Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ANN ARBOR: U of M defends itself against PETA's allegations

Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

By Art Aisner, Special Writer, Ann Arbor Journal News

The University of Michigan took a strong stance last week defending its use of animals in critical-care training amid scrutiny from animal rights activists.

"We are fully in compliance of all state and federal laws and have a program that is fully accredited, funded, and I think, one of the best in the country," said Howard Rush, associate professor and the director of U of M's Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine.

The comments were in response to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture by The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals earlier this month. The global nonprofit organization asked for a federal probe into potential violations of the 1966 Animal Welfare Act for what they called cruel and deadly training exercises performed by participants of the Survival Flight course.

PETA argued that the university's use of cats and pigs to train intubation and other trauma-response techniques resulted in injury and even death to many of the animals.

Rush and other U of M officials said the program that uses cats and pigs to train medical professionals is in full compliance with federal law and that they would welcome regulators to take a closer look.

They also criticized PETA's use of inflammatory language, and not presenting their members and supporters with all the facts.

"They are leaving out a lot of details to the general public in a campaign to discredit the university, but in reality there is nothing to be ashamed of," Rush said. FULL STORY

Monday, September 27, 2010

HSUS Counts (like Enron)

Humanewatch, September 27, 2010

HSUS’s claim that it is “backed by” 11 million “members and constituents” continues to appear on just about everything the group sends out the door: fundraising materials, press releases, letters, you name it. We keep tripping over that word—“constituents.” What's a constituent? It's a nebulous catch-all term that could mean just about anything.

Hey—we can do that too! HumaneWatch spends all its money on “advocacy, website expenses, advertising, curing cancer, and fighting poverty.” Isn't that a neat little stunt?

As we've explained in the past, it's likely that HSUS has somewhere around 420,000 actual dues-paying members, which is less than 4% of what it reports to the media. Puffing up your grassroots numbers to an unreasonable level is an old Washington, DC parlor trick, one that has come back to bite advocacy groups before. Sometimes their sin is counting cumulatively instead of year-to-year. In other cases, it's a national group counting local affiliates' members as its own.

HSUS seems to be engaging in both dishonest strategies. FULL STORY

HSUS to Address ConAgra Executives

At the annual shareholder meeting of ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) on Friday, September 24th, a representative of The Humane Society of the United States was scheduled to ask the company to decrease animal cruelty in its supply chain by switching to cage-free eggs, as other food manufacturers have done.

The HSUS purchased stock in ConAgra as part of its efforts to move the Omaha-based company away from using eggs from hens in confined in battery cages.

In August, MacDonald's shareholders voted down a similar proposal.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Study determines the carbon footprint of milk

Brownfield Ag News September 23, 2010 by Bob Meyer

USDA has released the results of a comprehensive study to determine the carbon footprint of milk. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy commissioned the University of Arkansas’ Applied Sustainability Center to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) that measured the greenhouse gas emissions created from when crops are grown to feed cows all the way to the disposal of the milk carton by the consumer.

Together with data from additional studies, the carbon footprint study indicates that total U.S. dairy greenhouse gas emissions are approximately 2 percent of total U.S. emissions.

One of its key findings is that the increased adoption of best management practices along the entire fluid milk supply chain can increase profitability while improving environmental sustainability.

According to Cornell University, the carbon footprint of milk production dropped by 63% between 1944 – 2007 as a result of production efficiencies, nutrition management and other on-farm improvements.

Read the full study here:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Voices: Vote NO to Prop B

By Ruthie Snodgrass
Special to The Globe Thu Sep 23, 2010, 07:38 AM CDT

LAMAR, Mo. — Missouri voters will find Proposition B on the ballot when they go to their polling places on Nov. 2. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has contributed more than $1.2 million in support of Proposition B.

Missouri Farm Bureau opposes Proposition B, Missouri Farmers Association opposes Proposition B, the Missouri Department of Agriculture believes its current program will do more for animal welfare than Proposition B. The Missouri Veterinary Medical Association opposes Proposition B. For more information, go to www.mofb.org.

Several state organizations have joined together to form Missourians for Animal Care Coalition.

Its purpose is to inform the public about Proposition B. The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes HSUS and Proposition B. Go to www.humanewatch.org and www.thealliancefortruth.com.

Millions of dollars worth of income and revenue will be gone from the state of Missouri.

Hundreds of thousands of tax dollars a year will be wasted enforcing needless regulations on Missouri’s respected, licensed breeders, while the unlicensed problem breeders remain unchecked.

HSUS is the richest and most powerful animal rights organization in the world.

Do not confuse animal rights organizations with animal welfare organizations.

For those folks who have been duped by HSUS into sending $240 annually in $19.99 monthly payments, less than $1.03 goes to feed a dog or cat.

Conscientious people concerned with the welfare of animals should support their local shelter. Every voter must not let themselves be fooled by wording on the ballot.

Vote “no” on Proposition B.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Viewpoint: Humane Society is about animal rights, not animal welfare

An excellent message that cannot be stated often enough.

Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 8:00 AM Updated: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 7:26 PM

By Sara Chisnell-Voigt

I’d like to preface my diatribe by saying I am a true animal lover. I’ve been involved in dogs and horses my whole life, have a bachelor’s degree in equine science, and am an attorney in the animal field. I am pro-animal welfare (as opposed to rights), and think animal cruelty and neglect laws should be strictly enforced.

I strongly support shelters and rescues, own a rescue dog, but I also support responsible dog breeding. However, I in no way, shape, or form support the Humane Society of the United States. Quite the opposite: I feel the HSUS is a fraudulent organization that misrepresents and hides its true agenda.

You know all those sad, heartbreaking commercials you see on TV with the neglected, abused dogs and cats, and big brown eyes that just pull at your heartstrings? I personally can’t even stand watching them, they’re so painful.

Some of those are HSUS commercials asking for a $19 per month donation to “help the animals.” Here’s where HSUS is, in my opinion, a big, fat fraud. HSUS misleads consumers by making them believe their money will go toward actually helping these animals or supporting shelters.

The name itself is misleading, or could be viewed as pure marketing genius, because much of the public believes that HSUS is an organization that oversees or supports local humane societies across the country. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

HSUS operates not one single shelter. In reality, very little funding from HSUS goes to shelters. According to a report from HumaneWatch.org, a review of the organization’s IRS forms from 2008 showed that HSUS raised nearly $100 million. Guess how much of that went to shelters? Only one half percent. That’s less than $500,000 to be spread around to shelters all over the country. Not only that, but HSUS charges shelters to “evaluate” them. One shelter in South Carolina was charged nearly $20,000 for a three-day evaluation from HSUS!

So, if HSUS gives so very little to shelters, where are these millions going? I’ll let you in on the truth: HSUS is an animal rights organization that pours money into animal rights lobbying.

I’d say a great deal of their millions go to the 30 attorneys they have on staff. If HSUS had their perfect world, no one would hunt, wear leather, breed any animals and we’d all be vegans.

Don’t believe me? Check out the following quotes:

•“We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Humane Society of the United States, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, in Animal People, May, 1993.
•When asked if he envisioned a future without pets, “If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born,” said Pacelle in “Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt,” by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266.
•“My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture,” said J.P. Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues, HSUS, formerly at the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, as quoted on AR-Views, an animal rights Internet discussion group in 1996.
What disgusts me the most is when HSUS becomes “involved” in so-called puppy mill raids, disaster relief or other rescue situations. They’ll sweep in with all their volunteers plastered in the HSUS logo, “saving” dogs and cats, making sure they perpetuate the myth that they help shelters by getting as much media coverage as possible. When the cameras are off, they dump the animals on local shelters, overburdening them and often giving little or no financial assistance. What abhorrent, sickening, and despicable behavior.

HSUS is, quite simply, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in a suit. They wear a “suit” of animal welfare in order to raise their millions, and use that to pursue their animal rights agenda, like lobbying against the livestock industry (as seen in Ohio this year).

At least PETA is up front and honest about who they are and what they’re about. If you really want to help animals, turn the channel when you see the sad HSUS commercials. Donate to or volunteer at your local shelter or rescue — your dollar will go a lot further and have the impact you intend.

Sara Chisnell-Voigt resides in Otsego.

Related story

HSUS Members Resign over Shady Tactics. Podcast, October 2009

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hunters Contribute Billions To Conservation Efforts – Animal Rights Groups Zero

Friday, September 10th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
Hunters nationwide have contributed more than $6.4 billion dollars to wildlife conservation efforts.

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. -- (Ammoland.com)- The largest, most successful wildlife conservation program in the world, the Federal Wildlife Restoration Program, is fueled by hunters.

Over the past 70 years, hunters nationwide have contributed more than $6.4 billion dollars to wildlife conservation efforts. In Georgia alone, since 1939, hunters have contributed more than $137 million for wildlife conservation in Georgia.

“The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program is the most successful wildlife conservation program in the world and serves as a financial cornerstone to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. It benefits all wildlife species, conserves and restores habitat and helps enhance wildlife conservation through research,” said John W. Bowers, Wildlife Resources Division Game Management assistant chief.

“Through this program, America’s hunters continue to provide the most substantial source of funding for wildlife conservation and management in the United States.”

The program was established through the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937. Through lobbying efforts in Congress, America’s hunters created this act as a way to fund conservation and management of the nation’s wildlife. Wildlife Restoration funds are accumulated from excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. This excise tax is levied at the manufacturer’s level, collected by the Federal government, and distributed to state wildlife agencies to fund wildlife conservation and management programs. The amount of money each state agency annually receives is determined by the number of paid hunting licenses and the land area of the state.

The Wildlife Resources Division uses Wildlife Restoration funds for various types of programs, including restoring habitat and improving wildlife populations, conducting research, monitoring wildlife populations, operating more than one million acres of wildlife management areas that benefit a diversity of wildlife species and provide wildlife-related recreational opportunities, providing information to landowners on how to manage their property for various species, conducting hunter education classes and building and maintaining public shooting ranges.

For more information on the Federal Wildlife Restoration Program, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website. For more information on wildlife management practices in Georgia, visit the Wildlife Resources Division website at www.georgiawildlife.com , contact a local Game Management office or call (770) 918-6416.

Distributed to you by - AmmoLand.com – The Shooting Sports News source.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Saving hunters from the anti-hunters

Vote Yes on Arkansas Issue 1
Constitutional right to hunt, fish, trap and harvest wildlife

That's Amendment 1's goal. by Doug Smith

Although the Humane Society of the United States is blamed, or credited, for Amendment 1 being on the Arkansas ballot, the HSUS seems coolly uninterested in the proposal. Asked if the HSUS would oppose the adoption of Amendment 1, an executive of the group, Andrew Page, said, "This is not an issue on which we are working. We view these efforts as inconsequential and merely window dressing for the hunting lobby."

Amendment 1, referred to the people by the legislature, would establish a constitutional right for Arkansans to hunt and fish. Sen. Steve Faris of Malvern, the lead sponsor of Amendment 1 (there are 42 others), said, "We need to assure that protections that previous generations have had are there for future generations. Nothing is a given anymore."

Faris said that animal-rights groups had succeeded in banning some types of hunting in some states. He mentioned the success of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in ending dove hunting in Michigan, but it was the HSUS, not PETA, that was involved there. A PETA spokeswoman said her group had done nothing to stop hunting in Michigan or anywhere else. "We don't lobby," she said. "We encourage our members to oppose or support things." PETA is not planning an anti-Amendment 1 campaign in Arkansas, she said, although "We think these kinds of amendments are silly. Why not a constitutional amendment to shop, or play golf?"

Although protection of hunting and fishing sounds like a no-brainer for the Arkansas legislature, it took three legislative sessions to get the measure on the ballot. In previous sessions, there were concerns that the amendment might weaken the state Game and Fish Commission, which has constitutional authority to regulate hunting and fishing, or that it might endanger property rights. This time, Faris said, "We worked with the Game and Fish Commission, and the NRA [National Rifle Association]. We have a document that doesn't violate property laws and strengthens the role of the Commission."
Full Story at Arkansas Reporter

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Don't be afraid to use the S-word

Grandin recalled that in the 1950s, school kids went on tours of slaughter plant facilities, but kids today are separated from reality. Farmers and ranchers need to show what they do in a matter-of-fact way.

High Plains Journal 8/21/2010 By Doug Rich

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science at Colorado State University, is known around the world for communicating with livestock producers about low-stress livestock handling techniques. Speaking at the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association's annual convention and trade show on July 30, Grandin talked about what she has learned about communicating with the general public about livestock production since the release of an HBO film about her life.

Prior to the release of the HBO film, which has been nominated for 15 Emmy awards, Grandin was busy attending press conferences in Hollywood to promote the film. She said reporters asked more questions about livestock production than they did about the movie.

"The public is hungry for this information," Grandin said.

Grandin said ranchers need to show all the stuff they do every day. Ranchers need to tell how they do their job plainly and clearly without emotion, because many people are totally separated from where they get their food.

"Get away from all the public relations fluff," Grandin said. "Put it in your own words, a ranch is a family farm."

Grandin works with packing plants, and she calls them just what they are--slaughter plants. She does not shy away from using the S-word and regrets that people have started referring to the process as harvest. Grandin said she used the S-word when doing interviews about the movie.

"Harvest is what we do with grain," Grandin said.

Grandin recalled that in the 1950s, school kids went on tours of slaughter plant facilities, but kids today are separated from reality. Farmers and ranchers need to show what they do in a matter-of-fact way.

"We need to clean up our house and show it," Grandin said.

To communicate what livestock producers do Grandin started putting some of her training videos on the Internet. One of these showed how to humanely stun a pig. The video got 400,000 views right away, but not all of the responses were positive. Grandin said she took off all the F-bombs, nasty posts, racist comments, and wacko comments.

"If they said something that made sense, I made a reasoned response," Grandin said. "Keep your own emotions out of it. Don't respond with anger. We need to take the mystery out of what we do. People are interested--just look at the popularity of shows like Dirty Jobs."


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wyoming Equine Slaughter Plant in Planning Stage

Rocky Mountain Rider staff writer, Dorinda Troutman, reports on the plans and progress of a four-point management program to deal with unwanted horses in Wyoming.

September 2010 Issue
A new organization in Wyoming — United Organizations of the Horse (UOH) — has developed a four-part, unwanted horse management plan, which includes developing a humane horse slaughter plant. They will utilize a recent Wyoming state law legalizing the slaughter of abandoned, estray, feral or abused horses that come under the jurisdiction of the Wyoming Board of Livestock.

The law allows livestock, including horses, to be sent to slaughter as an alternative to taking animals to auction. The meat would to be inspected by Wyoming State meat inspectors, and sold in-state to institutions or nonprofit organizations for no more than cost; to for-profit entities at market rate; or for pet or zoo animal food.

Sue Wallis, a Wyoming legislator who was a sponsor of the bill that became that law, is also the executive director of UOH.

Wallis says the UOH has discussed plans for a holding yard; suggested possible sites, including one outside of Guernsey, in eastern Wyoming ; and contacted livestock industry consultant Dr. Temple Grandin for guidance with the project.

“We are looking at a holistic approach to the unwanted horse problem. We are looking at the whole industry,” explains Wallis.

“This project will cost millions of dollars, but there is quite a lot of government financial help available from rural development funds, plus money from wealthy private investors in the U.S. horse industry. The plant could be sustained with zoo and pet food meat buyers alone.

“We want to build a state-of-the-art facility — absolutely top-notch — to be used as a model for anyone. The need is so great, and the pent-up demand so huge, that we believe six facilities like this one are needed around the U.S. ”

The Wyoming plan, which has been named the “Unified System of the Horse” by UOH, includes four programs:

- Rescue, rejuvenation and slaughter — which would evaluate and retrain abandoned and donated horses or, for those animals that are unsound, dangerous or unfit, would provide a quick, painless death.

- Equine Assurance Program — ensures meat quality and equine well-being, with a meat health and humane certification program.

- Horses for Humanity — Owner can donate their horse to benefit the needy.

- National Do-Not-Slaughter Registry — allows horse owners to microchip and register horses they do not wish to go to slaughter.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Taking the lead in chicken, turkey welfare

Dr. Jamison indicated that the veterinary profession, by emphasizing the importance of the human-animal bond, enables consumer hypocrisy, which is exploited by animal protection organizations. He argued that the AVMA should abandon advocating for the human-animal bond in favor of fighting for the right of animal owners to use animals as they choose, whether that entails companionship, food, or labor.

JAVMA News. Posted September 2, 2010

Dr. Bob Edson said he and other managers at Aviagen Turkeys would not have tolerated the abuses shown in an activist organization's undercover videos.

The organization contacted his company with allegations before the video's public release, and Dr. Edson said the supervisors he questioned about those allegations denied a problem existed.

Dr. Edson, vice president of operations at Aviagen Turkeys, was one of 10 speakers who talked about animal welfare-related issues and campaigns during the symposium "Animal Welfare Symposium: Reality, Perception, and Thinking Outside the Box," presented Aug. 1 in Atlanta as part of the American Association of Avian Pathologists Annual Meeting. Sessions for the AAAP annual meeting took place near sessions for the AVMA Annual Convention in the Georgia World Congress Center.

During his presentation, Dr. Edson advocated for implementation of animal welfare-related employee training, documentation, auditing, and enforcement of standards, along with an anonymous reporting mechanism for employees who find problems. He also suggested that internal or external audits could involve company-run undercover investigations.

Wes Jamison, PhD, an associate professor of communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University, said animal protection organizations run successful campaigns by showing consumers the differential attitudes those consumers have toward treatment of animals kept as pets versus for food.

Dr. Jamison also indicated that the veterinary profession, by emphasizing the importance of the human-animal bond, enables consumer hypocrisy, which is exploited by animal protection organizations. He argued that the AVMA should abandon advocating for the human-animal bond in favor of fighting for the right of animal owners to use animals as they choose, whether that entails companionship, food, or labor.

Some speakers encouraged symposium attendees to find common ground with the public, provide information on animal industries, and promote transparency of operations. Others presented information on improving processes and examining practices for providing employee training, developing welfare audit programs, and performing euthanasia.

Mike Bumgarner, vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation's Center for Food and Animal Issues, said people working in and with animal agriculture cannot be afraid to discuss and debate animal welfare issues. They also need to listen to consumers and explain the impacts of proposals on food safety, local production, worker safety, availability of food, and consumer choice. He encouraged them to draw attention to the agendas of animal rights groups.

Bumgarner said his organization met with Ohio's governor and representatives of the Humane Society of the United States about two weeks prior to a June 30 agreement that ended the HSUS' push for a ballot initiative that would have implemented new standards for livestock housing, euthanasia, and treatment of downer cattle. The agreement could lead to new standards for livestock housing and treatment, new regulations for dog breeders, new rules on ownership of some animals, and increased punishments for cockfighting, but he noted it is only a good faith agreement and not a legal document. FULL STORY

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

California SB 250-DEAD AT LAST

Congratulations to California animal owners! Their tireless efforts brought defeat at long last to the HSUS/Judie Mancuso/Florez trio's oppressive legislation.

CA PetLaw News Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Much like a disease-riddled cockroach, a bad bill is very difficult to kill. After resurrecting mandatory sterilization for pets yet again, the California assembly today wisely let the bill die a natural death.

At 10:10pm, on the fourth vote this evening on the Assembly Floor for the Motion to Reconsider re SB250 (today's file Item #43), the motion was finally granted. At 10:22pm, (CA) SB250 was brought for a vote on the Assembly Floor. Mr. Blumenfield moved the call as he did "not" get the votes.

Here were some of the comments prior to the vote:

Mr. Blumenfield asked for an AYE vote.

Mr. Norby stated "We voted on this how many times? I say sterilize the bill."

Mr. Hagman stated "We need to vote this down."

And, finally, Mr. Calderon rose to state "I can't understand that this bill is about euthanasia yet it just won't die!"

Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma lifted the call for SB250. Here is the (unofficial) tally: YES ... 27 / NO ... 39


Official time of death: August 31, 2010 11:47 p.m.

Californians are sick and tired of bills that criminalize law-abiding citizens for unobjectionable acts that are well within their constitutional rights. Yet we know that the HSUS and Judie Mancuso have proclaimed their intent to continue the assault on our personal freedoms.

We are organized. We are determined. We are mad as hell and not going to take it any more!

We continue to stand in solidarity against tyranny and oppression.

Ding Dong SB 250 is DEAD!

Prop B no good for dog breeders

The Maneater Column: Prop B no good for dog breeders By Ryan Schuessler
Published Aug. 31, 2010

Can you define the term "puppy mill?"

If you say something along the lines of a cramped, dirty, abusive farm where dogs are bred and sold, then you're wrong. In reality, there is no legal definition of a puppy mill.

Let me get this out of the way first: no animal should be abused. Ever. The picture of puppy mills that has been implanted in people's heads is undoubtedly, wrong, immoral and shouldn't be allowed. Every animal in the care of a human deserves the utmost respect and basic right to a decent life on this Earth, as does every living creature.

But don't be fooled. The Puppy Mill Prevention Act or Prop B, which will be appearing on the November ballot in Missouri, isn't a good idea.

It's not that Missouri doesn't have laws regulating the facilities and care of dog breeding establishments already. A set of laws was passed over 18 years ago that mandated breeders to provide enough food, water, shelter and veterinary care.

They're also required to provide regular exercise, socialization and enough space for each dog to turn, stand, sit and lie in a comfortable position and walk freely in a normal matter. And that's just the beginning of a list of regulations already in place. This law is about 22 pages long (I've seen a copy) and addresses virtually everything that Prop B wished to handle. It was created by a group of 13 people from all corners of the dog-breeding world; from breeders to shelter workers, veterinarians to department of health employees.

Missouri's "puppy mill" problem does not come from a lack of legislation. It stems directly from a lack of enforcement and funding of adequate legislation already in place.

The biggest problem with Prop B is that it limits every dog breeder, no matter how well they treat their animals, to having a maximum of 50 animals at a time. Even if there is a staff member assigned to each dog, it still isn't allowed.

Full article at link

Cage-housing tie to egg recall shorts truth

Feedstuffs 8/26/2010

By Rod Smith

As the egg recall related to salmonella-contaminated eggs from two farms spread over the Aug. 21-22 weekend, so did allegations that eggs from big, cage-housing operations are prone to the bacteria.

Nothing is further from the truth, according to Feedstuffs sources. Salmonella can contaminate any animal- or plant-based food from any kind of farm operation or any size, and the last major incident in which eggs and salmonella were linked was two years ago in eggs from a cage-free, organic production system, sources noted.

Still, a noticeably larger-than-usual number of customers -- many of them new to farmers markets -- lined up across the country over the weekend to buy eggs from local producers, who said they were selling out early in the mornings. Many of those producers, in conversations with customers, were critical of modern cage housing and large-scale production, according to news reports.

The Humane Society of the Unites States seized on the recall news to condemn cage housing as a food safety threat and urged U.S. egg producers to cease the housing practice and transition to cage-free operations.

However, scientists and veterinarians, in a paper released to Feedstuffs, said there are advantages and disadvantages to all hen housing types and suggested several benefits in modern cage housing.

Dr. Jeff Armstrong, dean of the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at Michigan State University, in a statement provided to Feedstuffs, cautioned that the science is unclear regarding how and if production systems affect on-farm salmonella infections.

Some studies have concluded that there is a higher incidence of infection in flocks in modern cage housing than in flocks in cage-free floor housing, he said, and some studies have found just the opposite. More research is clearly needed, he said.

However, some anti-cage groups "cherry pick" studies to report only research that supports their perceptions or theories, Armstrong said. Based on a summary of scientific literature from around the world, any party that maintains that there is a higher prevalence of salmonella in eggs produced in cage housing is in "absolute disagreement with leading scientific experts," he said.

Editor's note: The above is part of a story that will be published in the Aug. 30 issue of Feedstuffs and posted at www.feedstuffs.com.

FDA identifies violations in Iowa recall case

Feedstuffs 8/30/2010
Rod Smith

The Food & Drug Administration, in a conference call with reporters this afternoon, said FDA investigators have found several violations of the agency's new food safety rule at the two Iowa egg farms that are at the center of the egg recall associated with an outbreak of salmonella-related foodborne illness.

FDA officials said these include allowing access points to exist to hen houses for flies, rodents and wild animals and bird nests in buildings.

They said investigators also found that employees going from house to house did not change protective clothing and that equipment moved from site to site was not being sanitized. At one farm, hens outside their cages were tracking manure throughout their facilities.

FDA also said it has identified a positive sample for the Salmonella enteritidis fingerprinted in the recall in spent egg wash water at one of the farms.

Importantly, FDA deputy commissioner Mike Taylor emphasized that there "is no reason" to believe that the conditions at the two farms are indicative of industrywide practices. The two farms are owned by the same individual.

Taylor also called for passage of food safety legislation in Congress that would give FDA more access to records and mandatory recall authority.