Report of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges. - Slaughter of Animals Bill, 1933—Second Stage (Resumed).
Thursday, 14 December 1933
Seanad Éireann Debate
Mr. Brown: I would very earnestly ask the Seanad to pass the Second Reading of this Bill. As Senator O'Farrell said yesterday, it is not entirely to our credit that we are practically the last of the civilised nations to adopt the principle which underlies this Bill. In Scotland they have a Bill which has been working for some time and is easily enforced and eminently satisfactory. In England they have long had a voluntary system which was worked by the local authorities making by-laws which had to get the assent of the board of health. In England they have an Act which comes into force on 1st January next and in Northern Ireland they have a system which is similar to that which still prevails in England and will prevail until 1st January, but there,  too, I believe, it is working very satisfactorily. In this country, as Senator O'Farrell reminded the Seanad yesterday, there are a very large number of butchers who already use the humane killer. We have, I think, at least 30 of the principal butchers in Dublin who kill their animals with the humane killer and find it eminently satisfactory.
The principle underlying this Bill is that animals slaughtered for our human needs should suffer as little as possible in the process. That will be assented to by every humane minded person. The only objection that could possibly be raised to this Bill is that it might be difficult to enforce. I myself at one time was rather doubtful about that but, fortunately, after making inquiries from the authorities of our Guards, we found that they themselves were of opinion that there would be no difficulty in enforcing this, even in the country parts of the Free State. There is, however, a section in the Bill which provides that any butcher's yard which is two miles from a Guard Barrack will not come within the scope of the Bill. It might be more difficult to have the law enforced in cases like this and, therefore, that section was introduced into the Bill in order that there should be no difficulty in enforcing it, because it is a bad thing to have legislation which cannot be reasonably enforced. As Senator O'Farrell yesterday went so fully through the Bill, I do not think it is necessary to say any more, but I do urge the Seanad to accept the Second Reading.
Mr. Counihan: Senator O'Farrell and Senator Brown have very ably put forward the case in favour of the Bill but their main arguments, I think, would be very aptly described by the Irish saying we use in Kerry: “D'innis bean dom, d'innis bean di.”
Mr. Counihan: “I heard it from a woman who heard it from a woman.” Their main argument was in favour of the use of the humane killer and if they had confined themselves to that section in the Bill, they would not find very much opposition in this House. But I want to tell the House that this  Bill is not quite so simple and so harmless as the Senators would lead us to believe. There is a danger that Senators who know nothing about the business with which this Bill proposes to deal, in view of the names attached to the Bill, may be inclined to take the Bill without question. I think everyone will admit that the names of the Senators attached to the Bill command the confidence and respect of the House and that we would all go a long way to meet their wishes, provided they were advocating something about which they knew a good deal. I am afraid, however, that, in this case, they know nothing about the business they are proposing to legislate for. The Senators whose names are attached to the Bill are not the real promoters of the Bill. The real promoter of the Bill is the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I have no grievance against that Society. I think they are a very excellent body whose members are kind-hearted people who do a lot of good in preventing unnecessary cruelty to dumb animals, but the danger is that they are inclined to go too far and in their anxiety to prevent cruelty to animals they inflict extreme cruelty and hardship in very many cases on human beings. I read, for instance, some time ago, a case in the Press in which a farmer was prosecuted for leaving two sheep tied to a gate on the night of the fair in a certain town. The farmer's defence was that he had sold the two sheep but that the buyer had not turned up to claim them. The district justice, in that case, decided that there was a gross cruelty in leaving the sheep tied to a gate for the night without food or water and the farmer was sentenced to a month in jail without the option of a fine.
I do not know anything about the town and I have no connection with it; I know nothing about the man prosecuted or about the district justice but the sentence struck me as being so barbarous that I sent the cutting from the paper to the Minister for Justice. The Minister replied that there was an appeal pending against the sentence and he could not interfere for the time being. I lost sight of the case and I do  not know what happened afterwards. but in my considered opinion, there was no cruelty inflicted on the two sheep in that case but there was terrible cruelty inflicted on the farmer and the farmer's family as a result of his having been sentenced to a month in jail. Speaking about the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals——
Mr. Brown: Might I correct the Senator? The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has nothing to do with the Bill. On the contrary, I had great difficulty in persuading them to give support to the Bill.
Mr. Counihan: I accept his statement of course, but I still contend that I am entitled to comment on the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as there is a section in the Bill which gives powers to the society to work some parts of the Bill, Section 5 for instance. I do not want to say anything against the society. I have no grievance against it but I would like to point out that it is grossly unfair and it is not good business for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to be passing resolutions complimenting Civic Guards for doing their duty and on having such a number of prosecutions and convictions. I think that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals should at least stop that. There are only a few general remarks which I want to make about the Bill. I do not want to be taken as being against the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals but I should like to offer a few remarks in regard to the Bill. Of course any practical person reading the Bill could see that it is  drawn up by some people who know very little of the practical side of the business.
Every person engaged in driving or bringing any animal to a slaughter house or knacker's yard shall so drive or convey the animal as to avoid the infliction upon the animal of any unnecessary suffering, pain or fatigue.
The expression “unnecessary suffering, pain or fatigue” is very wide. Who is to decide what is fatigue? If Senator O'Farrell would walk out along the road any day and see cattle coming into Dublin, even stall-fed cattle, when they have only to walk a mile or two, he would find that they are puffing with their tongues out. When cattle are let out of the stall they run for the first quarter of a mile and then in a short while they are puffed out. What is to be done in these cases? If an officer of the society comes along and finds a man driving cattle which show signs of distress and fatigue, as they will appear distressed and fatigued, he will launch a prosecution against the owner. Does Senator Brown agree that a farmer should be prosecuted and fined because the animals appear puffed out in circumstances such as that? I think that is a section that is putting too much power into the hands of officers of the society, Civic Guards or anybody else.
Sub-section (3) of Section 2 states that no animal shall be kept in a slaughter house or knacker's yard for more than 12 hours without having a sufficient quantity of wholesome food or water. I agree that the animal should have water, but to give it wholesome food during a period of 12 hours before slaughter would be most detrimental to the flesh. Any housewife will know that you should not kill a chicken full of food. I am surprised that Senator O'Farrell should say that a beast should get food during a period of 12 hours before slaughter.
Mr. Counihan: It cannot be retained for more than 12 hours without getting food. If the clause provided that the animal should have plenty of water and that it should have food 24 hours before slaughter I would agree but I could not agree to any shorter period. Sub-section (4) of Section 2 states:
Mr. Counihan: In any case I think that that section cannot be carried out without inflicting a terrible lot of hardship. I do not think that work can be carried on under it. If Senator O'Farrell or Senator Brown went even to the Dublin Abattoir they would see that there are about 15 or 20 sheep slaughtered at the one time. There is only about a minute or two between the operations of bringing the animal in and slaughtering it. If every sheep has to be slaughtered, skinned, dressed and taken away before they bring in another sheep I cannot see how they will get through the work there at all. I have no objection to sub-section (5).
In regard to sub-section (6) I would agree that every animal should be killed by a mechanically operated implement. Even on that point it is very questionable whether the mechanical killer, the captive bolt or shot, is in any way more humane than the pole-axe. When we were operating the fresh meat factory in Drogheda, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sent down some of their officers to give a demonstration with the mechanically operated captive bolt in killing cattle and we gave a demonstration of killing  with the pole-axe. The officers of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals admitted there that the pole-axe when used by a competent and expert man is as humane as the captive bolt. Senator O'Farrell pointed out numerous cases in which he alleged there was terrible cruelty as a result of the use of the pole-axe. If I wanted to look the matter up I could point to some cases of cruelty and mismanagement in the use of the mechanically operated instruments, but as I say I am not going to contest that clause. If the Senator had confined himself to that clause there would be no objection to the Bill. The provision in the section with regard to persons under the age of 16 is fairly questionable.
What is the necessity for a licence at all? Then the licence is only valid for the sanitary district in which it is issued. Take, for instance, the case of a butcher who falls sick in Swords. In that case a man would have to be got to go to Swords to take his place. Before he could slaughter an animal there he would have to go to the sanitary officer and get a licence to enable him to slaughter in that locality. Perhaps the sanitary officer would not be available and he might have to wait a whole day before he could see him. He might be required for only two or three days and would have to pay 5/- for his licence. Does Senator O'Farrell approve of a provision whereby butchers would have to pay 5/- for every job they undertake? They would have to pay 5/- for a licence in every one of the districts into which they went. I think the thing is preposterous. It does not stop at one payment of 5/-. Then a butcher has to pay 1/- every year to have the licence renewed. Is it the sanitary officer who is to get that 5/-? There should be no necessity for licensing a butcher. Everyone should be allowed  to carry on his trade as long as he does it within the law.
Any member of the Gárda Síochána and any person authorised in writing by a sanitary authority and the officers of any society or institution for the protection of animals authorised by the Department of Local Government and Public Health or the Department of Agriculture for that purpose may enter any slaughterhouse or knacker's yard in the district of the local authority at any time when business is or appears to be in progress or is usually carried on therein ....
I think this would entail a great amount of hardship on butchers or the owners of slaughterhouses throughout the country. First of all, you have the sanitary officer for the district; then you have his assistant; you have the Gárda Síochána; and you have innumerable visits from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I ask the House how could any man carry on a business with all these visits from people who know very little about the work to be done. We were discussing a Dangerous Drugs Bill the other day. One of the supporters of this Bill, Senator Sir E. Coey Bigger, objected to anybody under the rank of a sergeant in the Gárda Síochána entering a premises or making any inquiries with regard to the use and keeping of dangerous drugs. Should not Senator Sir E. Coey Bigger have the same consideration for the butchers of the country, who are doing legitimate work, as he has for the people who are dealing with dangerous drugs? An amendment was inserted in that Bill that no member of the Gárda under the rank of a sergeant should have any  authority under that Bill. I am very anxious for a Bill of this sort, but I want a common-sense Bill and I want an agreed Bill to leave this House. Before we agree to the Bill, I want to have the people who are directly interested in and concerned with the trade consulted and have their opinion on it. I shall vote for the Second Reading and ask the House to support it, but after that I shall propose to have it sent to a Select Committee.
Mr. Wilson: I am in favour of the principle enshrined in this Bill—the human slaughter of animals. I am in favour of every restriction possible so as to bring about less suffering in the process of slaughtering animals. Like Senator Counihan, however, I object to having tacked on to that a lot of unnecessary regulations which would have the effect of rendering the whole Bill a matter of anxiety to the people engaged in the trade. The peculiar thing is that every animal except the pig is supposed to come under the scope of the Bill. There is no mention of the suffering which may be inflicted on the pig. I wonder why it is permissible to slaughter pigs as they are being slaughtered at present and why a differentiation is made between the pig and the horse, ass, mule, cow, sheep, goat and kid. That is a point on which I should like to have some explanation.
Furthermore, any amount of suffering can be inflicted on an animal when it is going to feed a Jew or a Mohammedan It is only those animals which are to feed Christians which are to come under the operations of the Bill. Let us look at the thing from a broad point of view. I am not making points which can be considered petty. If an animal is to be slaughtered for the feeding of Jews or Mohammedans they can do anything they like with it, but if it is intended for food for Christians it is brought into another category and certain regulations and restrictions are to be enforced. I think legislation of that sort is foolish. It is said that animals should not be slaughtered in sight of other animals. Only to-day I was at the Dublin abattoir. A number  of pigs were brought in and put in a pen where a number of animals had been previously slaughtered. These pigs began licking up the blood of the animals which had been slaughtered. These pigs did not seem to care about what had happened there. The blood was there and they did not mind it.
Mr. Wilson: There is an instrument used in the abattoir at present which is operated by electricity. That particular instrument is one which I would be glad to see in use wherever it can be operated. This system of shooting is very annoying. Having these guns all over the country, especially in a country like ours where we have such a body of gunmen, is not a matter for a jest. The humane killer could be put to the back of a man as well as to the back of a sheep. It is a dangerous instrument. I would advocate the slaughter of animals by the operation of this new instrument which stuns the animal by electricity. We have the Shannon Scheme extending all over the country; it is in every town. This instrument stuns the animal without the slightest trouble. There is no shot. The animal seems to fall off and is ready for the knife. If you provided for the use of that instrument, instead of this mechanically-operated one which anybody can carry round with him, it would be for the benefit of the community.
I am in favour of the killing of animals with the least possible pain. I take the same view as that taken by Senator Counihan, that we ought to pass the Second Reading and, if possible, strip the Bill afterwards of those provisions which would allow of meddling by people who may be actuated by very humane motives, but who have not sufficient knowledge of the business to know that they may be interfering unduly, and have a Bill providing for the humane killing of animals which can be operated properly so that nobody, whatever his motives may be, will have the right to interfere with people who are conducting their business in a proper manner.
Mr. Quirke: Even at the risk of being referred to as a “he-man” by Senator O'Farrell, I must say I am not in agreement with the Bill as it stands. I have not been very much impressed by the statements made in support of the Bill. To begin with, I am not quite clear whether the Bill refers only to slaughterhouses in the cities and towns.
Mr. Quirke: That decides my attitude. I am not in favour of the Bill. If the law is to apply to slaughterhouses in the towns and within two miles of a Gárda station, the matter should be pursued further. As I happen to be particularly interested in the farming community, I can see serious difficulties ahead. If the Bill is to deal with the ordinary slaughterhouses, then it should also cover the cases of the farmers throughout the country who kill their own pigs and cattle. If it were so extended, it would be an absolutely ridiculous measure, because I do not believe it would be possible to enforce the law. I do not know whether the movers of this Bill are aware that in several parts of the country—I might say in every county in Ireland—it is the regular practice for farmers to kill pigs in their own farmyards and to kill more than one pig at a time. If this measure is to apply to one section of the community, it should apply to every other section. If it is to cover the case of one type of animals, it should be made to apply to all other types of animals. The farmers at present are killing cattle as well as pigs. Senator Counihan and other Senators will agree with me when I say that the farmer will find it hard to put up £10 to buy one of these blunderbuses, or whatever description is applied to them by Senator Wilson. That is one way of looking at the matter.
A thing that strikes me as peculiar is that people do not seem to realise the difference between the methods of killing various animals. I dare say a great many supporters of the Bill have never killed any of the types of animals referred to. I have killed  cattle, pigs, geese, ducks and chickens. So far as my experience goes, the most revolting thing to kill is a goose. If it were possible to invent some method, which would be practicable, for the painless killing of all these animals, I should be in favour of it, but I think that this Bill does not meet the case at all. It does not take in all the animals and, if you tried to take all of them in, it would be impossible to operate the measure. I spoke about the sensations I experienced in the killing of animals. To my mind the striking of a beast with an axe is not a very nerve-racking operation at all. Some people might think it a terrible thing. In the country, a goose is killed by bending over the neck, cutting the back of it with a knife and letting the animal bleed to death.
Mr. Quirke: Senator Miss Browne says “No.” They may do it in a different way in Wexford. They do a lot of queer things down there. But that is the way a goose is killed in Tipperary and several other counties. They kill chickens in the same way. It may be barbarous, but it is done, and it is far more cruel to do that than to strike a bullock with an axe, provided you strike accurately. The Bill has been brought in to deal with slaughterhouses, and if there is any chance of expert handling of the pole-axe it is in the slaughterhouse. At an ordinary farmer's place, the man with the pole-axe might strike an inch to the right or to the left, but in the slaughterhouse there is every probability that the man will do his job properly. I believe that the Bill is incomplete. The principle is probably all right but, as it stands, the Bill could not possibly be effective. If an attempt were made to enforce it, it would be unequal administration of the law and I would not be in favour of that. On the other hand, if the Bill were amended to such a pitch as to bring in the other animals and to be applicable in the case of other classes of people, you would be making it compulsory on a woman living in a cottage to carry out some kind of painless operation on a pig.
Mr. Quirke: I mention it to show the injustice of differentiating between one section of animals and another section and between one section of the people and another section. If you could bring in a weapon which would deal with the various animals—as suggested by Senator Wilson, get the Shannon Scheme into operation so as to electrocute the whole lot—I should be in favour of it but I am not in favour of the measure before the House.
Mr. Comyn: I regret very much that this Bill has not come forward as a Government measure because then it would represent, in some degree, the general ideas of the community. This Bill is backed by men for whom we have a great respect. Senator O'Farrell is supported by Senator S.L. Brown, Senator D.L. Robinson, Senator James G. Douglas and Senator Sir E. Coey Bigger. We have great respect for those names but I venture to ask whether any one of these gentlemen owns a four-footed beast.
Mr. Comyn: How many? There is at present a disposition amongst groups and associations to interfere in the business of other men, to interfere in the business of the greatest class in this country and to regulate for us, the farmers, and those associated with us, the conduct of our business. I say quite frankly that, perhaps, that practice has gone far enough. I do think that the slaughter of animals is a brutal thing. I was once in a slaughterhouse and I have never paid a second visit because of the inherent and necessary brutality of destroying a living animal. I should like to remind the House that for hundreds of years in the history of our country butchers were never allowed on the jury in a capital case. I can refer to Senator Brown for confirmation of that. Therefore, it has always been recognised  that the slaughter of animals is a brutal thing. But, this also has been recognised. Man apparently has assumed to himself the right to destroy other animals for his own sustenance. The members of the farming community are the people who love animals most; no man loves an animal as much as a farmer does.
Mr. Comyn: Of necessity, they must sometimes. I agree that every precaution should be taken to see that animals, not merely in a slaughterhouse, but elsewhere, should suffer as little as possible in the exercise by man of his right to take their lives. Because I agree with that, I think it is unfortunate that this measure should be brought forward as a private Bill, representing the ideas of people who may have distorted views and who do not understand as thoroughly, as do farmers and people in the business, the nature of the work they purport to legislate for.
“Every person engaged in driving or bringing any animal to a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard shall so drive or convey the animal as to avoid the infliction upon the animal of any unnecessary suffering, pain or fatigue.”
 Do you think that is a new discovery? Why is that put into the Bill? As long ago as 1849 a section equally well expressed was made law and it has been for almost 100 years the law that you must not inflict unnecessary pain on animals, not merely animals going to a slaughterhouse, but animals going anywhere. What is the purpose of bringing that into this measure? I think it is unnecessary and it seems to be brought in there with the object of showing that everybody, with the exception of the people at the back of this Bill, is a barbarian and that we are dealing with a barbarous state of society.
“Every owner or occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard .... shall cause every animal which is confined in such slaughterhouse, knacker's yard or premises preparatory to being slaughtered to be provided with a sufficient quantity of wholesome water and where such animal is confined for a period exceeding 12 hours with a sufficient quantity of wholesome food.”
Mr. Comyn: I hope it will not be in any Act for which this legislature will have responsibility, because I imagine that no person who knows anything about the slaughter of animals even in a farmyard would think of feeding the animal immediately before slaughter. That would be a cruel thing and, as Senator Counihan said, it is injurious to the animal from the point of view of human food, and that is our only justification for taking the life of an animal. I am in favour of having animals which are slaughtered in great numbers taken proper care of and slaughtered with the least possible suffering and pain and with the smallest reaction on human beings themselves. At the same time I think it is going  rather far to say that no person under the age of 16 years shall be admitted to, or permitted to remain in a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard during the process of slaughtering any animal or dressing or cutting up the carcase of any animal. Why 16? What is the necessity for a provision of this kind?
Mr. Comyn: Farmers' sons, labourers' sons, everybody in the country sees animals killed, not merely cattle, sheep and pigs, but fowl of various kinds; that is a necessity of country life. Does that demoralise them or does it in any way deteriorate their human susceptibilities?
Mr. Comyn: Senator Robinson says it does, and let us assume that it does. This is a statute which has tremendous powers of expansion. It is confined, in the first place, to knackers' yards situated at a distance of not more than two miles by road from a barrack or station of the Gárda Síochána. If you are two miles away from a barrack or a Gárda station, all the law of the jungle can prevail; nature there can reign with tooth and claw. Then these five or six gentlemen who back the Bill are to be the originators of the new regime. That is the meaning of this. Once they get a Bill of this kind run through, applying to the charmed circle within two miles of a Gárda Síochána barracks, they will say, and with perfect truth, that it is absurd to have regulations which are not of general application. There would be absolutely no answer to that contention. Therefore you must argue this case and discuss this matter on the basis that it is ultimately to apply to every farmstead in this land.
I repeat again that it is not fair that gentlemen who are not farmers and who do not in any real sense, except as leaders in their county, represent the farming community, should come forward with a measure of this kind without consultation with the farming community or those interested in agriculture. For this reason I thought it  right to speak on this measure and in as far as I can, to call a halt as far as my voice will go, to unnecessary interference with the farming community or those who do their business. I am in favour, of course, of this humane killer in slaughterhouses if it can be proved—and it has not yet been proved —to be in all cases superior to the old method of stunning the animal by means of an axe. I will not submit to be regarded in any way as less humane than my friend, Senator O'Farrell. I have as great love for animals, I think, as has any person in this country. If Senator O'Farrell is prepared to regulate in this State that no animals at all should be killed I would be just as ready to support him as I would to support interference of this character.
There is another matter and it is about the 5/- fee. A question was asked about this 5/- fee. What is it for? The purpose of that 5/- fee is simply to finance groups of interfering people. That is the purpose of the 5/- fee.
I think, as this Bill has been introduced, it ought to receive a Second Reading, but I can promise those responsible for the measure that when it comes to be discussed in Committee it will receive a fairly thorough overhauling and, perhaps, it will emerge a more reasonable and better Bill than it was on its entry into this House.
Mr. O'Connor: As one interested in farming and cattle rearing, I want to give my views on this measure. For over 30 years I have been supplying cattle for slaughter in Dublin and I have had opportunities of seeing cattle slaughtered. Relatives and friends of mine were in the butchering trade and I had in that way opportunities of seeing everything in connection with the slaughter of animals. Like Senator Comyn, I would not agree that I have not as much sympathy and feeling for animals suffering from pain as any Senator in this House or as any person identified with the live stock industry. I have been in the habit of supplying 30 or 40 cattle a week to butchers supplying the Army  in the Curragh. Butchers are all trained men at their business and I have seen them all my life at their business. Up to about 20 years ago the pole-axe was altogether in use. There was up to that time nothing at all known about the humane killer. I must say that in all my experience I have never seen one of the men wielding the pole-axe to make a mistake. They kill the beast in the most humane way, and before killing, the beast is brought into a passage, firmly secured, and everything is done in a proper way.
Personally I do not agree that the new improved method of killing by the humane killer is any improvement. At the same time I am of opinion that it should be kept on for partial use. I have seen the humane killer at use in the abattoir and slaughterhouses in Dublin and there it has a certain advantage. But in the commencement of its introduction I am aware that it led to accidents and that it injured men engaged in the slaughter. At the same time in the abattoir I approve of this new method and I think it is quite in order there. That is, however, different to making it compulsory throughout the country places and in the country towns and districts. In my view that would be a danger to and a hardship on the farming community. I would be sorry to see its use made compulsory. As I have said, in the abattoir here and in slaughterhouses where 1,200 cattle are killed in the course of a week I would agree that the humane killer should be used.
I also see that there is a new method of slaughtering sheep. There is no doubt that that has the effect of stunning the animal and that is an advantage. I would be in favour of the new method applied to the killing of pigs. To that extent I have no hesitation in agreeing with these new methods, and I would say that if possible they might be encouraged and approved of in certain places. But to make them compulsory throughout the whole country and to have it so that people would be liable to prosecution for using the pole-axe would be very prejudicial to those engaged in the trade and it should not be tolerated. It  would be a distinct injury to the trade in connection with the slaughter of animals.
A good many people connected with the Humane Society say that there is a certain amount of inhumanity in people who slaughter animals. They say that they become insensible to the pain inflicted on the animal. They allege that there is want of feeling and inhumanity on the part of people engaged in slaughterhouses. Two or three years ago this matter came up here before and I brought on myself a certain amount of adverse criticism because of the opinions I held on this matter. This was given expression to in particular by the lady section of the Humane Society. I asked then that a deputation of these ladies should go down to the end of Grafton Street and come right along and see there in the shop windows the skins of animals that had been slaughtered and afterwards made into ladies' overcoats and furs. I asked those ladies to inquire then as to how these little animals were slaughtered and whether the slaughter was done with the humane killer. This would apply of course in the case of such animals as seals, foxes and other small animals of that kind. I told them that there was a grave question of cruelty in the slaughter of all these animals. I said also that if the ladies would understand it properly it was in most cases only a matter of painting the lily, for the ladies were quite good-looking and would look just as well without wearing the skins of these little animals.
These are my views and this is how I look at the matter. Apart from that I would be delighted to see everything in the way of the slaughter of animals carried out in the most humane manner possible. With regard to Section 1, sub-section (3) of the Bill where it is laid down that the animal preparatory to being slaughtered shall be provided with a sufficient quantity of wholesome water, I, like everyone else, will agree that is correct and very fair. However, I would point out that if you allow cattle or any beast to be full of food at the time of slaughter it will affect the quality of the meat. If cattle  are allowed to have food for at least 24 or 36 hours previous to being slaughtered the result will be that the meat of that animal will not set. That is the expression used in the trade. If the cattle are slaughtered while quite empty and at the lowest possible temperature the meat will keep a week longer than if the cattle were slaughtered when full of food.
I would suggest that, before the Bill goes through this House, a committee representative of the farming industry and of those engaged in the slaughter of cattle and of the provision of meat supplies generally should be consulted. They represent an important section of the community. Naturally, their object is to make a success of their business and they can only do that by being able to offer the best class of article to the public and selling it under the best possible conditions. They should not be penalised by harsh legislation or by anything that would interfere with them in the carrying on of their business.
I think that some of the sections of this Bill go entirely too far. They propose to interfere too much with people in the conduct of their business. Those connected with the butchering business have gone to great expense and trouble to learn the best methods of carrying it on. I had two of my own sons taught the butchering business so that they might learn everything about meat. It has been stated that it is a cruel thing to allow other cattle to be present while an animal is being slaughtered; that they suffer a great deal from fear. I do not know if that is the case, but I do know that cattle have a great objection to the smell of blood and that it has the effect of making them get very excited and into a great temper. The smell of blood seems at times to make them almost mad. I have seen that happen sometimes in the open fields. I do not know that they are affected otherwise, except by the smell of blood. I agree that care ought to be taken to save animals from getting into that state. Care should also be taken that their temperature is at the lowest possible point at the time of slaughter. That can be brought about by not feeding  them for 24 or 36 hours before they are slaughtered. As I said earlier, I think that those connected with the butchering trade should be consulted before the Bill is allowed to leave this House. Representatives of the trade should be able to put valuable suggestions before a committee of the House if one is set up to go into the matter. Legislation of this kind should not be passed hastily. People connected with the cattle and live-stock industry should have their views heard. It would be a foolish thing to adopt any other procedure in connection with the Bill. The members of the Humane Society are no doubt striving to do very good work. The objects of the society are commendable and everyone gives the members of it credit for their good intentions. Their activities have resulted in saving animals from a lot of cruelty that would otherwise take place. At the same time it would be a very serious thing for this House to pass a measure the effect of which would be calculated to interfere with one of our most important industries. Some of those connected with the Humane Society may be carried away more or less by an enthusiasm that is not exactly well placed. Therefore, I urge on the Seanad not to pass this Bill hastily because, in my opinion, it is open to a great many objections.
Mr. D.L. Robinson: I propose supporting the Bill. I had intended reading extracts from a memorandum that I have obtained dealing exclusively with the slaughter of sheep, but since it is felt that humane slaughter might reasonably be applied to cattle and that it would be quite unreasonable to apply it to sheep—no objection was raised to the Bill on that ground, and anyway the matter was dealt with to a certain extent by Senator O'Farrell—it is hardly necessary for me, I think, to delay the House by reading this extract dealing with the slaughter of sheep. If any question should be raised, I can give the memorandum to Senator O'Farrell so that he may avaíl of it when replying. There is one other matter that I want to refer to. It is in connection  with Section 6, the section that refers to kosher killing. Senator O'Farrell, when moving the Second Reading of the Bill, said:
“I want to utter a personal note here and it is this, that this section must not as far as I am concerned indicate any approval or commendation on my part of the Jewish or Mohammedan method of slaughter. On the contrary it is to me rather revolting to think that anybody should imagine that he is going to win spiritual favour for himself in the eyes of an All-Merciful Providence by inflicting tortures upon the dumb units of His creation.”
In the time at my disposal I have failed to discover that any Jew believes that he will get spiritual favour “for himself in the eyes of an All-Merciful Providence by inflicting tortures upon the dumb units of His creation.” I think that the rules in connection with kosher killing had their origination probably at the time when Our Lord gave to Moses the Tablets on the Mountain which included a great deal more than the Ten Commandments, but I have failed to find any text actually stating the circumstances under which this arose except that we find this in 2 Chronicles, chap. xxii, verse 17: “For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified; therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the Passovers.” To this day the man who receives a certificate from the chief Rabbi under the instructions of the head committee who regulate these things must be a man of piety and virtue; he must have a certain amount of rabbinical and biblical knowledge. That, I imagine, was the best effort of the Jews of those days of providing humane slaughter: that is to say that only a man whom the councils of the Jews regarded as a suitable person to carry out this operation was appointed, and that as a result you would get a certain class of man who generation after generation of Levites would have received a special knowledge in connection with it. The result would be that the animals to be slaughtered would receive better treatment. I think that  is much more likely as an explanation of kosher killing than that they would find “spiritual favour in the eyes of an All-Merciful Providence.”
Mr. Bagwell: I had no convictions upon the subject of this Bill until I came here this afternoon. We have now heard a good many arguments on both sides and I find myself, after having heard those arguments, generally in favour of the Bill. I do not say it cannot be improved in Committee, but I think it is generally agreed, at any rate, that it should be given a Second Reading. One of my reasons in favour of the Bill is that the slaughter of large warm-blooded animals is a very brutal process and has a brutalising effect upon the people engaged in it. The less brutal it can be made the better, in the interests of the human beings engaged in the work as well as in the interest of the animals that have to be slaughtered. I am not in favour of meddlesome legislation. We have had a good deal of that and a great deal of it has never been able to be put into practice. I am impressed by Senator Counihan's remarks referring to sub-section (4) of Section 1, that is, rendering unlawful the slaughter of any animal in the presence of any other animal. If that is practical I think it should be done, and those who say it is not practical should afford proof that it is not practical. Another argument with which I am not impressed is this: We are told the Bill is not comprehensive and that, there-because of that it is impracticable, we are told also that it is impracticable to make it comprehensive and that, therefore, the whole Bill is bad. That is purely destructive criticism and it is not fair at all. Either you think the whole thing is nonsense or it is not. If you think it is nonsense you should say so. But to condemn it because it is not comprehensive, and for that reason to say that you must do nothing is quite unreasonable.
Because the Bill exempts pigs is not, I think, any reason why we should reject the Bill; and, because it exempts Jewish butchers and Mohammedans and certain knackers' yards further than two miles from a Civic  Guard barracks, is not a sufficient cause for its rejection. There is an old French saying: “The best is the enemy of the good.” Very freely translated I think it means: do not stop reform because it is not absolutely complete reform. It is much better to have partial reform, in a matter of this kind, than to have none at all.
As to the difficulties that the farmers may be put to under the Bill I am not quite clear and I think that matter wants more explanation. Reading the first section one would think no difficulty would be caused because it speaks of slaughterhouses and knackers' yards. One would understand that where business is carried on on a big scale, people would be able to afford humane appliances in the conduct of their business. When we come to the definition in Section 9 we find:
That does raise the question of practicability but that no doubt will be gone again into in Committee. I think, when we examine these cases, it is incumbent that the matter should be examined in Committee. It is generally agreed that there should be some legislation on these points and I repeat it is incumbent upon the critics to prove definitely and not by generalisation that the phases of the Bill to which they take objection are not practicable.
Miss Browne: I want to say a word or two in support of this Bill. I speak as a representative of the ordinary farmer who has no connection with the killing of animals except pigs and poultry on the farm. When I read the Bill first it struck me to ask: Would it apply to the very numerous people who have become amateur butchers because of the ramifications of the economic war and because of the impossibility of selling their beasts? All round the country where I live the farmers have  taken to killing sheep and cattle which they cannot sell. Would they come under the Bill?
Miss Browne: It will be impossible for many of these farmers, who have become extremely poor, to spend £5 upon a humane killer. That is what troubles me about the Bill. I have been making enquiries and asking some of those people how they kill their animals when they slaughter them. I find that in the vast majority of cases their animals are slaughtered with sporting guns. A man who is a good sporting shot is called upon to come to the farmer's place, and the animal is shot and I am told that it works out very humanely. Very rarely does it occur that death is not quite sudden. As long as I can remember, farmers in certain villages, who kill pigs and sheep, kill a bullock or two at Christmas, and almost invariably that killing is done by the use of a shotgun of the ordinary kind. It would be absolutely impossible for the vast majority of those poor farmers to buy a humane killer unless they could co-operate and buy one that could be passed around from one to the other. I would like to hear more about that.
On the whole I am in entire sympathy with the Bill. I agree with Senator Bagwell that if we cannot absolutely prevent pain, in every single instance, we should do all we can to have the animals that we use for food slaughtered humanely. There are very few people in my opinion who would say that we should not have this Bill and everybody wishes that it should get a Second Reading. I agree it might be improved in Committee. We might then consider the general outlook of the people with regard to the matter of cruelty to animals. It is not a pleasant thing to have to say, indeed it is a humiliating thing to have to admit, that we are far behind most civilised countries in our outlook in that matter. We are more on a level with the Spaniards and the Italians than we are with the people of  Northern Europe. While we are supposed to be a chivalrous people, we are by no means free from reproach upon the question of cruelty to animals. That is the common attitude throughout the country and you would be laughed at if you suggested anything else. A man works a horse all its life and then when it becomes no more use for his purpose he sells it for a few shillings to a tinker. That is a terrible thing to have to say. Senator Comyn said that the people are remarkable in their fondness for animals. That is not true. I take no pleasure whatever in saying that. Our reputation in regard to kindness to animals is that we are far behind other people in the world. We are behind the hard-headed and unsentimental Scotch and, also, we are behind the people of the United States. The greatest fanatic that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has produced would not equal it. A man gets six months for what he would get a sixpenny fine in this country. In the City of New York some years ago, when they gave up the horse-driven trams, they did not have an auction to sell the horses. There was a big outcry for the prevention of that and a public park was bought and these horses were pensioned off for the rest of their lives. That is an actual fact, and I am just giving it in order to show the general outlook of these people on this question.
Senator Quirke mentioned the slaughter of poultry. I am surprised that that very wasteful method of bleeding poultry is still in existence in any part of the country. We have long since abandoned that method in our part of the country. The method of slaughtering all birds now is exactly the same as the hanging of a human being. You take the head of the bird between your fingers and give the neck a sudden twist and the bird feels no pain.
Mr. Quirke: On a point of information, sir, I may inform Senator Miss Browne that it is from the viewpoint of economy that they do the bleeding, and when the woman cuts the back of the chicken's neck or the  goose's neck she is making provision for the following morning's breakfast.
Miss Browne: I thought that that method had gone out of date many years ago. Of course, the bird is of much better quality when the blood is allowed to run down to the head. That is the method in my part of the country.
Miss Browne: That is all I wish to say. I wish to give general support to the Bill and undoubtedly it can be improved in Committee. Nobody knows better than I do that fanatical people do a great deal more harm than good when they try to deal with this question of cruelty to animals. I myself have received the most outlandish and absurd letters from various people. I received a letter a short time ago from a well-meaning lady in which she informed me that she had attended a poultry instruction class conducted by the county council poultry lecturer. She said that she was shocked at the horrible cruelty of choking chickens and she wanted me to bring it up here as a matter of national importance. People like that often do a lot more harm than good and they unfortunately give the impression that the other very sensible people with plenty of commonsense who are interested in this matter of the prevention of cruelty to animals are all fanatics also. In that way they do a considerable amount of harm. I have got many other letters of the same kind from people who, no doubt, are very well meaning but who do not understand the question. I welcome the Bill and I hope it will be supported here and get general support through the country.
Sir John Keane: I wish to raise a point of principle, and that is why premises more than two miles from a barrack should be exempted from the operation of this Act. It seems an extraordinary piece of legislation and, I should imagine, quite unprecedented. To my mind, it presupposes an altogether wrong attitude towards the  police. People do not do things merely because they are afraid of the police but because they have a respect for the law. The police are merely incidental or auxiliary to it. Such things should be done incidentally and irrespective of whether or not the police can enforce them. Besides, two miles seems to be a very narrow limit. I should imagine that the ambit of the duties of the police extends far more than two miles from the barrack in these days of rapid locomotion, and it seems ridiculous that this provision should apply inside the two-mile limit and not outside it. Such legislation seems inconsistent and absurd.
Mrs. Wyse-Power: I was not here when the Bill was introduced and, therefore, missed some of the arguments of the promoters of the Bill. What I desire to draw particular attention to is sub-section (4) of Section 1 of the Bill. That sub-section says:—
Now, it is only a very few weeks ago— certainly not more than a couple of months—since a case of this kind was brought before the public. This case occurred immediately behind one of the most fashionable streets in Dublin, Grafton Street, and a prosecution took place. An ordinary citizen, passing down a lane behind that street, saw certain sheep being killed, dressed and so on, while their fellow-animals were within a few yards of the slaughter. This ordinary citizen went to one of the humane societies and brought an officer of the society there to look on. The door was open, everybody could see what was going on, children and young people could stand and look on. The officer of the humane society saw what was going on and brought a prosecution. The person responsible for this slaughter in this yard, with an open door and with the slaughter going on before the other animals, got completely out of the case on the evidence of a veterinary expert who came to the  court and gave it as his opinion that sheep had no feelings. They absolutely, he said, had no feelings of any kind and the slaughter of their sisters and their brothers within the immediate proximity had no effect on them. Therefore, I think that sub-section (4) of Section 1 is most desirable, because I think very few, or at least not many citizens, realise that most of the meat they eat is slaughtered in the back-lanes of the City of Dublin. Those who live in the vicinity of those yards know what that means. I think that for that reason sub-section (4) will have to be supported.
Mrs. Wyse-Power: Well, there are licensed slaughter yards. At the time the abattoir was built the pressure of this very powerful trade was as strong then as it is now and these concessions were given to these private slaughterhouses. As I say, it has nothing to do with the Bill but, in a way, it hinges on it. I think, however, that if a Bill of that kind were asked for there would be no difficulty in getting it. I support this Bill from a humane motive and also from a practical motive because the slaughter of animals for export for foreign use has been carried out with the humane instrument and we have not heard of any mistakes or any complaints in that connection.
Mr. O'Farrell: Until this debate started I never thought there were so many callous-minded people composing the Seanad. Even some of those who supported the Bill have done so in a rather apologetic strain, as if they felt ashamed, and looked upon it as a sort of weakness in their character. To listen to the general debate, in the course of which there was not one solid argument advanced against the Bill, one would imagine that something  unprecedented and unheard of was being proposed. I pointed out last evening, and it has been pointed out since, that laws along exactly the same line as this, are in operation in Scotland and in Northern Ireland for some time past, and that a similar law will apply in England and Wales as from January 1st. We have reports to the effect that no difficulty whatever has been experienced in the administration of these laws, in what is just another part of Ireland, where they have exactly the same problems, where they have the farmers—as we always will, I hope—where they have butchers and all the he-men and the old women. As far as one can learn the Act has been administered there without a semblance of difficulty or complaint from anybody. Going outside this country I find in Finland legislation of this kind for all animals including pigs and the bigger types of poultry, turkeys and geese since 1902. It is also compulsory for cattle, sheep and lambs. For the slaughter of pigs special cages are installed. In Switzerland humane slaughter is compulsory since 1923 as a result of a referendum. That is a tribute to the people of Switzerland with their farming and other problems, who are able to extend enlightened consideration to dumb beasts that cannot speak for themselves and that are subject to the complete control and authority of mankind. Humane slaughter is compulsory in Bavaria since 1930 for cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, mules, jennets and dogs. In Anhalt this applies also to rabbits and poultry, and in Schleswig-Holstein fish are included. In Norway it is compulsory for all animals since the 1st of January of this year. Reindeer are now included. Humane slaughter has been in operation in Bray, beside Dublin, since 1932 and we have had no complaints.
In slaughterhouses where animals are killed for export they are stunned by a mechanical killer since 1930, as a result of an amendment moved to a Bill by me. If it is good and proper to have that provision in operation in slaughterhouses for export purposes, surely it is equally right and proper that it should apply to slaughter for  home consumption. To listen to some of the speeches made here one would imagine that this was the only country in which there were farmers and butchers who made their living by slaughtering animals and selling them. Across the Channel the vast majority of the cattle, sheep and pigs that we produce are killed by humane methods. We are nothing like as advanced a community as many of these nations that have adopted this method. Senator Counihan suggested that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the real promoter of this Bill. Senator Brown gave him his reply. Even if it was, surely that would not detract from the merits of the Bill. The Bill should be considered on the merits and without prejudice of any kind. The Senator thought there was scandalous injustice in the case of a man who tied up two sheep and left them there for a considerable time, because the person who bought them did not turn up. It was not the Society that was responsible for that but the District Justice who merely administered the law of the land as it stands. It was strange to hear the Senator condemning the Society for congratulating the Guards for performing their duties. I am afraid that is an indication that the objections to this Bill are not in detail but in principle, and that people will not state their real opinions but try to jettison the Bill by a side wind.
Complaint has been made about the provision for driving animals for the purpose of slaughter, so that the minimum of hardship and suffering shall be involved. Senator Counihan is a great admirer of most things that are done in England, particularly as he sends his cattle there. The British Bill contains this provision:
Mr. O'Farrell: If there is a law of the type the Senator mentions in operation it is a law that was passed by the British Parliament. Why then was it considered necessary to insert this provision in the last British Act? As a lawyer the Senator will probably be able to say something about that. The question of the provision of food for an animal who is kept for more than 12 hours is a matter of detail. Some people seem to think that if you can improve the quality of the meat you are entitled to starve an animal to death. I refuse to admit that that is justifiable in the sight of either God or man. There seems to be no real justification for keeping animals an unreasonable time awaiting slaughter.
Objection has been raised regarding the killing and dressing of carcases before other animals. The other animals, presumably, are awaiting slaughter. Surely they should not be in the slaughterhouse while the bodies are being cut up. In 99 per cent. of cases all that is necessary is the erection of a very small covered partition, which might be movable, to shut off beasts while other animals were being slaughtered. Any butcher or slaughter man would have very little trouble in getting a partition erected for a few shillings and putting canvas about it. Some reference has been made to the  captive bolt as being dangerous, that people might go around pushing the pistol into someone's body and perhaps fire a bullet. A person anxious to commit murder will always find means of doing so. As this bolt only travels two and a half inches it would be necessary to press it against a person's body, and when fired it makes a sound like a gun. That cannot be done on the quiet. That is placing an extraordinarily low value on the morality of those concerned. We are asked, why should licences be necessary? The question is: why should not licences be necessary? How are all sorts of incompetent individuals to be prevented from exercising their brutal tastes upon beasts unless there is some control through the medium of licences?
Last evening, when discussing this very Bill with four other Senators, one Senator informed me—I think he looked on me as an unpardonable weakling—that when he was a young lad in a country town he and his companions gave 2d. a time to the local butcher to allow them to fell cattle that were going to be slaughtered. It was a local pastime, and I suppose I shall be accused of interfering with the social amenities of the place if that sort of thing is stopped. Senator Comyn, in an amazing type of speech for a lawyer, asks why should we fix an age limit. Why fix the age of 16 as the age under which children shall not be present at the killing of animals? How can a young person accustomed, I suppose, from the age of ten or 12, to blood and life-taking and all the essential barbarities of the slaughterhouse, be brought up with anything but a callous and brutal type of mentality? He ridicules the idea of fixing an age limit at all. Why 16? Why is 16 mentioned in certain Acts of Parliament regarding the age of consent and so on? Why is a certain limit fixed beyond which a publican may not sell beer or spirits to a person except in a sealed vessel? Why is an age limit fixed in regard to betting houses? Why have we in the Agricultural Produce (Fresh Meat Exports) Bill imposed a limit so that  nobody under the age of 18 can get a licence? The idea of a lawyer asking a question like that seems to me to be perfectly absurd.
The drastic statement is made that the small fee for the issue of a licence, which, of course, has to be charged to cover the expenses involved therein, shall be given to finance interfering people. The Senator was anxious for a glib figure of speech and he used that expression, knowing very well that the local sanitary authority could not subscribe that money or any portion of it to any society. That is the type of opposition that this Bill has received. Another objection has been the suggestion that the Minister for Agriculture or the Minister for Local Government may give a permit to certain people other than Civic Guards to inspect these slaughterhouses. Here again, our friends in Scotland are not particularly fanatical or tender-hearted people, and Section 4 of their Bill provides:
Ours is more close than that because we confine it to the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Local Government. They are not going to allow irresponsibles and merely interfering people to inspect slaughterhouses. I took it from some of the arguments that there is no objection to the Bill being passed provided no means are made available for its enforcement. I am not prepared to subscribe to that policy. Senator Quirke made rather an amusing speech. He said that the Bill to be consistent or of any use should be made to apply to all including the individual farmer in which event it would be ridiculous. So we should do certain things in order to be consistent so as to make ourselves ridiculous. I think he was just  building up a straw man. He was sorry that a lot of objections were not in it that he hoped would be in it so that he could knock them down or in any case, point them out. He points out that the farmers could not afford to pay £10 for a mechanical killer. There really is not such a price. The highest price one can pay is £5, but this does not happen to apply at all to the farmers. I do not know why the farmers are mentioned. One would imagine that every farmer was a butcher but the biggest thing that the great majority of farmers in Ireland ever kill is a turkey and even until very recently, they did not kill their own pigs.
Mr. O'Farrell: Senator Comyn need not say “Oh.” I was born on a farm and reared on a farm and I probably know just as much about it as he does but I am not so accustomed to attempting to misrepresent the farmers.
Mr. O'Farrell: The Senator said that he was once in a slaughterhouse and could never be tempted to enter one again because of the horror of it. This is the Senator who comes along and inveighs against this Bill and while giving it a sort of lip sympathy in a general way, attacks every section of it. He admits that something should be done but this Bill does not do what he wants and he gives no indication of what he would like to be done. He says it is a pity it is not a Government measure. None of the other Bills in Northern Ireland, Scotland or England were Government measures. This has been left to private members in all these parliaments and when a Bill is passed by the Oireachtas it ceases to be a Private  Member's Bill or a Government Bill. It is then an Act of the Oireachtas and has exactly the same moral authority as if introduced by a Minister because it has the support of at least the majority of the people's representatives.
We were asked if the promoters own a four-footed beast. I own a dog but I do not know whether it is necessary for a person to own a four-footed beast in order to have some conceptions as to what is right when you go to slaughter that beast. One Senator suggested that we should have a committee of butchers or, at least, a lot of butchers on the committee to deal with this Bill. Just a few minutes before, Senator Comyn said that butchers were not allowed on juries where a capital charge is concerned. That is news to me but it is an indication of the fact that one should not allow a person who is accustomed to taking life—and this is no charge against his character—to be the judge of what is humane and what is not. We are all more or less the victims of circumstances, and familiarity with blood, familiarity with life-taking of any kind, renders us callous, no matter how we are composed and what would appear frightfully cruel, and rightly so, to a normal being would appear the normal thing to a person of that type. Senator Quirke admitted that selling a beast was rather a pleasant operation so far as he was concerned. He had no nervousness or anything of the kind and that, I presume, is because of familiarity. That is not the mentality that we should allow to govern the relationships of men and beasts in this country any more than in any other country. The law lays it down at present that nobody shall deliberately treat with cruelty or deliberately neglect a beast. Senator Counihan and Senator O'Connor seem to think that if a beast gets into their possession, they have a perfect right to do with that beast as they think fit. I dissent from that entirely; otherwise, all these laws that seek to prevent the dumb creation from unnecessary suffering are invalid and unreasonable and unjust. I should object to any slaughterman or  any committee of slaughtermen being the judges as to what is right and proper in a matter of this kind. I think it is a preposterous proposal.
A question has been raised regarding the exemption of slaughterhouses two miles or more distant from a Civic Guard station. That is a weak point in the Bill but it can be remedied on the Committee Stage. The reason it was inserted in the Bill was to overcome all those numerous objections we have heard—firstly, the difficulty of administration and secondly, the fact that you might compel people to employ a humane killer although they might only slaughter a beast once for a wonder. The definition in the Bill really confines it to slaughterhouses proper and to knackers' yards; it does not apply to the ordinary odd killing. If that is the only objection to the Bill, I do not think anybody need lose a night's sleep over it because it can be amended and we can then see what the objections are in the other direction. Another question was raised as to why pigs have not been included in the scope of the Bill. They have not been included because the strongest objections, to the extent to which there were any objections, have been against the use of the humane killer in the case of pigs, for reasons which some butchers and slaughtermen consider very weighty indeed. They have been omitted in the Scotch Bill and in the Northern Ireland Bill, but they are included in the English Bill wherever an electrical supply is available or can be reasonably made available for the use of the new electric stunner that is now in vogue. Personally, I see no reason at all for exempting them, and I admit the inconsistency of the measure in leaving them out, but that is a matter for Committee. The object of the Bill is to ensure the exercise of the maximum of humanity with the minimum of inconvenience to those concerned. A great deal of talk has been made with regard to the alleged interference with the business of the farmer. This has got absolutely nothing to do with the farmer. It is  not a question of interfering with him. I do not know how anybody could suggest that it has anything to do with the farmer who is not normally a butcher. I believe there is a sufficiency of decency, of enlightened outlook and moral courage in the Seanad to ensure a Second Reading for the Bill and also its passage through the various other stages in the Oireachtas.
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