Connect with us

Business

‘Fur and foie gras bans must follow animal sentience legislation’

Published

on

Some events can really renew your optimism as an animal rights advocate. Hearing the commitment to bring forward new legislation to “ensure the United Kingdom has, and promotes, the highest standards of animal welfare”, in the Queen’s speech during the state opening of parliament this week, was one of them.

The significance of the government’s recognition that, as our understanding of other animals has evolved, our laws must evolve, too, can’t be overstated. The simple and glaringly obvious acknowledgment that animals are like us – with families, intelligence, emotions, and their own cultures and languages – means we must provide them with greater legal protection from human exploitation, abuse, and neglect. And delivering on its commitment to recognise animal sentience in law and put it “at the heart of policy making”, as the government has pledged to do, is a vital step in our society’s moral evolution.

In addition to the introduction of the much-anticipated animal welfare (sentience) bill, animal protection groups are expecting to see several other important bills brought forward during this new parliamentary session as part of the government’s “ambitious and wide-ranging plan for driving forward reforms in the … Action Plan for Animal Welfare”, including, we hope, a ban on fur imports.

Fur farming has been illegal in the UK for almost 20 years, but bizarrely we have continued to import around £55 million worth of fur, including from countries where animals still spend their miserable lives frantically circling in cramped, filthy cages, being driven mad by the confinement. For the fur trim adorning Canada Goose’s parkas, sold in its Regent’s Street shop and by a small handful of other unscrupulous retailers, including Harvey Nichols, coyotes are caught in steel traps that would be illegal here and can suffer for days while enduring blood loss, shock, dehydration, frostbite, and gangrene.

The bears still being gunned down to make the Queen’s Guard’s caps are often mothers whose cubs are left to starve or die from predation without her to protect them – utterly indefensible when their namesake, the Queen herself, refuses to purchase fur. Surviving bear cubs are known to wail when hunters shoot their mothers in front of them and will moan and cry for weeks afterward in apparent grief. And of course, bears are not alone in mourning the loss of loved ones, just as we do.

Professor of anthropology Barbara J. King shares many other devastating accounts in her book How Animals Grieve. Only the animals born with it need fur, especially when we have so many humane, eco-friendly options that no one has to die for. A bill banning fur imports is absolutely necessary if the government is to fulfil its promise that “our high animal welfare standards are not compromised in our trade negotiations”, and with 95% of Brits opposed to wearing real fur, it would also be an extremely popular piece of legislation.

Our new status as an independent nation outside the EU also provides the UK with the opportunity to close its borders to foie gras and earn our status as “a global leader for international advocacy on animal welfare”, something the government is said to be considering as part of its animals abroad bill.

There is no doubt that, of all the many cruel practices involving animals on today’s factory farms, foie gras (“fatty liver”) production is one of the cruellest. In order to get the liver to expand to up to 10 times its natural size, ducks and geese are force-fed using a procedure known as gavage, in which a long pipe is forced down their throat and a large quantity of food is pumped into their stomach three to four times a day for several weeks until their liver becomes so large that it presses on their lungs, making it difficult to breathe.

The inhumane product is illegal to produce in 17 countries, including the UK, with 79% of the British public in favour of an import ban as well, which makes perfect sense given that a product too cruel to produce here should logically also be too cruel to sell.

Eighty per cent of the British public want post-Brexit government trade deals to have clear requirements that imported animal products meet or exceed British animal welfare production standards. It boils down to this: there is simply no justification for fur, foie gras, hunting trophies, or any other products of gross animal abuse to be allowed into Britain nor for shipping British animals on hellish journeys to be fattened and slaughtered abroad.

In 1822, the UK became the first country in the world to introduce animal protection legislation, and as the bicentennial of that landmark law approaches, the Queen’s speech served to honour that legacy and define the type of country that we want to be in the future. While you can be sure that PETA and other animal protection groups will hold the government to its commitments to animals, new statutes on the books to help break down the false barrier between humans and other animals are not really necessary: we can already refuse to support industries that treat them as mere objects instead of the sensitive, complex, intelligent individuals they are – just by leaving their body parts off our plates and out of our wardrobes.

Business

Trio win £1.6bn Defence Estate hard FM deal

Published

on

By

A joint venture between Engie and Serco, known as Vivo, bagged the bulk of the work, picking up both the central region including Wales worth £558m; and south west region worth £336m over seven years.

Vinci’s FM operation secured the £423m south east regional deal and Mitie a £160m deal for facilities across Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The core services include planned and reactive maintenance, as well as mandatory safety checks.

The potential additional project work will range from small scale asset replacement and property refurbishments to large construction projects.

Following a six-month mobilisation phase, the core work is scheduled to start in February 2022, with additional project work to ramp up during the course of 2022.

Forming part of the first phase of the Future Defence Infrastructure Services programme, the contracts cover 31,000 units and will support facilities at more than 400 defence sites across the UK, including RAF Lossiemouth, Catterick, Andover, and Britannia Royal Naval College.

As part of FDIS, these are the first of 10 contacts that will be awarded between now and 2022.

The later phases of the FDIS programme will see further contracts awarded for Accommodation Services and the management and maintenance of the UK Defence Training Estate.

Continue Reading

Business

Pagabo readies market for new civils framework

Published

on

By

The framework will run for four years and allow public sector bodies to speed-up procurement for rail, nuclear, bridges, roads, maritime, water, and power projects.

Jason Stapley, managing director at Pagabo, said: “Other areas that will be covered by this new framework ensure that those projects procured through it over the coming years are working towards tackling the climate crisis.

“This includes both tackling the impact of the climate emergency we are facing through flood alleviation projects and working towards net zero carbon targets using alternative fuels and developing greener travel infrastructure.

“This is the first Pagabo framework that Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, will be acting as the contracting authority for, so we’re really looking forward to working with them to bring this new offering to the market.”

The Civils and Infrastructure Framework will feature five lots, covering value bands of up to £30m and above.

Each lot will feature six regional and national firms, along with three reserve contractors.

Stapley added: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Pagabo, so this will be truly embedded into this latest framework offering, considering emerging technologies and project controls. Ensuring that our clients have a joint approach with contractors will bring forth these technologies and innovative methods of construction, allowing for quicker, simpler and smoother delivery of projects for clients.”

An engagement session will be taking place on 23 June at 10am. Click here to register to attend.

Continue Reading

Business

Anderson lands £10m Redrow groundworks deal

Published

on

By

Anderson will be responsible for all groundworks and infrastructure including drainage, water management, carriageways and footways on The Parklands site which will eventually contain  2,500 three- and four-bedroom homes.

The company has also been awarded the groundworks for phase three of a 160-home Hopkins Homes development at the former Needham Market quarry.

Andrew Nowosad, Associate Commercial Director of Construction at Anderson, said: “A huge amount of hard-work and effort has gone into securing future workload to the wider business.

“This has been a very challenging year for the industry, but the building sector has bounced back bigger and stronger than ever before which bodes well for the wider economy.

“A rise in new construction work across the country has seen our output in the industry reach its highest level since January 2020.

“This has been a superb few months for our business and both the Parklands project and the Needham market development are very exciting to be involved in.”

Anderson secured the first phase of the Parklands development in September 2020. The second phase will take the order value for the whole Great Wilsey development close to £20m.

Nowosad added: “Both projects clearly demonstrate the importance of securing the first phase on multi-phase developments, which then present opportunities as subsequent phases come on stream.

“I would like to congratulate the whole team for securing these key additions to existing projects following the continued hard work from the site teams in maintaining our excellent reputation.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 topbuildhomes.co.uk