tagged w/ Hogs
When you hear about foam in the context of food, you might think of molecular gastronomy, the culinary innovations of the Spanish chef Ferran Adrià, who’s famous for dishes like apple caviar with banana foam.When you hear about foam in the context of food, you might think of molecular... more
Humane Society files complaint against Smithfield Foods for animal welfare claims
PHOTO: Sows in gestation crates at an Illinois farm. (Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune)
November 02, 2011|By Monica Eng | Tribune Reporter
A day after Smithfield Foods launched a campaign to illustrate its commitments to sustainability, the Humane Society of the United States filed a complaint to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charging that Smithfield--the world's largest pork producer--is making false claims.
In question are the claims that Smithfield producers provide their hogs with "ideal" living conditions and that their animals' "every need is met." The HSUS believes these are not supportable when "the vast majority of its breeding sows are confined in gestation crates — metal cages that virtually immobilize animals for nearly their entire lives."
Gestation crates--in which sows are impregnated and remain for most of their pregnancy without the ability to turn around-- have long been targeted by the Society and other animal rights groups.
On the company's new smithfieldcommitments.com site, it says that it is trying to phase out gestation stalls at company-owned sow farms, as opposed to those of contract producers, and replace them with group housing.
"By the end of 2011, we will have 30 percent of sows on company farms in group gestation housing facilities. We have been making significant capital expenditures to increase the number of farm conversions."
Smithfield responded to the report with a statement saying:
"We are proud of our unparalleled track record as a sustainable food producer and stand confidently behind our company’s public statements concerning animal care and environmental stewardship."
As in the past, the HSUS is urging large food service companies, including McDonald's, to use their buying influence to pressure suppliers to change animal welfare practices more quickly.
“McDonald's has publicly recognized that these crates are not good for animals, but it still buys pork from pigs bred using this cruel system,” stated Paul Shapiro, senior director of farm animal protection at The HSUS. “It’s time for McDonald’s to get gestation crates out of its supply chain.”
This afternoon McDonald's Susan Forsell, Vice President of Quality Systems responded by saying:
"McDonald’s has been a long-time supporter of alternatives to gestation stalls, and we will continue to support the efforts of Smithfield Foods and all of our suppliers to phase them out. Smithfield Foods was the first major pork producer that committed to phasing out gestation stalls, and we support the company’s transparency and progress toward this goal.
"More than a decade ago, McDonald’s developed Animal Welfare Guiding Principles in conjunction with leading independent animal welfare experts, including renowned scientist Dr. Temple Grandin. We expect our suppliers to follow these principles, adhere to our commitment to continuous improvement and incorporate industry-leading management practices in animal welfare. We hold our suppliers accountable for compliance with our principles."
Humane Society files complaint against Smithfield Foods for... more
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NPR Morning Edition...
Livestock Farms Could Be Off Limits To Photos
Click on Link to Listen to the Story by Kathleen Masterson
April 13, 2011
Animal rights activists have secretly filmed the inner workings of livestock farms, which has led to some bad press for the industry. Bills introduced in Florida and Iowa would make photographing animal operations without the owner's permission a felony. Supporters say that would help prevent activists from fraudulently being hired. Opponents argue the bills would prevent current employees from reporting abuse.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
In Iowa and in Florida, big livestock operations are supporting bills that would forbid animal rights activists from going undercover to take photos and document conditions at big farms. Activists are asking what the industry has to hide. From Iowa Harvest Public Media's Kathleen Masterson reports.
KATHLEEN MASTERSON: If livestock industry groups get their way what happened at this farm would be considered a crime. Here in central Iowa amid an expanse of cornfields, Rose Acre Farms has six huge hen houses, each the length of a football field.
Last February, an undercover activist from the Human Society got a job here. He wanted to get inside and film the workings of the facility that houses about a million chickens. He stayed here only two weeks.
Then three months later, the Human Society held a news conference and splashed a video on the Web. It shows scenes filmed at Rose Acre Farms and another company's farm. The footage shows chickens living in cramped cages and some dead birds whose carcasses were left so long they'd been mummified.
Unidentified Woman: The crews just shoving them in the cages, sometimes they'll get their legs slammed in the door or their wings.
MASTERSON: The pending Iowa law would make filming this video without the owner's permission and the mere possession of it a criminal offense, punishable by up to five years in jail.
At Rose Acres, farm manager Andrew Kaldenberg says while the video did show some footage of their farm, the abuses didn't occur there. The media were invited out to their barn within hours of the video being released.
Mr. ANDREW KALDENBERG (Manager, Rose Acres): We welcome reporters, you know, what have we got to hide? If we're not treating our animals right, they ain't going to produce. They're not going to produce, we're out of business.
MASTERSON: So I asked him to show me around the hen houses.
Mr. KALDENBERG: In this house we are ten rows wide, five tier high. That means that we have five cages stacked on top of each other.
MASTERSON: Kaldenberg says the activists' motives are to promote an agenda which is vehemently against how the industry produces food, with thousands of birds living in row after row of small cages.
Rose Acre Farms and other large chicken, hog and cattle organizations say the pending Iowa legislation is being mischaracterized. They say it isn't about stopping whistleblowers from reporting abuse, but argue it's about keeping people who misrepresent their true purpose from getting hired.
Kevin Vinchattle is the executive director of the Iowa Egg Council.
Mr. KEVIN VINCHATTLE (Executive Director, Iowa Egg Council): People are trying to characterize the livestock folks as trying to hide things. We're not. We don't want any animal to be abused. And if it's truly a case where a person thinks that abuse is occurring, that needs to be reported immediately, not six weeks done the road or months later in a video released for PR efforts to raise money for an organization.
MASTERSON: But a whole section of the Iowa bill explicitly bans photography.
There's a similar bill under debate in Florida. Kansas and Montana already have laws that ban taking secret photos of an animal facility if the intent is to damage the owner. And other states across the country are also considering similar legislation.
Humane Society's Paul Shapiro says the bills are an attempt to shield America's food production system from public scrutiny. He says their exposes have been done legally and resulted in convictions for animal cruelty, as well as meat recalls over food safety problems. Without undercover videos, activists say their claims wouldn't be taken seriously.
In Iowa, State Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines, said a bill like this would set a dangerous precedent. He argues the multibillion dollar livestock industry wants to operate with less oversight.
State Senator MATT MCCOY (Democrat, Iowa): They view animal welfare groups and individuals that take undercover video and release it to the public as a threat to their livelihood.
MASTERSON: Neither side in this fight appears willing to budge yet on a key sticking point, whether secretly photographing farm animals should be considering a criminal act.
For NPR News, I'm Kathleen Masterson in Ames, Iowa.
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Livestock Farms Could Be Off Limits To Photos
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A man in southern Georgia, apparently fed up with all the wild hogs on his property but unwilling to spend unnecessary time outdoors, set up a complex network of webcams and powerful shotguns to solve his little problem.
The setup, believed to be the work of former property owner Jay Williams, allowed the user to observe the immediate area using webcams and then fire the guns remotely. The firearms were aimed towards a nearby food plot that's often infested with wild pigs. The guns were expensive Benelli shotguns, chambered for 3-inch shells and equipped with magazine extension tubes. For those of you who, like me, don't know the first thing about guns, here's what that means - those shotguns could have killed a ton of hogs. And then some.
There were two identical apparatuses in the area, for a total of six internet-connected firearms. A utility contractor came across them back in November 2010 and alerted the authorities. Homeland Security investigated to make sure there weren't any more sinister motivations behind the internet-controlled guns. In a recent bulletin, they reported their findings:
"At this time there is no evidence to suggest that such equipment was established for any purpose other than illegal hunting activity. However, the apparatus could be used for more nefarious activity that would be of direct concern to the law enforcement and public safety communities. While law enforcement has been aware of such capabilities for some time, very few agencies have come across actual clandestine systems such as the one found in 2010."
http://io9.com/5734863/internet+controlled-shotguns-are-the-high+tech-extremely-illegal-solution-to-hog-infestationA man in southern Georgia, apparently fed up with all the wild hogs on his property... more
Well I was looking for a video of a chicken farm and found a Hog farm instead. I have never work around a hog farm before an this shook me up quite a bit. I knew they were nasty and the hogs were treat rough but I never would have though it was this bad.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7dYBXU7cKMWell I was looking for a video of a chicken farm and found a Hog farm instead. I have... more
A state lawmaker is proposing to allow ordinary Texans with rifles and shotguns to shoot the voracious, tusked animals from helicopters.
For years, ranchers in the Lone Star State have hired professional hunters in choppers to thin the hogs' fast-multiplying ranks. Now state Rep. Sid Miller of the Fort Worth area wants to bring more firepower to the task by issuing permits to sportsmen.A state lawmaker is proposing to allow ordinary Texans with rifles and shotguns to... more
State wildlife officials are hoping deer hunters can reduce the population of another crop-damaging species in southern New Jersey: feral hogs.State wildlife officials are hoping deer hunters can reduce the population of another... more
"Darke County Dave," a local hog, will opine -- or oswine -- on America's economic outlook on Friday, the Ohio treasurer's office said.
I'm so glad the economic planning is based on a pig in Ohio – really assuring."Darke County Dave," a local hog, will opine -- or oswine -- on... more
5 years ago