Wednesday, April 16, 2008

CA Woman Wants to Take Farmer's Choice Away

Pacific Grove woman fights for humane treatment of animals
By KEVIN HOWE Herald Staff Writer

Her family has ranched in the Sacramento Valley since the 1850s when they fed the Gold Rush miners with their beef cattle and crops.

"Family farming," she said, "has been part of my upbringing."

So it's no surprise Zamzow takes an unsentimental, but hard-line stance for the humane treatment of farm animals.

She and other volunteers completed a campaign this year to gather nearly 800,000 signatures on petitions to place the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Zamzow was singled out by Erin Williams, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States' factory farming campaign for her work in gathering hundreds of signatures for the ballot initiative, making her one of the top campaigners in Monterey County. Read More

The California initiative is about choice, not science or animal welfare. HSUS and people like Zamzow want to take away producers options for raising animals, which in turn could force many to quit raising animals altogether. Research has shown no benefit to the animal’s welfare by not using these techniques, so all this will accomplish is to take away the individual freedoms of producers.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's an abundance of scientific evidence demonstrating that animals who are confined in tiny cages where they can barely move an inch their whole lives suffer immensely. You can read some of this science at:

http://www.humanecalifornia.org/science/index.php

The California ballot measure could hardly be more modest. All it asks is that farm animals be able to turn around and extend their limbs. It really is that basic, which is why so many California veterinarians, animal welfare charities, environmental groups, and religious leaders are endorsing it.

Troy & Stacy Hadrick said...

Actually you are quite wrong on the science of this. University of Sydney scientists have done research on stress levels of cage free vs. caged hens and stress levels were identical. UEP Welfare guidlines already require that hens be able to extend their limbs, turn around, and preen. The ballot measure requires more than just turning around and extending their limbs. If you read the initiative you will see that.

If these hens suffered as much as you say, a couple of things would happen. First of all, when an animal is suffering from stress, the first thing that happens is their immune system weakens. This makes them prone to disease. Animal health is extremely important to producers because unhealthy animals are very costly from an economic standpoint. So no producer could stay in business if they were fighting disease all the time.

Second, hens that are suffering immensely would not be producing eggs. Whan an animal is stressed, their body has to prioritze it's needs, and laying eggs would not be a priority. Again, you could not stay in the business of selling eggs if your hens aren't laying them.

To learn unbiased science about caged hens, visit www.feedstuffsfoodlink.com.

This initiative will not result in increased animal welfare, but rather increased prices for families on tight food budgets and the loss of jobs in the egg production industry.

Anonymous said...

Consumers are opposed to the confinement of animals in cages and crates that are so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs. Restaurant chains like Burger King, Denny’s, Carl’s Jr., and Hardee’s are already phasing in cage-free eggs and crate-free pork. California food service companies have enacted cage-free egg policies like Bon Appetit Management Company and Guckenheimer. Grocery stores have created cage-free egg and crate-free pork purchasing preferences, like California-based Safeway announced a few months ago. And hundreds of universities across the country, including many in California are now using cage-free eggs.

When major players in the food industry are demanding products from non-cage sources, it’s clear that animal agribusiness will have to move in this direction in order to meet the growing demand.

Troy & Stacy Hadrick said...

If the market dictates they want cage free that's fine. And then why is HSUS trying to pass these laws? If nobody will buy eggs from hens living in controlled environment to protect them from the elements, then there is no need for this law. Take it off the ballot.

Here's the truth. Most working families on tight food budgets cannot afford eggs produced in a system that has three times the cost associated with it. So why force these children to go without this fantastic protein source.

UEP welfare guidelines already require that hens must be able to turn around and extend their limbs.

So again tell me why we need this ballot measure if the market is going to dictate what type of eggs should be produced.

This is nothing but a stepping stone to eliminating animal agriculture so that we must rely on foreign countries to supply our food and making sure that families can't have access to an affordable food supply.

Anonymous said...

Egg-laying hens have been selectively bred to lay as many eggs as possible in almost any type of living conditions, regardless of how those conditions restrict them from engaging in natural behaviors. UC Davis Poultry Scientist Dr. Joy Mench clarifies too, that productivity measures usually do not speak to welfare of individual animals:

"Productivity...is often measured at the level of the unit (e.g. number of eggs or egg mass per hen-housed), and individual animals may be in a comparatively poor state of welfare even though productivity within the unit may be high."

Mench J, "The Welfare of Poultry in Modern Production Systems," Poultry Science Review 4 (1992): 112.

Production levels aside, the question being posed is simply whether we should allow animals enough room to turn around and extend their limbs. Without hesitation or qualification, my answer is “yes.”

Troy & Stacy Hadrick said...

I am glad that Dr. Joy Mench was brought up in this conversation. The data that 'anonymous' brought up is 16 years old.

Here is what Dr. Mench has been up to this century. She is a member of the scientific advisory committee that set up the UEP guidelines that producers follow. Here are some comments that she recently made to a supermarket executive that had concerns about modern egg production.

"UEP's guidelines have now set a minimum standard of 67-76 sq. in. per bird, which means only two to three hens are housed in the cage, and each one has the space to lie down, stand, stretch, turn around and groom. This not only allows enough space for all hens in the cage to eat at the same time but decreases stress and mortality associated with smaller space allowances."


"Hens in cage egg production systems have access to enough space to express most behaviors, drink and eat and are housed so they can be managed for health and safety."


"the UEP program has scientifically valid standards"


All of these statements can be verified at www.feedstuffsfoodlink.com.

Anonymous, you should be happy that caged hens already have the ability to turn around and extend their limbs. You have been granted your wish.