From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1995:
Responding to a year-long cam-
paign against face-branding, led by the
Coalition for Nonviolent Food, the USDA on
December 22 proposed new rules to identify
Mexican cattle imported into the U.S., to take
effect January 23. The new rules require tail-
head branding, by either the hot-iron or freeze
method. Freeze branding must be done at
least 18 days before import, to give the mark
time to become visible. The Coalition, led by
Henry Spira, now seeks to halt the use of
face-branding to identify cattle with tuberculo-
sis and brucellosis. (See ad, page 10.)
The scandal over the use of the
banned synthetic steroid clenbuterol in veal
feed, revealed in December by the Humane
Farming Association and ANIMAL
PEOPLE, continues to spread, as the USDA
in early December confirmed finding traces in
feed seized from five Wisconsin dealers.
The Union des producteurs agri –
c o l e s , the Quebec farmers’ union, has pro-
posed replacing live cattle auctions with tele-
vised auctions, which could save farmers
money––and halve the time cattle culled from
dairy herds spend in transit from farm to
slaughter, by eliminating stop-offs at 18 auc-
tion sites which since 1987 have been the only
legal avenues of sale for culled dairy cattle.
Since culls are the primary source of “down-
ers,” or non-ambulatory cattle, and handling
and transport tend to aggravate their injuries,
the change should also markedly reduce
Canada’s incidence of downers. Of 447 mil-
lion animals sent to slaughter in Canada dur-
ing 1993, 2.7 million arrived as downers.
The European Union failed i n
early December to agree upon continent-wide
rules for humane animal transport, but
Germany and Britain are going ahead with
their own rules. Germany intends to limit
travel time to eight hours at a stretch, with an
eight-hour rest requirement before travel may
resume. Animals must be watered at least
every 10 hours and fed every 22 hours.
Britain is making it a criminal offense for
haulers to break the journey plans, including
care provisions, that are required for all trips
of longer than 15 hours. The Netherlands,
Austria, Sweden, and Finland reportedly also
favor humane transport requirements.
Chinese geneticists have reportedly
accelerated the growth rate of farmed carp
20%, by implanting them with cattle genes.
Australian government scientist
Chris May is testing an anti-flatulence drug
for livestock that he claims will cut green-
house gas emissions while increasing weight
gain of cattle on high-roughage diets by 20%.
Immigrant demand has increased
the number of New York City live poultry
sellers and killers from 20 to 32 in just two
years. Most sell and/or kill to order 500 to
1,000 birds per week.
The first emu slaughterhouse in
the U.S, Emu Ranchers Inc. of Richardson,
Texas, is reportedly killing about 80 emus a
month. Speculative demand has collapsed
over the past year, cutting prices in half:
many owners are quitting the business.