Some Measurable Poultry-Related Success in the U.K.

David Cassuto

A while back, I relayed some info about the `Quash the Squash´ campaign by the RSPCA in the UK aimed at improving the lot of chickens.  Apparently, the campaign was/is very successful.  Despite the recession, British consumers are increasingly willing to spend more money on `higher welfare´chickens.  And, more importantly, they are buying less chicken in general.  Excellent trends, both.  Particularly the latter.  Read more about it and take a brief poll here.

What “Cage-Free” Means — An Appeal from the RSPCA in England

Quash the Squash campaign imageThe RSPCA is asking for your help.   The EU recently passed legislation designed to improve chicken welfare.  Unfortunately, the legislation is drafted in such a way as to allow more chickens to be packed into “rearing sheds.”   Already, the chickens lack the space to move or flap their wings; it’s the equivalent of a battery cage without the cage.  The British government has seized upon this loophole and is now considering whether to permit this practice.   Jim Fitzpatrick, Minister for Animal Welfare, really needs to hear from you on this matter.  Contact info here and a cool video available here:

–David Cassuto

Simon B. Smith on “Constance May Bienvenue: Animal Welfare Activist to Vexatious Litigant”

Simon B. Smith (Monash – Australia) has posted to SSRN his 2007 article, “Constance May Bienvenue: Animal Welfare Activist to Vexatious Litigant.”  Here is the abstract:

Constance May Bienvenu (1912-1995) was a passionate animal welfare activist. She was also the fifth person declared as a vexatious litigant by the Victorian Supreme Court (1969) and the first woman declared by the High Court (1971). In the 1960s Bienvenu led a reform group that challenged for control of a conservative RSPCA (Victoria). Though unsuccessful, there were significant consequences from the legal challenges. This article explores the passion and extraordinary determination of Bienvenu and her supporters. It traces the responses of a conservative RSPCA and its legal advisers struggling to maintain the status quo and notes the unintentional consequences of involving the legal system in community disputes. Finally, by tracing Bienvenu’s determination to secure substantive reform, this article demonstrates the challenge self represented activism presents to a legal system more comfortable with arcane procedures and legal form.

The full article is available here. Animal welfare activist and “vexatious litigant”? I look forward to reading learning about her by reading this piece.

-Bridget Crawford

RSPCA Report Measuring Animal Welfare in the UK

According to a report released today by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), concern about animal suffering in the UK has increased substantially over the last couple of years. David Bowles – the RSPCA’s head of external affairs – believes that the findings of the report  “are extremely impressive as they show that the plight of animals is a hot topic at the moment”. Visit the RSPCA’s website here for more information.  

Luis Chiesa