15 September 1995

HSA calling for a redefinition

THE Humane Slaughter Association is calling for animals to be defined as "sentient beings" under the Treaty of Rome.

Under the present definition they are classed as "goods" or "agricultural products". The HSA says this definition should be unacceptable within any civilised society because it denies their status as "sentient beings", capable of feeling. Treating animals as inanimate objects ignores the fact that they may suffer, it says.

The Treaty is to be reviewed next year and the HSA is urging members to write to MPs and MEPs on the issue.

In its annual report the HSA also raises concern over new EU livestock transport rules. Overall the agreement is "a significant step backwards", it says, because cattle and sheep can be transported for almost twice the previous UK limit.

Consequently it has written to the big ferry companies urging them to maintain their livestock export ban.