Friday, 18 January 2013

Another letter to the editor in weekly magazine - debate with farmers' union on predator management and sheep husbandry

As mentioned in a recent post I published a letter to the editor in the Norwegian weekly newsmagazine Ny Tid just before Christmas, titled "Gjør sauen en bjørnetjeneste" [Doing the sheep a disservice]. In the January 11th issue of that weekly the deputy chair of The Norwegian Farmers' Union, Berit Hundåla, replied, in a letter to the editor titled "Ulven løper ikke forbi matfatet" [The wolf does not run past the dinner plate]. An image of her article is to be found in my Norwegian language blog Utopisk Realisme, as is my reply which was published today in the January 18th issue, "Sauen som ble til fem høns" (The sheep that were turned into five chickens). Both my letters to the editor were written on behalf of Minding Animals Norway. Among the topics I address is today's low price of animal feed and its consequences for use of outer pastures (or lack thereof). One of my points is, implicitly, that the farmers' union has chosen to complain about predators' predation on sheep rather than to address the problematic and often not desirable ramifications of its own policies with regard to the low price of animal feed (which supports expansion in pig and poultry husbandry - animals that are kept indoors all year - but discourages use of outer pastures and thus outdoor keeping of animals and sheep husbandry in general).

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