let's talk farm animals

Bad, bad big city press

Guest Blog by Steve Kopperund,  Ag issues consultant

 

I’ve decided the general media are pretty much amateurs or hacks when it comes to accurately covering issues in food and agriculture. In no other area of our lives – including the arcane world of high finance – does a single profession get it wrong so much of the time. I’m allowed to say this out loud because I was a general newspaper reporter before I was an agbiz reporter/editor before I was a lobbyist.

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Posted by FFC on May 7th, 2012 :: Filed under Animal health,Food safety,Media,Regulations
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I Occupy Our Food Supply everyday

Guest blog: I farm with my father and grandfather on 2,300 acres of land in northwest Indiana. Scott Farms grow corn, soybeans, popcorn, and wheat. I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Soil and Crop Management in 2003.

Today is the day.  The Occupy movement is going to occupy the food supply.  According to the occupiers and Farm Aid president Willie Nelson large corporations have too much control over our food.  I won’t deny that there has been a lot of consolidation in the food and seed markets over the years, but that seems pretty common and big does not equal bad as some occupiers would have you think.

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Posted by FFC on March 6th, 2012 :: Filed under Crops,Environment,Food,Innovation and technology,Regulations
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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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Animal rights vs. religious freedoms

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and Food commentator

In December a plan for an outright ban on ritual slaughter methods in the Netherlands failed to pass the Dutch Senate. The bill and the issues surrounding it garnered world-wide attention by Jewish and Islamic communities, the meat processing and retail sectors, and animal activists. Government diplomats also became involved.

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Posted by FFC on February 13th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,animal handling,Food,Meat/slaughter plants,Regulations
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Why expertise does not trump politics

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and Food Commentator

There’s lots of talk on the need for science-based policy decisions by politicians at all levels of government.  No more so than at the municipal level.  The City of Toronto is a prime example of local politicians over-riding both science and experience in making decisions about animals.

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Posted by FFC on November 28th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Regulations
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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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Guest blog: Ballot measures scuttled

Dan Murphy  

(Dan Murphy is a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator in the United States)

Updated: July 11, 2011 -  Both sides are carefully calling the agreement between the nation’s egg producers and HSUS leadership a “victory.” For industry, that means that two ballot measures set for November that would have asked Oregon and Washington voters to ban the use of cages in egg production will now be withdrawn.

Why? Mostly because the odds of victory were looking less certain for HSUS.

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Posted by FFC on July 13th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Chickens,eggs,HSUS,Regulations,Uncategorized
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Election time and the platforms get wobbly

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

I am not committed to any particular political party and, like many Canadians, tend to cast my ballot based on election platforms.  Not that I necessarily expect them to be honoured, but sometimes party platforms devolve into nonsense.

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Posted by FFC on April 14th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Innovation and technology,Organics,Regulations
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Legislation won’t solve animal welfare concerns

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

With a federal election just around the corner, politicians are being inundated with voter requests for new legislation in the next Parliamentary session. One that comes up with regular frequency is legislation dealing with animal welfare.  A researcher with the University of Manitoba suggests the legislative approach to addressing public concerns related to the welfare of animals raised for food does not necessarily ensure the welfare of those animals. A viewpoint shared by others.

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Posted by FFC on April 7th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Regulations
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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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