Sri Lanka Announced its Budget for 2017 and Sadly, it is Not Animal Friendly
By Animal Eys
It proposes to allocate Rs. 100 million to develop the local poultry sector. It stipulates that the prices of a whole chicken should be less than Rs. 420 (GBP 2.30). Clearly the only way such target can be achieved will be through factory farming which will inevitably reduce to life of the chickens to sheer misery.
In 1970 Sri Lanka’s total milk production covered as much as 80% of the total domestic demand. An increase of population, higher incomes and a society that has started to adopt western eating habits, has resulted in a higher demand for dairy products and nowadays Sri Lanka has to import milk which is a drain on the foreign exchange resources. Regrettably, instead of promoting reduced milk consumption, under the 2017 Budget, the government tries to accommodate demand and plans to import 15,000 high milk yielding cows at a cost of Rs. 400 million.
Obviously this is terrible for the cows which in dairy farms are allowed to live only 4 to 5 years instead of their usual life span of 20 years. During those four years the cows will have to endure forced pregnancy, separation from their calves immediately after birth and painful hormone injections to keep up the milk production. This also is sad for the Sri Lankans themselves. Already over 25% suffers from obesity and cancer and heart disease are increasing fast. Excessive dairy consumption correlates directly with all three.
As if the above is not sufficient, the 2017 Budget also proposes to allocate Rs. 500 million to establish fish farms in Hambantota and Mannar. Although rarely highlighted, fish born and brought up in farms have the same miserable lives as chickens in factory farms.
One has to wonder why a country with such rich and wonderful history of healthy, vegetarian foods, is putting its population on a diet of unhealthy and cruelly derived animal products.