July 16, 2019

Is Chicken in Your Grocery Cart? A New Site Can Help

A new site called Buying Poultry is planning to create a new app for consumers who want to purchase humanely raised poultry products. It will list every poultry producer and poultry certification organization in the country and will tell you how they treat their animals. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act is the only federal law that protects farm animals at slaughter. But chickens and turkeys are excluded from this law. Even free range, pastured, and organic birds can be paralyzed and slaughtered while they are still conscious. Factory farmed birds often have their beaks cut off, can be confined in tiny cages, and starved to regulate their egg production. Today's chickens are also fed non therapeutic doses of antibiotics that increase their growth rate to five times faster than 50 … [Read more...]

New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Nebraska Introduce Ag-Gag Laws

New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Nebraska are the latest states to introduce so-called Ag-Gag laws. Those laws make it illegal for activists and journalists to go undercover to expose animal abuse on factory farms. Last year, similar legislation passed in Missouri, Iowa, and Utah, joining North Dakota, Montana, and Kansas as the six states with such laws. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) developed the Animal & Ecological Terrorisms in America bill as "model legislation" for lawmakers to use when writing these laws. They equate whistle blowing on factory farms with domestic terrorism in which "environmental militants have used violence as a tool to force communities, businesses, local municipalities, and individuals to comport to their views." ALEC also claims that the … [Read more...]

HSUS Responds to Tyson Food’s Animal Welfare Audit Program

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has responded to the Tyson Foods announcement that it will launch a new animal welfare audit program for its supply chain. The audits are called the Tyson FarmCheck Program, and cover animal access to food and water, worker training, and proper human-animal interaction. The company is also going to develop a Farm Animal Well-Being Research Program to review research on the topic. The treatment of farm animals has been under scrutiny since the Central Valley Meat debacle, where an undercover video showed workers abusing cows. Central Valley Meat was shut down for a short time after that video was released. Scientists link stressed animals with food safety issues, since when livestock are unduly stressed, the "undergo physiological changes … [Read more...]

Central Valley Meat Says It’s Reopened For Business

One week after an undercover video prompted the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)  to suspend operations at  Central Valley Meat in Hanford, Calif., for what it described as "disturbing evidence of inhumane treatment of cattle," the company says it is reopened for business. "Sunday afternoon, the USDA informed us that it has accepted our action plan and we are free to reopen. With the announcement of that decision, Central Valley Meat will resume operations Monday morning and welcome our employees back to work," the statement said. "We have worked closely with both inspectors and industry experts while developing our USDA-approved action plan. As a result, Central Valley Meat will provide better training for our workers, better monitoring of our facilities, and more frequent … [Read more...]

Republican Legislators Ask USDA to Reopen Central Valley Meat

Three Republican legislators from California have written to the USDA, asking them to reopen Central Valley Meat Company, which was closed this week for egregious abuse of animals. The facility was closed after an undercover video shot by Compassion Over Killing showed downed animals being repeatedly shot with bolt guns and abused. The facility is closed while the USDA investigates the abuse and whether any of the downer animals entered the nation's food supply. The letter states that the legislators want the facility reopened "in order to relieve the plight of its hard-working employees who need to provide for their families." Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy, and Jeff Denham all signed the letter. Nunes said that the video was "posted by extremists who are actively working to undermine … [Read more...]

USDA Bought Beef From Central Valley Meat for School Lunch Program

Records from the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service show that the government bought more than 21 million pounds of beef from Central Valley Meat last year. The farm was shut down this week for inhumane treatment of cows. The beef was used in federal nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch Program, community food banks, and distribution on Indian reservations. Central Valley Meat slaughters older dairy cows which have lost value as producers of milk. The disturbing video was shot undercover by Compassion Over Killing, a nonprofit group dedicated to ending animal abuse, especially to animals in agriculture. The video shows cows vomiting from stress, unable to walk, being hoisted by ropes, and being repeatedly shot with bolt guns (cows must be killed with a single shot … [Read more...]

USDA Suspends Central Valley Meat for Inhumane Cattle Treatment

The USDA is suspending Central Valley Meat (CVM) in Hanford, California after the nonprofit group Compassion Over Killing recorded an undercover video showing workers mistreating animals. The facility is immediately suspended and can no longer slaughter or process food, and government inspectors have been withdrawn. Their mark of inspection has been suspended. The video is extremely disturbing. Central Valley Meat has provided meat to the National School Lunch Program in the past. It also supplies In-N-Out Burger, which has severed ties with CVM. Former USDA inspector and supervisor Dr. Lester Friedlander stated, "I could not believe the repeated Humane Slaughter Violations that occurred. The company should be held accountable for these violations." The government is investigating … [Read more...]

Missouri House Passes Ag-Gag Bill

The Missouri House of Representatives has passed H.B. 1860 on a vote of 108-32. The bill would make it a crime to record undercover pictures and videos on factory farms. Animal rights organizations have used these methods to expose animal cruelty and unsanitary conditions on farms and in slaughterhouses. Now it's up to the Missouri Senate. A Senate committee will hear the bill this week and is expected to recommend approval. The full Senate may vote on the bill later this week. Similar bills were passed in Iowa and Utah this year and was signed into law by the governors of those states, despite whistleblower statutes that are codified into law in the United States. The Missouri bill would create two new "crimes" in that state. "Agricultural Production Facility Fraud" would make it a … [Read more...]

National Interest Groups Sign Opposition to “Ag-Gag” Legislation

On April 30, 2012, Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about an "Ag-Gag" bill that passed the Iowa legislature and is going to the governor's desk for signature. The bill criminalizes anyone who lies to get a job at a factory farm, with the intent to expose animal abuse or other wrongdoing in agribusiness. Since that time, Utah has passed an ag-gag bill, and Missouri passed a watered-down version. Twenty-seven groups have signed a statement opposing this legislation, since it suppresses information about the treatment of animals. The statement reads, in part: "These bills represent a wholesale assault on many fundamental values shared by all people across the United States. Not only would these bills perpetuate animal abuse on industrial farms, they would also threaten workers' rights, … [Read more...]

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