Politics: giving animals a stake in the British general election

Following news Theresa May plans a free vote on fox hunting, Animal Welfare Party announces Professor Andrew Knight as our Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Maidenhead (Theresa May's constituency). Said Professor Knight today "Theresa May states the acceptability of fox hunting is simply a matter of opinion, and she favours it. She appears completely ignorant of the overwhelming evidence from animal welfare science that fox hunting is egregiously cruel to hunted foxes, and to any wild animals unlikely enough to be discovered and attacked by the hounds. As with Brexit, her policy on this matter appears short on detail, and shockingly ignorant. It is also arrogant – apparently, her opinions matter, but those of the 84 per cent of the British public who want fox hunting to remain illegal, do not. This is why AWP is standing against Theresa May in Maidenhead - our lawmakers should always produce policy and legislation which is evidence-based, ethical, and reflects public wishes." - www.animalwelfareparty.org

Article: Jack the Ripper unmasked

The identity of Jack the Ripper remains one of the greatest unsolved crime mysteries in history. Jack was notorious both for the brutality of his murders and also for his habit of stealing organs from his victims. His speed and skill in doing so, in conditions of poor light and haste, fueled theories he was a surgeon. However, re-examination of a mortuary sketch from one of his victims has revealed several key aspects that strongly suggest he had no professional surgical training. Instead, the technique used was more consistent with that of a slaughterhouse worker… In fact, an intriguing array of evidence indicates a very high likelihood that Jack honed the physical skills, psychological and behavioural attributes employed on his victims to such devastating effect, during his employment as a slaughterhouse worker. Don’t miss our detailed article on this, just published at http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/7/4/30. The implications for modern animal slaughtering, and our social reliance on slaughterhouses, are explored.

Or, for a video presentation, see: https://youtu.be/YwxG9zUCM1I?list=PLFcSZizooL6346cdIPm-UcLy3ePz8U0q8 (38:40 onwards).

Adventure: New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing

Shortly after flying about 30 hours from the far side of the world, to help me recover from jet lag Jasmijn took me on the Tongariro Crossing - one of the world's best one-day hikes - which crosses a series of volcanoes in the centre of New Zealand's North Island. The pics are here.

Presentations: Jack the Ripper and other topics

On December 6th I’ll be speaking on Animal use and alternatives within life and health sciences education, at the Scientific Conference: Non-Animal Approaches - The Way Forward, in Brussels, and on December 7th I’ll be delivering my inaugural lecture entitled ‘Was Jack the Ripper a Slaughterman? Unexpected Journeys in Animal Welfare’, at the University of Winchester. The latter is shaping up to be particularly interesting, and even, dare I say it, entertaining, so I do very much encourage you to join me at this if you possibly can. The University will kindly be supplying plenty of food, wine, and I believe, fine company!

NB: the video of this lecture is now available here!

Article: unjustified euthanasia request part II

In part II of the scenario recently published, you're a more experienced veterinarian. A junior colleague has accepted a request for a medically-unjustified 'euthanasia', but is now having second thoughts. What would you advise? My answer is now available in In Practice.