Douwe Osinga's Blog: Cruelty to animals

Friday, May 2, 2003

Bird flue rages through my home country, the Netherlands. We have a history of efficient farming, but lately one cannot but wonder if something has gone wrong. This is the fourth major animal dissease striking in a couple of years (after swine fever, cow maddness and foot-and-mouth disease). What is wrong with the industry.

One thing that isn't right about it, is that diseases like this are treated like disasters, that is the governemnt pays for the costs. If it happened once every century, I could see that and it would be ok to compensate the farmers. But now? If something like this happens every couple of years, then it is part of the way agriculture works nowadays. If the governemnt keeps cleaning up after the farmers, there is no real reason for the farmers to do something about the real reasons of the diseases. Better have some farmers go broke then kill a few million animals every year extra.