Is Laying Hens' Welfare the Butt of a Bulgarian Joke?Editorial |Author: Irina Samokovska | February 10, 2012, Friday // 14:34| views
On Monday, Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov vowed that Bulgaria would comply with EU minimum standards for keeping egg laying hens by April 2012.
He had to vow something, because in end-January, the European Commission launched infringement procedures against 13 EU member states, including Bulgaria, over their failure to implement EU legislation concerning the welfare of laying hens.
The compliance deadline Naydenov faces is end-May 2012.
Commenting on the introduction of the ban on "un-enriched" cages, the Agriculture Minister explained that the number of "unhappy" laying hens in Bulgaria was 500 000 out of a total of 3 million.
By April, the "unhappy" ones would all turn into "happy" ones, Naydenov proudly assured.
Naydenov's words were not a sudden whim; the "happy" qualifier came in circulation with the breaking of the news about the EC infringement proceedings.
Given Bulgaria's less than shiny record in animal rights protection, isn't the joke rather misplaced?
Is it not sick humor to call the birds' right to a floor space of less than the size of an A4 sheet of paper a state of "happiness"?
Is epidemic cynicism to be tolerated as a safe outlet during times of crises?
If so, how long will it take before we forget the real value of things, for instance animal welfare?