German church official warns against 'bovine holocaust'
The environmental officer of the German Catholic Episcopal Conference, Markus Vogt, has warned against a 'bovine holocaust', as the German government is planning to systematically eliminate all beef cattle suspected of being contaminated with 'mad cow' disease.
Calling the planned slaughter 'terrifying', Markus Vogt emphasised the necessity of a 'critical re-assessment' of this radical solution to the mad cow crisis.
Speaking to journalists, he stressed that the mass slaughter of animals to protect business interests could not be considered ethically justifiable.
Mass slaughter is only acceptable if there is a genuine danger to public health, since the Church gives priority to human health over animal life, Vogt stressed.
Speaking for the German episcopate, Markus Vogt also welcomed the government's decision to promote environmentally friendly agriculture and discourage industrial cattle breeding. He expressed his hope, however, that such policies would not be detrimental to the farming community.