Letter: Abattoir animals deserve better

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The Independent Online
Sir: In all the furore over the BSE and E. coli crises, little account seems to have been taken of the welfare of the animals involved.

In his excellent piece "Passing the buck can be fatal" (11 March), Andreas Whittam Smith mentions that it was a ruling of the Ministry of Agriculture itself which led to the animals suffering such stress that they are covered in diarrhoea when they arrive at the abattoirs. He didn't mention what this ruling was - and I doubt that the ministry will tell me!

Surely the animals that are bred for our food deserve at least a decent life and an unstressful death - and if they are not granted this, we, the public, ought to know the conditions they suffer and have the option to decide not to eat meat. I have done this, and refuse to buy any other than organic meat for those in my family who still eat it.

FRANCES HARDWICK

Pinner, Middlesex

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