Recently the HSUS brokered a deal with the Ohio Farm Bureau re "humane" standards for Ohio's farm animals. What a crock. Alan Johnson of the Columbus Dispatch (7/1/10) wrote about some of the changes but ended with "...... however, the new agreement made few strides on the most contentious issues that the ballot issue would have covered: RESTRICTIVE -CONFINEMENT STANDARDS FOR EGG-LAYING HENS, PREGNANT SOWS AND CALVES RAISED FOR VEAL
So Ohio is allowed to continue to CAGE, CRATE, AND CONFINE as per usual- at least for many years to come. Maybe someone can tell me differently but for now -disappointment doesn't nearly convey my feelings of disgust with this agreement.
The only bright spot in all of this is remembering Senator Byrd. I and everyone who feels compassion for farm animals who are so terribly exploited and cruelly treated in CAFOs (Confined Animal Farm Operations) will always remember gratefully his concern and compassion for the farm animals.
After reading an expose in the Washington Post in 2001 which detailed the inhumane treatment of livestock in our nation's slaughterhouses, he made sure that his horror in this regard would be heard on the Senate floor.
There in a voice which thundered he said: "Our inhumane treatment of livestock is becoming widespread and more and more barbaric....Six-hundred-pound hogs are raised in 2-foot-wide metal cages called gestation crates, in which the poor beasts are unable to turn around or lie down in natural positions, and this way they live for months at a time.
On profit-driven factory farms, he continued, veal calves are confined to dark wooden crates so small that they are prevented from lying down or scratching themselves. These creatures feel; they know pain. They suffer pain just as we humans suffer pain. Egg-laying hens are confined to battery cages. Unable to spread their wings, they are reduced to nothing more than an egg-laying machine.
A 23-year old federal law required that cattle and hogs to be slaughtered must first be stunned so as to be insensitive to pain, but mounting evidence indicates that this is not always done, and that these animals are sometimes cut, skinned, and scalded while still able to feel pain. A Texas beef company- Byrd told fellow Senators- with 22 citations for cruelty to animals, was found chopping the hooves off live cattle. In another Texas plant with about two dozen violations, Federal officials found nine live cattle dangling from an over-head chain. Secret videos from an Iowa pork plant showed hogs squealing and kicking as they are being lowered into the boiling water that will soften their hides and make them easier to skin.
I used to kill hogs Byrd remembered of his rural upbringing. I used to help lower them into the barrels of scalding water. But those hogs were dead. The law clearly required that these poor creatures be stunned and rendered insensitive to pain before this process begins. Federal law is being ignored. Animal cruelty abounds. It is sickening. It is infuriating. Barbaric treatment of helpless, defenseless creatures must not be tolerated, even if these animals are being raised for food -- and even more so, more so. Such insensitivity is insidious, and can spread, and is dangerous. Life must be respected and dealt with humanely in a civilized society."
Would Senator Byrd be pleased with the "Sweeping Deal Reached on the care of Animals in Ohio" recently? I doubt it. Alan Johnson in his article quoted Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau as saying that the agreement is a "very common sense solution." For whom - not
for the animals in my opinion.
Thank you Alan Johnson, your last two paragraphs really tell it like it is - the crates, the cages, and the confinement of animals remain- at least for a long time to come. The animals didn't win. The corporations did.