigning he received the 1990 Animals Award "for his outstanding contribution to the animals cause" from the country's leading national welfare and animal rights organisations: The Vegetarian Society, The Vegan Society, Animal Aid and Compassion in World Farming.
8/ He has written about zoos, hunting, the fur trade and animal experiments, having visited appropriate establishments, read relevant specialist material and interviewed relevant authorities on the subjects. His main area of speciality and concern is the inhumane treatment of 'livestock' animals in the farm, market and slaughterhouse setting.
9/ Between 1988 and 1992 he researched and wrote a novel set on a factory pig farm which required a great deal of on-the-spot investigation.
10/ From January to March 1993, he undertook an investigation of five UK livestock markets on behalf of the national campaign group Animal Aid, to see whether the principal welfare legislation - the 1990 Welfare of Animals at Markets Order - was being observed. He subsequently briefed - at their request - the National Animal Health and Welfare panel of trading standards officers.
During this visit (to a slaughterhouse), I saw deliberate inadequate electrical stunning of pigs prior to them being shackled and having their throats cut.
The stunner admitted to me on audio tape that he was stunning the animals for substantially less time than required by Ministry regulations.
It inevitably meant that many of the animals passing through his hands were still conscious when they were shackled by a back leg, hoisted several feet in the air and had their throats cut.
On July 8 1988 I visited FMC's plant in Salisbury where I was disturbed by the gratituous and severe 'stickwork' practised by an employee on the animals as they were unloaded from the trucks into the lairage. This man also repeatedly kicked them about the head and body.
He used his stick on virtually every one of the consignment of pigs I saw unloaded, made routine use of his boot and swore at most of the animals in a way that betrayed his innate hostility.
Perhaps my most illuminating experience was when I worked a week (for research purposes) from August 15 1988 at an intensive pig farm ....... The fate of the breeders was procreation without pause. For the female constrained throughout in a variety of tight fitting crates, stalls or crowded group pens, this meant a constant cycle of pregnancies - her young removed three weeks after birth and her almost immediate forced reimpregnation.
But what was so remarkable to me was the crude inefficiency of what I witnessed: the filth and dust, the rough handling of the animals, the dependence on drugs to beat back disease that such systems foster.
By virtually every other measure - heart rate, body temperature, secretion, build-up and depletion of certain body chemicals - it can be demonstrated that animals react to pain and stress in a manner equivalent to human beings.
For all these reasons, I regard the way 'livestock' animals are killed in this country to be a form of murder - one of the Oxford English dictionary meanings of murder being to 'kill wickedly or inhumane'.
Furthermore, based on my experience, I would argue that the way livestock animals - pigs being the species I am most familiar with - are bred, fattened and bartered, more often than not amounts to inhumane torture - given that one of the dictionary meanings of 'torture' is the infliction of severe physical or mental pain.