Archive for the ‘Factory Farming’ Category

Study: Hens react with emotion when chicks are in discomfort

I found a very interesting article in, reporting on a study conducted on hens at England’s University of Bristol. It seems the mother hens reacted in a rather extreme way if they felt their chicks were in distress.

It is believed the hens are showing empathy. The hens were separated from the chicks during the experiments but were in close proximity. When puffs of air were directed at the chicks, the hens “responded more intensely with a stress response equivalent to fight-or-flight behavior,” according to the article.

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Farm Sanctuary speaks out on latest news out of Ohio on veal calf confinement

Photo - Farm Sanctuary

I received a press release late last night from the Farm Sanctuary, in response to the recent 6-5 vote by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to permit the inhumane confinement of veal calves in crates.

These crates, as you can see in the photo, are tiny and do not even allow the calves room to turn around.

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More on the AVMA oath revision, to include welfare

The American Veterinary Medical Association recently modified the veterinarian’s oath to include a concern for animal welfare. The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan noted on Friday the inclusion of the phrase, “prevention of animal suffering.”

It’s an important revision and I hope this is another move forward for animal welfare.

In her feature on the subject, Lisa Hare includes this – “” For decades, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has upheld confinement farming practices, including veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages, and for years, strongly opposed revisions to the oath. “”

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Thought for the Day – Compassion vs. Greed

Greed and the moral compass of compassion cannot live together in the human mind. One will eventually absorb the other.

What we’re seeing of late in the animal-welfare movement – in large part – is battle of greed versus compassion. I never want to narrowly cram everyone into categories, but in a broad sense, this is the problem we face.

One side refuses to consider the fact that animals experience emotions and thus both physical and emotional pain and suffering. To understand this would mean industries that use animals would have to budget compassion into their operations. Maybe it’s changing to free-range facilities to produce eggs or removing pigs from tiny enclosures.

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Another state moves for better housing for egg-laying hens

The Farm Sanctuary is reporting Washington is the latest state to make hay on the issue of farm-animal confinement.

Washingtonians for Humane Farms has submitted language to the Secretary of State, for a statewide measure on November’s ballot.

From the Washingtonians for Humane Farms press release –

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Smithfield Foods offers response to HSUS video

Smithfield Foods has produced a statement in response to the release of a hidden-camera video from the Humane Society of the US, showing the horrible treatment sows face in gestation stalls.

From the statement posted on

“” We provide regular training to our employees on our animal welfare policies and procedures, and we have zero tolerance for any behavior that does not conform to our established animal well-being procedures. We will publicly release the findings of the investigation as soon as it is concluded. “”

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Video of the Day – Smithfield Foods undercover video

The Humane Society of the United States released this video – from inside a facility run by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods – on December 15. It documents the horrible and extremely inhumane conditions female pigs endure in gestation crates.

*** WARNING – Some scenes in this footage are very difficult to watch and contain images of injured pigs.

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ASPCA lists top legislative victories of 2010

As the year draws to a close, the ASPCA has developed a list of the top legislative victories of 2010 for animals.

The list includes the passage of the anti-crush video ban, the November 2 passage of the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act (Prop B) in Missouri, New Hampshire passes the Greyhound Protection Act to ban dog racing, California approved Assembly Bill 1437 to address better housing standards for laying hens, Tennessee’s HB 238/SB 555 limits convicted folks from having some dogs and a new anti-tethering law in Connecticut.

Britons have a high level of concern for animal welfare

The Guardian recently reported on the results of a European Union survey covering topics ranging from the welfare of farm animals to concerns for food safety.

From the Guardian article – “” More than two-thirds of Britons are worried over animal welfare, up on 2005, but they trail Swedes, Portuguese, Finns, Lithuanians and Italians on this issue. “”

Now these concerns for animals need to be translated into a push for better regulations and an outright ban, for example, on greyhound racing in the UK.

Bob Harper of NBC’s Biggest Loser hopes to gain support for Farm Sanctuary

Bob Harper of NBC’s Biggest Loser is now the Farm Sanctuary’s National Spokesperson for the 2010 Walk for Farm Animals. Cities across the country will hold Walks for Farm Animals over the course of the next month.

From a press release I received Tuesday –

“” Thanks in part to (Harper’s) star-power, the annual event has gained a record-breaking 78 participating cities across the U.S. and Canada (up 10 from last year) and a steadily growing list of registrants (nearly double last year’s participants), making the 2010 Walk for Farm Animals the largest organized North American event for farm animals in history. “”

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