Does Swearing Hurt Your Livestock’s Feelings?

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A complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) over the abuse of animals at a remote Australian sheep station has prompted a debate over whether sheep can be cursed at.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) reports that PETA’s complaint, made in September 2014, was not solely about verbal abuse, but the use of offensive language toward the animals was an element of the complaint that had been taken seriously by animal-welfare organization the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

Steve Coleman, CEO of the New South Wales branch of the RSPCA, told the ABC that the organization would investigate “an allegation that puts at risk an animal, that would cause it unnecessary suffering.”

Ken Turner, the operator of Boorungie Station in outback New South Wales, where the cussing was alleged to have taken place, said, “The allegation was that bad language was used by an employee on the property in front of the sheep, and that they could have been offended by the use of bad language.”

But Lynda Stoner, CEO at Animal Liberation argued that, far from excusing bad language and behaviour, the challenges posed by livestock handling required workers who were level-headed and compassionate.

She said that, as in the field of surgery, where bad language might be seen as a sign of dangerous frustration levels, the fields of farming required individuals who could keep a cool head.

“There are ways with working with animals that don't require screaming, shouting and just losing it completely,” she said.

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Source:  Australian Broadcasting Corp.

 

Spring Lamb by Tim Pokorny, on Flickr

 

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Tim Pokorny 

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