Greens-induced law is kinder to cattle

NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 05:00 11/10/2014

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It turns out some of us care more about cows than we do humans.

OPINION: It's not because farming is the backbone of our economy or that dairying is our biggest bread winner. But the facts are undeniable. Too many of us care about cows, not people.

I was doing a story on the bull sales. They went well this year for a couple of reasons. One was because the meat schedule is strong. The other is because of the new induction rules.

From June 1 next year farmers are no longer allowed to induce their cows. Are you as confused as I am?

Let me lay it out straight. Each year, farmers buy bulls whose job it is to get their cows pregnant.

Nine months later, calves are born, and the cows are given about a month to recover, before the two-month mating window opens up again. Now, occasionally a cow or two gets pregnant a little late. That puts it out of sync with the rest of the herd, and makes things difficult for the farmer.

They are left with the choice of killing the calf and rebooting the cow's cycle, or killing the cow. Aborting the calf is cheaper and easier. Now, the animal rights activists got angry about this.

So did the Greens. So successful was the anti-induction campaign that to do so will soon be illegal.

I'm not sure where SAFE stands on human induction - more commonly called abortion - but they certainly haven't been as vocal on it as they were calf induction. The Greens have been vocal about both; it's just that they loudly oppose calf induction and loudly support human induction.

In fact, at the height of the calf induction debate, former Green MP Sue Kedgley called the practice "inhumane and cruel".

She went on to call for the removal of induction-drugs from the market place. Finally, she claimed vets who carried out inductions were surely engaged in "a breach of their code".

She never mentioned whether human induction was "inhumane and cruel". Nor did she talk about the need to get human induction drugs off the market.

She didn't talk about the duty of care all doctors have towards human life, and how they must surely be in breech of that as they snuff out little lives day after day in human induction clinics.

What Kedgley had done, a year before, was give a speech advocating human induction, saying "it's incredible that abortion is still such a contentious and divisive issue".

Perhaps it is contentious and divisive for the same reasons calf inductions were; that there is something special (particularly in humans) about this thing called life; that we therefore all (not just doctors and vets) have a duty of care towards it; and that there is hardly any justification for breeching that duty of care.

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I mean, cows are precious, but surely people are, too.

- Waikato Times

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