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From The Ark Number 189 - Winter 2001

Farm animal tragedy - European bishops speak

Delegates from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales joined others from Europe earlier this year at a meeting in Rome of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE). Among statements published at the end of their plenary meeting were the following: (Full details can be found in Briefing, 11 July 2001)

Paragraph 1: (referring to the crisis in agriculture arising from the BSE epidemic and foot-and-mouth disease)

a) First, it affects the farmers themselves …

b) The crisis also affects the consumer …

c) Finally, the current crisis is also an expression of a conception of farming in which the respectful treatment of our fellow creatures – of animals and nature, animate and inanimate – as intended by God is all too frequently sacrificed for presumed increases in productivity and profits.  The consequences of a wrong common agricultural policy have also contributed to this latest crisis.  The inadequate processing of animal remains into animal feed and its feeding to other animals of the same species has probably contributed to the spread of BSE.  The practice of transporting live animals all over Europe (frequently in unspeakable conditions), encouraged by false economic incentives, threatens the spread of foot-and-mouth disease throughout Europe.

Paragraph 2: ‘The reform of the European Common Agricultural Policy must continue’.

Paragraph 3: ‘The Church also bears responsibility for rural areas.’

Return to The Ark No. 189

For questions, comments and submissions, please contact:
Deborah Jones at The Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare

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