While watching Countryfile this morning, I was warned of distressing scenes. These came in the form of stock footage of cattle corpses being burnt in the early 2000s foot and mouth outbreak. Then, more recently, pig corpses in Belgium, following the arrival of African Swine Fever.
One wonders why most viewers would be disturbed, since death would inevitably be the end result. But, of course, slaughterhouse scenes are rarely shown on TV.
One proposed solution to the spread of African Swine Fever is genetic engineering. Currently, the approach is is to cull wild boar, to reduce the risk of the disease spreading. There’s apparently some opposition to this, but the main drive isn’t one of animal welfare, but of impact on food production.
The programme has now moved on to fluffy rabbits. They’re cute, so they’re allowed to live out their lives in better conditions. More importantly, they’re allowed to live out their lives.