Animal rights activists are demanding slaughterhouse closures in Australia, and they’ve added an extra factor to the mix to convince officials of the harm the businesses have on society.
Protesters often follow the line of being vegan for the animals, but the Animal Justice Party (AJP) in Victoria, Australia is highlighting the risk to human life that slaughterhouses may bring.
The AJP will hold a March to Close All Slaughterhouses in Melbourne next month in partnership with Aussie Farms.
And in the build-up, the group is highlighting research which found the presence of slaughterhouses leads to ‘increased rates of violent crime, including homicide, sexual assault, and child abuse’ nearby.
Vegan neuropsychologist Ash Nayate wrote in the Weekly Times: “Slaughterhouse workers are generally at higher risk of psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma (e.g. nightmares about violence), paranoia, and dissociation.
“The work of (US) criminologist Professor Amy Fitzgerald has consistently found a connection between slaughterhouses and increased rates of violent crime, including homicide, sexual assault, and child abuse.”
The 2009 case study by Fitzgerald documented numerous negative effects of slaughterhouses on workers and communities.
“Of the social problems observed in these communities, the increases in crime have been particularly dramatic,” the author wrote.
“The findings indicate that slaughterhouse employment increases total arrest rates, arrests for violent crimes, arrests for rape, and arrests for other sex offences in comparison with other industries.”
Activists argue that slaughterhouse workers become desensitised to violent crimes against animals as they spend their lives working in brutal conditions.
The Australian Meat Industry Council has dismissed the activists’ argument.
Chief executive Patrick Hutchinson said he was ‘not aware of any credible, local research that supports these claims’.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has also said he plans to support workers across the meat supply chain ‘from paddock to plate’.
What do you think of this research into slaughterhouses? Share your thoughts in the comments below!