From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1992:

October 2 was the 10th anniver-
sary of World Farm Animals Day, declared
in 1983 by the Farm Animal Reform
Movement to coincide with Gandhi’s birthday
and World Vegetarian Day. Major commemo-
rations were scheduled in New York, the
Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Iowa,
Florida, California, and Hawaii.
The contribution of cattle to global
warming has significantly increased over the
past three years, along with the world cattle
population, International Union of Air
Pollution Prevention Associations director
general John Langston warned the 800-mem-
ber group in early September.

Despite the likelihood that federal
legislation will soon curtail wild-caught exot-
ic bird imports, the USDA plans to license 13
more quarantine stations for birds being
brought into the country. To be operated by
private contractors, the stations are necessary,
according to the USDA, because increasing
numbers of ostrich and emu ranchers want to
import breeding stock. Since most of the
money in raising ostriches and emus comes
from the speculative sale of breeding stock, a
sudden influx of imported birds could collapse
the whole business.
“Barns and stables, which are
grouped together for fire reporting, aver-
aged 6,700 structure fires a year reported to
U.S. fire departments during 1986 to 1990,”
according to George D. Miller, recently
appointed president of the National Fire
Protection Association. “Property damage was
estimated to average $75 million per year,
which probably includes a fair share of valu-
able animals lost.” ANIMAL PEOPLE esti-
mates the toll at about one million animals per
year, mostly chickens. Miller was formerly
head of the Morris Animal Foundation.
The Downed Animal Protection
A ct, to reduce animal suffering en route to
slaughter, has now been introduced in both the
Senate, as S 2296, and the House, as HR
5680. The Humane Methods of Poultry
Slaughter Act, however, HR 4124, still lacks
a Senate version. Address support for all three
bills to your elected representatives. If passage
is not secured this Congressional session, new
versions will have to be introduced next year.
The British Ministry for
Agriculture, Forests, and Fisheries has
approved a design for a mobile slaughterhouse
put forth by the Humane Slaughter Assn.,
which contends that use of such a slaughter-
house could significantly reduce the stress to
animals who are presently transported long
distances to be slaughtered. However, the
planned killing capacity of just 10 cattle, 20
pigs, or 50 sheep per day might be too low to
attract commercial investment.
University of Saskatoon Ph.D. can-
didate Karen Schwartzkopf is researching
use of pigment-removing dyes in place of cat-
tle branding. The object is to find an inexpen-
sive dye that will both painlessly and indelibly
identify an animal for longer than six months.
U.S. bacon consumption hit record
highs in five of the first seven months of 1992,
despite an overall decline in consumption of
red meat. A newly published study of 10,753
hams packed at 14 plants owned by eight dif-
ferent firms in as many states meanwhile
revealed that 25% were “undesireable” for
human consumption. The study, done in
1991, was funded by the National Pork
Producers Council.
National Hog Farms Inc. plans to
raise 300,000 to 400,000 pigs per year at a
facility now under construction in Dalhart,
Texas, human population 6,300. To be fin-
ished in 1994, the $50 million facility will
double the pig population of Texas—and will
generate as much excrement as a city of three
to four million people.
Australian Prime Minister Paul
Keating has put $430,000 of his own money
into a $28 million pig slaughterhouse planned
by Danpork, the Danish pig production con-
sortium, and Brown and Hatton, a leading
Australian pork producer. The slaughterhouse
will kill up to 600,000 pigs per year.
The General Accounting Office,
an investigative arm of Congress, on August
10 recommended that federal approval of
bovine growth hormone should be further
delayed. The GAO agreed with BGH makers
that the synthesized hormone itself is no threat
to human health, but noted that cows who give
more milk with aid of the hormone also have
more mastitis, and thus need more treatment
with antibiotics. “Concern exists now about
whether antibiotic levels in milk are already
too high from present antibiotic usage,” the
GAO stated.
Of 14 elk embryos experimentally
implanted in red deer recently by Canadiana
Genetics Inc., only four survived to term–a
setback for both the firm and the Canadian
Venison Council, who have been seeking a
way to rapidly rebuild the elk herds on Alberta
game ranches. Up to half the captive elk in
Alberta have been killed over the past two
years in efforts to contain an outbreak of
bovine tuberculosis.
A year after Ohio State University
researcher Steven Loerch suggested that cat-
tle would gain weight faster if they were made
to swallow plastic pot-scrubbers, the idea
seems to have caught on. Once swallowed,
the scrubbers host bacteria in the cows’ stom-
achs and serve the same function as roughage
—which enables farmers to feed them less hay
but more grain and “beef fattener,” a
euphemism for reprocessed chicken manure.
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