let's talk farm animals

When rodents get political

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and food commentator

Mice may be cute but they are also the subject of political debate. According to RadioNetherlands, mice have moved into the Dutch parliament building during the winter recess. The debate began when the Animal Rights Party informed the press and the leader of the lower house that the party would be “removing all the mousetraps in their part of the building and replacing them with mouse-friendly traps.”

This became front-page news and editors came up with some truly awful puns as they covered the rodent drama. Things took a new twist when a regional TV station discovered that the mouse-friendly traps weren’t friendly at all: “the mice start squeaking and create panic throughout the rest of the mouse family,” the station reported.  Presumably these “humanely” trapped rodents are being relocated or adopted by the Animal Rights Party. Meanwhile, some MPs have recommended getting a house cat to solve the pest problem.

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Posted by FFC on February 28th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,Animal cruelty,Regulations,Wildlife
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A teachable moment on fur applies to agriculture too

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and food commentator

As anyone who knows a teenager is probably aware this year’s hot ticket items for Christmas receiving (or any other occasion) included real UGG boots (not the synthetic copies) and Canada Goose jackets.  The price of these natural fibre clothing items put them in the “not happening” category in my household and that of many of my friends. But both items are hot sellers among the under-30 crowd. So it should come as no surprise that they are also receiving negative attention by the “don’t use animals” crowd.

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Posted by FFC on January 16th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,animal by-products,Animal cruelty,Innovation and technology,PETA,Wildlife

Animal protection laws have a bite

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

There is often confusion among the public on Canada’s laws governing the treatment of animals. That is understandable since animal protection is a mix of federal, provincial, and even municipal laws.  Added to the mix, in the case of farm animals, are the varying animal care requirements instituted by the farm and food community in recent years.

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Posted by FFC on August 29th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Animal cruelty,Misconceptions,Regulations
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Sex, lies and videotapes

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and Food Commentator

What do these three things have in common? They get people’s attention.  And thanks in part to new technologies and eroding respect for privacy rights, “Little Brother” is everywhere. 

Distrust of others and a sense of entitlement to know everyone’s business means less and less remains private anymore. The tabloid talk show, paparazzi, leakipedia and the move toward corporate transparency are all examples of that.  Welcome too to the era of the “undercover investigation” which is just a nice name for spying.

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Posted by FFC on April 28th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal cruelty,Media
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Why farmers responded to a sled dog incident

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Recent revelations about the circumstances behind a sled dog cull in Whistler B.C. has gotten world-wide attention and has spurred some of agriculture’s critics to capitalize on this attention.  One of several examples was a Vancouver Sun commentary in which the author surmises that the mass shooting of nearly 100 sled dogs is no different than what occurs in animal agriculture on an hourly basis.  Citing a number of activist references and websites, this regular columnist goes on to say that he finds “it curious that we’re justifiably disturbed by the unspeakable act at Whistler yet remain largely complacent about the cruel and completely unnecessary slaughter of other animals.” By misrepresenting  agricultural practices he paints a false picture that demanded a response. After all, if agriculture doesn’t speak-up for itself, who will?

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Posted by FFC on February 15th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Animal cruelty,Canada,Letters to the Editor
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Farm animals don’t wait on government

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

I am often asked what, if any, laws govern the treatment of farm animals in Canada.  On that score there’s plenty to report.

Since 2005, there have been changes to most provincial animal welfare laws.  You can see for yourself at: http://www.afac.ab.ca/lawsregs/awlcanada.pdf

Mainly, these have been penalty increases but have also included a few other common changes. 

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Posted by FFC on January 26th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal cruelty,Regulations,Research
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Animal Industry Comes of Age

Farm animal councils in Canada, led by the National Farm Animal Care Council, have taken a lead role in promoting the Codes of Practice to farmers in this country. NFACC is also now leading the development of revised codes for a number of livestock species. We think this article sums the topic up well – OFAC

Animal Industry Comes Of Age
Laura Rance
EDITOR
Manitoba Cooperator

An animal-abuse court case based on the discovery of hundreds of dead, starving, dehydrated and injured hogs in a Notre Dame de Lourdes-area barn earlier this year could be precedent setting on two fronts.

The horrific conditions animal-welfare officers found when they were called to the scene and the number of charges laid against the owners of the barn may make this one of the biggest animal-abuse cases the province has ever witnessed.

But it is also the first time charges have been laid for failing to comply with an industry code of practice — standards of animal care developed under the leadership of these hog producers’ peers.

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Posted by FFC on December 13th, 2010 :: Filed under Animal care,Animal cruelty,animal handling,Beef cattle,Canada,Codes of Practice,Dairy cattle,Housing,Pork

Abuse video does not represent dairy industry

By Drovers news source  |  Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is disturbed by the images of alleged animal cruelty documented in a video released this week by an animal rights activist group. The Alliance has long condemned the abuse and mistreatment of animals raised for food and works to promote animal care guidelines on all farms across the United States.

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Posted by FFC on May 28th, 2010 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Animal cruelty,Dairy cattle,Family vs factory farming
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