Wednesday, 20 June 2007

EU law forces farmers to buy toys for their pigs

In 2005 almost 62% of the Dutch voted against the new European Constitution in a national referendum. (I didn't vote as I was in Singapore at the time) Sometimes I can understand why so many people are against "Europe": the enormous bureaucracy, fabulous perks for parliamentarians who never show up, and too many silly laws. An example of the latter was in the news today. EU law has been implemented making it obligatory from July 1st for farmers to have toys for the pigs they keep. Yes, animal researchers have found that the pigs are "bored" while waiting to be fed and eventually slaughtered, so something needed to be done. Let's give them some nice toys so they have some fun before being eaten! Wageningen University is now studying the reaction of some test animals to different sets of toys. On the one hand, this of course is all quite ridiculous, on the other hand, it can also be seen as a sign of great civilization that we (or our leaders) actually care about animal welfare. After all, we are the only country in the world with a "Party for Animals" represented in parliament.

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