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Justin Kerswell's Blog

campaigns manager and deputy director

I’ve worked at Viva! since 2004, on successful campaigns from exposing the conditions of factory farmed pigs to ending the sale of foie-gras by the world’s largest online retailer.  I have appeared on numerous TV and radio programmes and have placed dozens of stories exposing animal cruelty in national and regional press.

 

 

Do farmed animals weep?

I read the saddest thing today. Researchers once played the sound of a now deceased elephant to her family in the wild. The others immediately went looking for her – and her daughter pitifully called for her for days afterwards. The researchers never repeated the experiment.

The excerpt was from a new book by Carl Safina called ‘Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel’. I haven’t read the whole text yet, so maybe he does cover them – but farmed animals were notable in their absence in this beautiful and moving study of grief in the animal kingdom. So, the question is do farmed animals grieve in the same way as wild animals? The growing scientific consensus shows us that they do. It is an uncomfortable question for those who eat animal products, but one that needs exploring.

Minty grows up

Long-time Viva! supporter, Joyce Moss, here guest blogs about the story of Minty - a tiny wild boar hoglet rescued from certain death. Read about Minty's progress and what you can do to help end the persecution of wild boar in Britain (Justin Kerswell, Viva! campaigns manager)

"On 14th March this year, Scott Passmore of the Forest of 'A Wildlife with Animals' was called in the evening to a driveway in the Forest. The RSPCA had received a call to say that a tiny boar hoglet was lying there in distress. He wrapped the shivering and scarcely breathing hoglet in a blanket, put the car heater on at full blast and drove as fast as he could to Vale Wildlife Hospital at Beckford near Tewkesbury. His passenger moistened the hoglet’s lips with water and she made it barely alive to the hospital.

The badger ‘cull’ stinks – could slurry be the real culprit for the spread of bTB?

By Justin Kerswell, Campaigns Manager and Deputy Director of Viva!

At time of writing, parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire are once again reverberating to the sounds of gunshots and the screams of dying badgers. Despite the Government’s previous trials in 2013 being roundly condemned as pointless, bloody, inhumane and costly the guns are out again. Yet a rather pungent, potential culprit is quite literally spreading more-or-less unchecked across the countryside and nothing is being done about it.

Are you a baby eater?

In 2013, a billion land animals were slaughtered in Britain. Regardless of how they were raised, almost all lived unnaturally short lives.