Farmed Animal Watch: Objective Information for the Thinking Advocate
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AUGUST 9 , 2006 -- Number 29, Volume 6


1. POULTRY CRUELTY CHARGES: U.S. & U.K.

Without explaining why, attorneys for both sides in the Esbenshade Farms cruelty case
(see: http://www.farmedanimal.net/faw/faw6-15.htm #2 ) are trying to negotiate a settlement, following a lengthy hearing on Monday. One charge was dismissed because it was missing the date of the alleged offense. The chief executive officer and farm manager of Esbenshade, one of the largest egg production operations in Pennsylvania, still face 34 summary counts of animal cruelty, each carrying a potential fine of $50 to $750 and up to 90 days in prison.

Viewing a surreptitiously made videotape, Ian Duncan, a recently retired poultry science professor, testified that it shows too many birds trapped in hazardous conditions for it to have been fabricated. He also said that the number of birds who had been dead for a long time signified that the cages were not examined regularly. "I've never seen conditions like that before," he remarked. The defense, which failed to get the video excluded from the trial in April, said that Pennsylvania’s animal-cruelty law cannot be enforced against what it says is a “normal agricultural operation.” Esbenshade released a written statement in response to the prosecution’s testimony, stating: “We always have been and will continue to be dedicated to food quality, safety, animal welfare and environmental standards based on industry science standards.” Any agreement the attorneys reach will have to be approved by the Judge Duncan. The case will reconvene before her, probably in October.

In the U.K., charges will be brought against two men who were secretly filmed laughing as they threw birds in the air, hit them with sticks and kicked them around at the Bernard Matthews processing plant (see: http://www.farmedanimal.net/faw/faw6-15.htm #3 ). They face a 6-month prison term and a fine of £5,000 ($9,545).


SETTLEMENT EYED IN EGG-FARM CASE
Prosecution Curtailed for Closed-Door Talks
Susan E. Lindt, Intelligencer Journal, August 8, 2006
http://local.lancasteronline.com/4/24641

EGG FARM CRUELTY CASE ENDS WITH LAWYERS SEEKING DEAL
Associated Press, Martha Raffaele, August 7, 2006
http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/15218370.htm

1 CHARGE DROPPED IN EGG FARM CRUELTY CASE
Lancaster New Era, Robyn Meadows and Tim Mekeel, August 7, 2006
http://local.lancasteronline.com/4/24626

TWO FACE TURKEY CRUELTY CHARGES
Mirror, August 8, 2006
http://tinyurl.com/fwjfc


2. REPORTS: TRANSPORT, DAIRY

Farm Sanctuary has released a report on U.S. highway accidents involving farmed animals. Since neither the government or industry reports on these accidents, the organization drew instead from media archives, finding that 233 accidents occurred in a recent six-year period across 44 states. The report tells the states and companies with the highest number of accidents. It was submitted with recommendations to over 40 industry and government officials. Notes Farm Sanctuary: “It is common for a significant percentage of the animals involved in transport accidents to die or be severely injured during the accidents. However, animals may also be injured in the course of events that follow the initial accident. Often, animals who escape from a smashed or damaged trailer are struck by passing vehicles on the highway. Sometimes escaped animals are shot and killed to prevent collisions between the animals and vehicles on the roadway. Unfortunately, veterinarians and humane society officials are rarely called to the scene to help the injured animals.” The organization is calling for a proper reporting structure and the establishment of protocols to protect farmed animals during transport. It can be accessed via: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/campaign/transport_report.htm

Another recently released report, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, explains how the U.S. dairy industry has evolved since 1980s and the factors that will continue shaping it in the future. The full report is available (in .PDF format) at http://tinyurl.com/lzxca



FARM SANCTUARY TARGETS LIVESTOCK TRANSPORTATION
Pork, August 03, 2006
http://www.porkmag.com/directories.asp?pgID=675&ed_id=4309


3. CAFO COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED; IOWA CAFOS

The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the comment period from Aug. 15th to Aug. 29th for a proposed rule to revise the 2003 Clean Water Act regulation for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The revision would require CAFOs to obtain a permit if they discharge waste or propose to do so. For CAFOs seeking coverage under a permit, it would require the submission of nutrient management plans. The entire proposed rule is available (in .PDF form) at: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/regulations/cafo_revisedrule.pdf.

In Iowa, CAFO construction reached record highs for five straight years. In 2005,
203 permits were approved by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), most of them for the $12 billion pig industry, the largest in the nation. A new rule will allow the director of the DNR greater power to halt confinement projects that he or she deems to be environmentally risky. When environmental officials initially sought such power, the legislature blocked the effort. Although lawmakers on Tuesday declined to block the new rule, the Administrative Rules Review Committee voted to oppose the change, assuring further debate when lawmakers convene in January.


EPA EXTENDS CAFO COMMENT PERIOD
Pork Alert (from Pork magazine), August 8, 2006

PANEL ALLOWS DNR'S EXPANDED POWERS
The Associated Press, Mike Glover, August 9, 2008
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/4105110.html


4. ETHICAL EATING

The Washington Post’s Candy Sagon examines the confusion that can occur when consumers attempts to apply environmental, ethical and health consideration to their food purchases. Using eggs and salmon as examples, she finds that the answers of what to buy are often contradictory. [She doesn’t consider replacing them with non-animal food.] Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, says everyone needs to establish a “scale of ethical priorities,” considering whether taste, cost, the environment, your health, or animal suffering is most important to them. The top priority on his list is whether suffering was involved, followed by environmental impacts and labor concerns.

A desire to prevent animal suffering is growing among consumers, as science continually reveals remarkable information about animal minds, emotions and feelings. Ethologist Jonathan Balcombe lauds these revelations as having led to such decisions as the Chicago City Council’s ban on the sale of foie gras in city restaurants and Whole Foods Market’s ban on the sale of live lobsters. In a July 31st opinion piece in the Salt Lake Tribune, Balcombe, author of the recently published "Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good," presents evidence that “pleasure plays an important role in how animals experience the world.” He asserts that: “Because animals can enjoy life, our moral obligations to them are greater. We may not have an obligation to provide pleasure to animals, but actively depriving them of the opportunity to fulfill natural pleasures - as we do when we cage or kill them - is another matter.” See also: http://tinyurl.com/fz9lu


NAVIGATING THE GUILT IN THE GROCERY AISLES
The Washington Post, Candy Sagon, August 1, 2006
http://tinyurl.com/pqsyd

IN OUR DEALINGS WITH ANIMALS, GOOD FEELINGS COUNT
The Salt Lake Tribune, Jonathan Balcombe (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), July 31, 2006
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_4117619


5. TREATING DIABETES THROUGH DIET

People who ate a low-fat vegan diet did a better job of lowering their blood sugar and cholesterol, lost more weight, and ended up with better kidney function than those on a standard American Diabetes Association diet. This was the finding of a study by the Physician’s Committee for Responsibility, published in Diabetes Care, a journal published by the American Diabetes Association. Participants said the vegan diet was easier to follow because they did not have to measure portions or count calories. While eight dieters dropped off the standard diet, all but three stayed on the vegan diet.

A study by the Physician’s Committee for Responsibility found that people who ate a low-fat vegan diet did a better job lowering their blood sugar and cholesterol, lost more weight and ended up with better kidney function than those on a standard American Diabetes Association diet. In the report, published in Diabetes Care, a journal published by the American Diabetes Association, participants said the vegan diet was easier to follow because they did not have to measure portions or count calories. While eight dieters dropped off the standard diet, all but three stayed on the vegan diet. This news could be helpful to the estimated 18 million Americans have type-2 diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, some research shows a vegetarian diet makes your body more responsive to insulin and could reduce the risk of diabetes-associated complications such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.

In a Penn State study, diabetic mice were successfully treated with fatty acids which are predominantly found in dairy products and meat. The compounds, conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) have also shown promising results in human trials. They may show the potential for treating the disease without synthetic drugs. Researcher Jack Vanden Heuvel cautions that a diet high in dairy and meat products also presents problematic substances, such as trans fatty acids. "Adult-onset diabetes is fast becoming an epidemic and is largely associated with poor diet and nutrition and other lifestyle issues," Vanden Heuvel says. The reason for the increase in diabetes may have to do with the ratio of so-called "good" and "bad" fats, with the average American diet containing too much of the "bad" fats.

VEGAN DIET REVERSES DIABETES SYMPTOMS, STUDY FINDS
Reuters, July 28, 2006
http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/07/28/vegan.diet.reut/

DIABETES DIET: CAN GOING VEGETARIAN HELP?
MayoClinic.com
http://health.msn.com/centers/diabetes/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100138423

COMPOUND IN DAIRY PRODUCTS TARGETS DIABETES
Science Daily, August 4, 2006
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060804083351.htm



 






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Compiled and edited by Cat Carroll and Mary Finelli, Farmed Animal Watch is a free weekly electronic news digest of information concerning farmed animal issues gleaned from an array of academic, industry, advocacy and mainstream media sources.