End the Factory Farming of Crocodiles in the UK
Crocodiles are the latest sentient creature to fall foul of
British farming's seemingly inexhaustible desire to imprison and
exploit the animal kingdom.
June 2006: A farmer in Cambridgeshire is planning to
intensively farm as many as a thousand crocodiles, despite the State
Veterinary Service telling Viva! that they were not aware of any
official guidelines on welfare or slaughter.
For a number of years now, crocodiles have been killed in the wild -
or more increasingly taken for captive breeding in Australia and Asia.
Studies of this trade overseas have shown that the shock and trauma of
capture is substantial and that is before they are confined in an
unnatural habitat for the rest of their lives. Killing can involve
being clubbed to death or having a chisel hammered through the spine
at the base of the skull.
The trade is so new here, we can only presume the same horrific
methods of slaughter will be used in the UK, also - but one thing is
certain, these magnificent animals will spend six years imprisoned on
intensive units, with only death at the end of it.
Please help Viva! end this new farming atrocity before it takes
Contact Caroline Spelman, the new Secretary of State for Environment,
Food & Rural Affairs, and ask him to ban the farming of crocodiles in
the UK. Use the pre-prepared letter below, or write in your own words.
Caroline.Spelman@defra.gsi.gov.uk or use our '1 click campaigner' button (right) to send him a pre-written email (it only takes a second!).
Write: Caroline Spelman MP
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17 Smith Square
I was shocked to hear that a farm in Cambridgeshire has been given the
go-ahead to farm crocodiles for meat. These magnificent creatures are
the latest addition to the seemingly never ending list of animals
driven from the wild into factory farms - and I ask you, whilst this
new cruelty is in its infancy - to nip it in the bud, and support a
ban of the intensive farming of crocodile in the UK.
I am aware that, for a number of years now, crocodiles have been
killed in the wild - or more increasingly taken for captive breeding
in Australia and Asia. Studies of this barbaric trade overseas have
shown that the shock and trauma of capture is substantial and that is
before they are confined in an unnatural habitat for the rest of their
lives. Killing can involve being clubbed to death or having a chisel
hammered through the spine at the base of the skull. Until I hear
differently, I presume similarly cruel methods will be used in the UK,
as I am not aware of any welfare codes for crocodiles.
Most farmed animals are slaughtered after a matter of just weeks, but
press reports state that the crocodiles being bred for meat in
Cambridgeshire will be kept captive for 6 years before they are
killed. Taken from their wild habitat, these animals will be unable to
fulfil any of their natural behaviour in these concrete prisons.
The farmer in Cambridgeshire has reportedly boasted that he wants to
breed as many as a thousand crocodiles. I am aware that he has
obtained a wild animals licence, but I believe that public safety
could be put at risk. It is outrageous that the local council have
given their blessing to this foolhardy and cruel venture.
Please tell me what plans Defra has to regulate this trade - or, even
better, please put matters in motion to end it."
For more information on crocodiles kept for meat read our in-depth
report on the international trade,