Un año nuevo de esperanza para los animales

PRINCETON – Se dice con frecuencia que el progreso moral de una sociedad se puede juzgar por la forma en la que trata a sus miembros más débiles. Los chimpancés, de forma individual, son mucho más fuertes que los seres humanos; sin embargo, como especie podemos mantenerlos y en los hechos los mantenemos en cautiverio, y esencialmente desamparados, en zoológicos y laboratorios. De la misma forma, los animales que criamos para que se sirvan de alimento se encuentran sujetos al poder humano, entre ellos las cerdas que viven confinadas durante sus embarazos completos – cuatro meses por embarazo, dos embarazos por año – en jaulas que son demasiado estrechas, donde incluso no se pueden dar la vuelta.

En este sentido, el año 2013 tuvo un buen comienzo en Europa y Estados Unidos. El 1 de enero, una Directiva de la Unión Europea (European Union directive) entró en vigor, la misma prohíbe el uso de jaulas individuales para cerdas a partir de la cuarta semana de embarazo hasta una semana antes de que la cerda dé a luz. Ahora, millones de cerdas obligatoriamente deben tener no solo la libertad elemental de poder darse la vuelta, sino que también podrán caminar. Tampoco se las puede mantener sobre piso de concreto, sin que se incluya paja u otro material que les permita satisfacer su instinto natural de escavar con sus hocicos. A finales de enero, 20 de los 27 Estados miembros de la UE cumplían con la Directiva en al menos un 90%, y la Comisión Europea se dispone a tomar medidas para garantizar su cumplimiento pleno.

Mientras tanto, en Estados Unidos, la campaña activa llevada a cabo por la Sociedad Protectora de Animales de los EE.UU. condujo a que cerca de 50 grandes compradores de carne de cerdo anuncien que van a eliminar gradualmente sus compras de carne de cerdo de proveedores que utilizan jaulas para cerdas. (Algunos, incluyendo a las empresas “Chipotle” y “Whole Foods”, ya no compran de los mencionados proveedores)

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