Greens put factory farms onto election menu
The Green Party says it will focus on opposition to large-scale industrial livestock farming during the campaign for next autumn’s general election.
"We Greens want to systematically make the fight against factory farming an issue in the parliamentary elections," Renate Künast, chairwoman of the Greens' parliamentary group told Wednesday’s Die Welt newspaper.
The party wants to change the law to prevent the construction of the large-scale industrial farms. Their proposal would subject farms which do not produce 50 percent of their own animal feed to stricter building provisions, and would restrict their access to government subsidies.
Regulations should exist that entitle each breed of animal enough space to move, adequate exercise and proper food, the party told Die Welt.
The party would also forbid farmers from cutting off cattle horns and chicken beaks which is generally done to stop them hurting themselves and others in factory farm conditions.
The use of antibiotics in livestock is another issue the party wants to highlight, according to the paper. Instead of having whole herds of animals treated with antibiotics as a preventative measure, the party wants only the sick animals to receive the medication.
The Greens also offer a proposal they hope will make animals suffer less during slaughter - forbidding contract workers in slaughterhouses.
The party told the paper that there was a correlation between the number of contract workers in a slaughterhouse, and the number of animals who are not killed immediately during the slaughter process. There was risk to the consumers, too, the party said, because standards of hygiene were not being followed.
Making it more difficult to operate industrial livestock farms in Germany would also help the global environment, the Greens argued.
"For its local meat production, Germany is using more and more feed from the Third World, and in doing so is taking away the land the people in those countries need to plant their own food crops," Künast told Die Welt.
Leading Green politician Jürgen Trittin recently ended his honorary post as environment ambassador for Bundesliga football team Werder Bremen because the team is sponsored by the poultry producer Wiesenhof where standards have been criticised by animal rights campaigners.