Sunday, May 8, 2011

Where did the time go?

I could not believe it when I finally logged into my blog and saw that my last post was in January! I have been very busy with my horse rescue mission.  On Feb 4,2011 my life seemed to take a hairpin turn and I am now on a course that I had never imagined. Here is a link to the news story by Kamloops Daily news reporter Cam Fortems that I am sure has changed my life forever.
Once this story hit the papers I was contacted and asked if I could help with the rescue of the feral horses.  Knowing that this was way to big to handle by myself  I contacted Deborah Silk from Critteraid and asked if she thought Critteraid could agree to act as the registereed charity to take on the responsibility of these horses. The first five had already gone to auction and so all we could do for them was to say a prayer and ask that their death was quick.  However we were told that there were two more who could possibly be saved from slaughter. With the help of a wonderful woman by the name of Judy Colpits from Kelowna , Minister Steve Thomsom turned the horses over to Critteraid. However as Murphy's law dictates never assume anything, it turned out that the ministry actually had six horses in custody and of course we had to take them all. There is no way we could pick and choose who would go to slaughter and who would be saved, so of course I told the ministry that we would take them all.
I feel like I have been on a tread mill ever since Feb 4,2011. I have been so busy and so happy all at the same time.
One of the horses was heavy in foal when we picked her up at the Kamloops stock yard and she just had her baby on Thursday May 5,2011. A beautiful bay filly that is very big! No wonder that poor mare had such a big belly for so long! We rushed to get her a foster home as we thought she would foal any day and then she waited three weeks to drop that baby!Check out for video to see the beautiful little girl that was saved from slaughter! Click on the Wild Horses Saved Banner to see updates on the rescue of the wild horses.
Just imagine she may have been born in a kill pen if her mom Anastasia had gone to auction, or who knows if she would have even been allowed to be born. Her mom could have been slaughtered with her still in her belly. It tears at my soul to think about all the baby's that have to suffer that fate. However I must rejoice in the fact that this is one baby and mom that will not be served up for dinner next to the mashed potatoes.
I am busy trying to get these horses trained trying to find forever homes for them. We have still not had a meeting with the Ministry as promised, but I will stay in touch and keep pushing for the meeting. Till then may God bless, Happy Mothers day and please forward this to as many people as possible as the horses need you. Donations can be made on the Critteraid website.
Yours in Compassion  Theresa Nolet Project Equus

Saturday, January 29, 2011

emailing President Obama

Did you know that you can email President Obama? Just type that into a search engine and send your message. This is what I just emailed to President Obama and just now realize that I addressed him as Mr. Obama! hope he doesn't take offense!

Dear Mr. Obama
I am writing in regards to the BLM roundups and confinement of the wild horses of America.Please I am begging you to look into this and intervene on behalf of the horses. I would rather see these magnificent animals shot dead where they stand rather than have them suffer the frustration of standing in small confinement corrals for their lives. Please consult with someone who actually understands the mental makeup of a horse and end this cruelty. I have the greatest respect for you. Please do not let me down. You have let a dog into your family's life, would you confine it to a dog crate for the rest of its life? I think not.  Please watch this video from you Tube showing how cruel the people are that perform these roundups.
People are incredibley egotistical and this act is showing only their bragging rights for their skill, not concern for the animal. I hate to say this but does this not resonate with the history of how slaves were treated?
No concern for their individual welfare? I know that these are not human beings but I also know that they experience fear and pain.

Respectfully Theresa Nolet owner of four formerly abused and neglected wild horses, now living the life they were meant to live, well fed, loved and cared for.

Food Terrorists who are they?

This is a letter to the Editor that I submitted to the Western Producer a newspaper that is aimed on the agricultural industry of Western Canada.

I read with interest the article titled Food Terrorism Poses Threat to Agriculture from the January 20,2011 issue. I would have to ask the question WHO is actually putting the health and safety of the public at risk? The mentally ill people who would knowingly poison or taint the food to harm unsuspecting consumers or the industry giants that are systematically eliminating the small farmer and concentrating our food supply into smaller and smaller distribution centres?
If we did not have huge factory farms and processing plants we would not have to worry about such large impacts from someone tampering with the food such as the incidents that Mr. Hutchinson refers to. The fear mongering of risk to the agricultural industry from terrorism is a red herring as far as I am concerned.
In fact the real threat to public safety seems to come from the industry itself. Take for example the recent recall of 380 million eggs over 17 states by Wright County Egg of Iowa owned by Jack DeCoster  who  has been a constant violator of regulations and has paid millions of dollars in fines since 1996 for human rights, environment, industry standards and animal abuse violations.  All of which are just the cost of doing business for this billionaire.
What about the Maple Leaf listeriosis outbreak of 2008, which was linked to four confirmed deaths and countless other illnesses across Canada.
Most recently the B.C. E-Coli 0517 strain investigation. The company Pitt Meadows Meat has solved this problem simply by dropping their Federal licence for a Provincial licence, which does not require testing for E-Coli. Now THAT legislation certainly is meant to protect the consumer, or do I mean the industry? These are just the most recent and public recalls, there are many more that I could list.
My point being that the so called “Terrorists” are the least of my worries. I fear more from the dollar grabbing industry leaders who daily put profits before the consumer and NOW want laws put in place to protect their already secretive and fear dominated practices from the scrutiny of public opinion. Remember, when you vote to take the rights away from one group of people you are ultimately voting to take away your own rights.
I feel since the consumer is the one paying for their exorbitant profits we have the right to know how our food is being raised, treated and processed. The comment about animal welfare activists and the video of the downed cow serves only as a masked insinuation that concerns for animal welfare in the industrialization of farming are a threat against the food safety of the world. What the factory farming industry is really afraid of is the loss of profits once the truth becomes commonplace and the public demands that consumers, workers and animals all be treated with the respect they deserve.
My response to Mr. Hutchinson’s  statement  “ Be careful who you hire and if you are in charge, know your business. You will be held responsible” is to advise everyone to support your local farmer and buy local.  If you really want to avoid the fear of being poisoned by “Terrorists” remember you get to control the industry practices three times a day with every meal that you eat!

What I did not include in my Letter to the Editor were some of the charges against the owner of the owner of Wright County Egg of Iowa owned by Jack DeCoster. Here are some of the charges that he has been found quilty of including the rape of his immigrant workers by supervisors!:
DeCoster Animal Factories:
Decades of Endangering Workers and the Environment
Austin "Jack" DeCoster has owned and operated intensive, industrial-scale animal confinement plants in the U.S. since the early 1960s. Doing business under various company names, such as Quality Egg of New England, LLC, DeCoster Farms, and Maine Contract Farming, LLC, DeCoster has become the largest producer of eggs in New England, and a major player in the Iowa pig farm belt. DeCoster egg operations also figure prominently in the Midwest, with multiple facilities in Iowa, Ohio, and Maine. DeCoster Farms entered the ranks of the nation’s most notorious polluters of land and water in the 1990s, after constructing several huge pig feeding operations in Iowa that stretched surrounding communities’ abilities to deal with the resulting waste well beyond their limits. DeCoster’s record of environmental devastation
• Prior to 1993: Even before he built his first large-scale Iowa pig farming operation, Austin J. "Jack"
has been matched by a long record of violations against the most basic rights of workers. Over the years, DeCoster businesses have been the target of investigations and penalty proceedings by a wide range of state and federal agencies, among them the federal Occupational Safety and Health Commission (OSHA), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Administration, the Maine Human Rights Commission, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Examples of DeCoster’s many brushes with the law follow:DeCoster had already drawn the serious attention of environmental and labor law enforcement authorities. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection had brought a 14-count action against him for activities that were polluting both air and water. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had investigated DeCoster in connection with farm workers’ reports that they had been exposed to lethal asbestos in DeCoster chicken houses. There had also been a federal suit brought against DeCoster under the Migrant Agricultural Workers Protection Act, based on workers’ reports of unfit housing, and of illegal threats and harassment ongoing at DeCoster plants.1• July, 1996: DeCoster was fined over $3.6 million by OSHA for mistreatment of workers at his Maine egg farms. At these facilities, federal investigators found that workers had been forced to handle manure and dead chickens with unprotected, bare hands, and that the trailers serving as worker housing were filthy and infested. Then-Labor Secretary Robert Reich described the conditions at the Maine DeCoster egg operations as "among the worst" found in the U.S.21 Pigs, profits, and rural communities2 "In Maine, Egg Empire is Under Fire," New York Times, August 29, 1996,• June, 2000: DeCoster was named Iowa’s first "habitual violator" of state environmental laws, after losing a succession of enforcement cases brought against him by the Iowa Attorney General. At the time, DeCoster Farms’ pig-feeding business confined hundreds of thousands of pigs, and was generating more manure than it could contain in its underground pits. When the company simply spread its excess manure across open land, and transported huge volumes of it along open county roads, manure flowed into public waterways, causing hazardous pollution. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources ordered DeCoster immediately to construct concrete manure-storage structures, and assessed him a $150,000 civil penalty. DeCoster’s "habitual violator" status raised applicable penalties for noncompliance from $5,000 to $25,000 per day, and barred DeCoster from constructing any new confinement feeding operations.3• June, 2002: OSHA imposed a fine of $345,810 on Maine Contract Farming LLC (a DeCoster business successor) and several other related entities in Turner, Maine, based on findings that they had refused to remedy hazardous conditions that were continually placing workers in danger. At the time of this OSHA action, the egg farm already had a documented history of roof collapses. Violations listed in the June 2002 OSHA order included exposed asbestos, defective eyewash stations, hazardous electrical equipment, uninspected fire extinguishers, unsanitary shower facilities, and fall hazards. Commenting on the OSHA penalty, an Auburn, Maine lawyer who had represented 80 workers in a pay-violation case against DeCoster told press that Maine Contract Farming and its associates were "still DeCoster Egg Farm," and "still operated by Austin DeCoster."4• July, 2002: DeCoster Egg Farms of Maine agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit brought against it by Mexican workers who suffered deplorable working conditions while working at the Farms. The workers asserted that DeCoster Egg Farms had exploited their vulnerable immigration status in order to avoid obligations to comply with labor laws. The plight of the workers was so substantial that the Mexican government joined in the case, and made the case a cause celebre. 5• 2001 – 2003: In 2001, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) filed a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint against DeCoster Farms in Wright County, Iowa, on behalf of female workers who reported that they had been sexually assaulted and raped by supervisors at DeCoster Farms. EEOC reviewed the complaint, and sought an injunction against DeCoster. This resulted in an order requiring DeCoster Farms to enforce federal anti-harassment and non-retaliation policies at its facility, and to cooperate with EEOC’s ongoing investigation into the facts underlying the workers’ complaint. EEOC ultimately ruled for the workers, but DeCoster would not cooperate towards a settlement payment. EEOC therefore commenced a formal proceeding against DeCoster, which ended in 2003, when DeCoster agreed to pay $1.3 million in damages to 11 workers, $100,000 to ICADV, and $125,000 to any additional victims who might be identified within a year of the settlement decree. 63 Release, June 15, 2000, Iowa Attorney General, Iowa Department of Justice, "OSHA cites former DeCoster Egg Farm for $345,000 in alleged violations," Portsmouth Herald, June 8, 2002, "Mexico Wins $3.2 Million Settlement with DeCoster Egg Farms on Behalf of Workers," July 3, 2002, 6 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of General Counsel Report, Fiscal Year 2003 Annual Report, Top Ten Cases Resolved in FY 2003 by Monetary Benefits,• August, 2003: A. J. DeCoster pleaded guilty to federal charges that he had knowingly and repeatedly hired illegal immigrants at his Northern Iowa egg plants. The charges resembled others that DeCoster had faced and settled in 1989, for his illegal hiring practices at Maine-based egg operations. Under the terms of the Iowa plea agreement, DeCoster paid the federal government $1.25 million, and another $875,000 in restitution, to cover some of the government’s enforcement and monitoring costs at his plants. DeCoster was also required to pay for unannounced facility and record inspections at his plants, for five years following the date of his plea. 7• June, 2006: During the third immigration raid of DeCoster egg operations in Iowa since 2001, law enforcement officials confirmed that DeCoster was still engaging in illegal hiring practices at his six Iowa egg facilities. Thirty-six workers were detained in the course of this enforcement operation. 8• May, 2007: Former DeCoster manager Cacy Cantwell was granted a hearing before the Maine Human Rights Commission on his complaint that DeCoster had fired him and stripped him of company housing on the sole grounds that Cantwell is an atheist. A Commission investigator who reviewed the evidence found a reasonable basis for Cantwell’s assertion of religious discrimination. Cantwell supplemented his Human Rights Commission complaint with a separate filing against DeCoster at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 9• September, 2007: Federal immigration investigators raided the same six DeCoster egg farms in Iowa that had been raided by officials in June, 2006. Children were among the 51 illegally hired workers found on the premises, this time. 10• August, 2008: OSHA cited DeCoster surrogate Maine Contract Farming for willful violations of worker safety laws, based on findings that during the prior Winter, the company had forced workers to salvage eggs from inside a dangerously unstable structure that had collapsed from the weight of ice and snow. OSHA called this company misconduct "astonishing" and "unacceptable." For actions that exposed workers in other buildings to additional collapse hazards, and which allowed workers to operate powered industrial trucks in a way that exposed them to the risk of crush injuries, OSHA issued the egg operation two additional citations for hazards that OSHA classified as likely to result in death or serious injury to workers. 11Here is the article that I was responding to:
Food safety | Agricultural terrorism
Food terrorism poses threat to agriculture, says expert
By William DeKay
Saskatoon newsroom
The risk of food terrorism in Canada is real, said security expert Asa Hutchinson.
Speaking to the Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon recently, the former undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned that there is a continued global threat to the agricultural community.
“Let me assure you that if you are a thoughtful terrorist and you look at ways to attack United States or Canada or western civilization, you will consider agriculture as a terrorist target,” he said.
U.S. agriculture represents 13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, employs 15 percent of the population and has $50 billion in exports.
Canada’s numbers are smaller but also significant.
“It’s a perfect symbolic and economic target,” said Hutchinson.
In 1952, he said an African insurgent group used a local plant toxin to kill cattle at mission stations.
In 1978, the Arab Revolutionary Council poisoned Israeli oranges with mercury, injuring 12 people and reducing orange exports by 40 percent.
In an effort to protect the food supply chain, Hutchinson urged industry to implement its own security measures in partnership with government.
“It’s better to have a thoughtful approach in advance. Rather than inspecting everyone that goes on the airplane, what we should have done is to rely on intelligence to identify and try to inspect people who pose a risk to us as the Israelis do,” he said.
“To identify your threat, you have to first identify your vulnerabilities and develop a security plan that meets those threats and vulnerabilities that is suitable and matches your environment.”
Hutchinson says those working in agriculture need to take responsibility to protect agriculture because the risk is substantial.
“It’s your market. It’s your revenue stream. Not that someone would attack your farm but that there’s an attack on the marketplace itself and the public loses confidence,” he said.
Hutchinson said food processing plants are the most vulnerable be-cause there are large quantities of product passing through a confined environment.
Animal welfare activists are also threats to the industry, citing videos posted on the internet of a downer cow at a U.S. beef slaughterhouse.
“Be careful who you hire and if you are in charge, know your business. You will be held responsible,” he said.
, Kendall M. Thu and E. Paul Durrenberger, Eds., State University of New York Press (1998) p. 127.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Horse Racing - Sport of Kings or Tyrants?

I attended the first of the Penticton Museum’s Brown Bag lecture series on Jan 18 th and would like to extend a thank you to the Museum and to Cass Robinson who spoke about the race horse industry in British Columbia. Cass gave a very impartial look inside the world of horse racing, revealing things even I did not know about. While Cass obviously loves horses she spoke very candidly about the flaws of the race horse world to not only the horses but to the men and women who ride these horses to the finish line. Most people are totally unaware of the way Jockey’s are treated in the outdated weight restrictions  they face in order to qualify to enter a race. The weight assigned for the Kentucky Derby is 126 pounds total which includes the jockey ‘s body weight, his clothing and the horses saddle and tack! No wonder they wear silks! To meet these unbeilivably low weight rules, the average jockey weighs between 108 and 118 pounds. Here is a quote from a website called Jockeys Room
Photo courtesy of stay light means one has to keep the calories down. Often jockeys eat no more than a piece of toast and a few cups of tea throughout the day. It is common for jockeys to indulge in vomiting to control their weight .
In a recent HBO film titled JOCKEY , retired jockey Randy Romero, who is awaiting liver and kidney transplants due to damage from bulimia, comes clean about the dangerous weight-control methods jockeys engage in. The film shows the square toilet bowls installed at some famous racetracks, toilets designed specifically for jockeys to use for vomiting.
Cass also talked about the drugs that race horses are given, sometimes to make them run faster and sometimes to make them run slower.  Add to this a device called a “bug, machine, joint or jigger “ which is illegal but is used to shock the horse to force them to run faster and one gets to get a very clear picture of what goes on behind the scenes on a race track.
Cass also talked about how horses are raced before their knees are fully developed and the low percentage of 2 year olds that make it to be a three year old racer due to physical breakdown caused by the stress on the horses joints.
What Cass did not speak about was where the race horses go after their racing careers are over. Most go to slaughter even the ones that have earned their owners big money. It is estimated that thoroughbreds and quarter horses make up the bulk of the 125,000 horses that were slaughtered in Canada in2010. This does not include the horses that were sent to Mexico for slaughter.
 Unfortunately when you watch a sporting event like the Kentucky Derby, bet on a race, or visit a local track, these are the industry practices you support.
Below is a hand out that I distributed at the talk to anyone who was interested. Only one person refused to take the handout. Most people are so unaware of the truth behind this incredibly cruel and ruthless industry.
What is the average weight of a jockey?
Weight depends on horse and length of race. However for top end races the weight the horse CARRIES is allowed to be between 115 and 121 lbs! That includes tack and clothing! No wonder the Jockey’s wear silk!
Almost all jockeys practice vomiting and laxatives to maintain race day weight.
Is it true that race horses end up at slaughter?
If history is any guide, though, some Derby bluebloods will end up one day far away from the bright lights, in the cold, cruel surroundings of a slaughterhouse.
Take Ferdinand. The striking, well-bred son of Canadian-bred Nijinsky II won the Kentucky Derby in 1986 and his future seemed secure. He died in a slaughterhouse in Japan 16 years later, reportedly no longer attractive to breeders as a stallion.
Exceller, the only horse ever to beat two Triple Crown winners – Seattle Slew and Affirmed in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup – died in a Swedish slaughterhouse in 1997.
Phantom on Tour, sixth in the '97 Kentucky Derby, might have met a similar fate if rescue groups hadn't have stepped in.
It is estimated that 125 THOUSAND horses were slaughtered in Canada in 2010! Most of these were from the Throughbred industry and the Quarter Horse industry. This does not include the horses that were sent to Mexico to be slaughtered.
Using drugs banned from the human food chain is routine in the race horse industry, and therefore race horses should be banned from the slaughter  industry.
What is a Nurse Mare Farm?
Nurse mare farms breed mares to random studs for the purpose of bringing the mares into lactation. The pregnancies they carry are unwanted, the milk is the name of the game.
Once foaled, these mares are then leased out to other farms to nurse foals other than their own (usually high dollar show or race horses). Their own foals are pulled away from them anywhere between 1 day and 1 week of age. Their foals are then discarded due to the level of care they require and the costs associated to raise the orphan foals.

The following is a list of Nurse Mare Farms in Canada that are listed on the internet. This does not mean that there are not more in Canada, they are just not on the internet.
AA Arabians
Sheila Clarkson
rr#4 orangeville ont l9w 2z1
Carson Farms
R.R.#3 Listowel,
Ontario, Canada N4W 3G8.
519/291-2049; fax 519/291-5065
 Carson Farms prides themselves on their own breeding program for their Clydesdales. However, in recent years they have found a need to supply nurse mares to help in raising foals who are either orphaned or rejected by their dams. Carson Farms have on hand 20-30 broodmares who are due to foal in the early part of 2005 and can be used as nurse mares for standardbreds, thoroughbreds or simply for your own special horse. Carson Farms have a lease agreement to provide a mare in milk and give assistance or advice as needed under reasonable circumstances. The mare will be leased to raise a healthy foal until September / October and then will be returned to Carson Farms.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Virgil Butler

I am getting more involved all the time in trying to end horse slaughter in Canada and tonight I was trying to catch up on some of my filing, paper seems to grow on every surface of my house lately. Anyway I came across some stuff from earlier in the year when I had went to a local mall to get signatures on a petition and to try and educate people about the horrors of horse slaughter. As I was filing, my mind went over the event and the people I had met and how they had responded to my request for support. Most were shocked to learn that we slaughter horses in Canada to ship overseas for human consumption, but the people who stand out in my mind were those who accused me of somehow neglecting people by giving my time and effort to animals. At the time I wasn’t sure how to respond to those people. It was like I was a bad person because I was somehow extending the suffering of humanity by my defending animals.
Then I came across an article about Virgil Butler, a man who worked on the kill floor for Tyson foods in a chicken slaughter house. Virgil had risked his life by changing how he lived it and became an outspoken activist to change the cruelty of the chicken slaughter industry. I had printed this off the internet, and as I sat and leafed through the article before filing it, I had a eureka moment.
Suddenly I realized that I do support people and humanity in my efforts to end this incredible cruelty. The workers are people with wives, husbands and children who commit these acts of cruelty. It is workers who show up every day to spend it immersed in death, pain and suffering, wearing rubber boots and aprons to wade about in the blood that covers the floors and work surfaces of the slaughter plant.
I have no doubt in my mind that they are affected by doing this work and I wonder how it spills over into their personal lives. Do they go home and yell at their wives/husbands and children? Do they respond with violence when angered? Do they drink too much? Do they sleep well? Or do they go totally the opposite direction and become totally shut down and removed from their families and friends?  I think that having to work in a job where the very air is full of fear from the animals and brutality cannot help but change a person’s psyche and that eliminating this type of job environment cannot but help improve the human condition. As I always say people are not born cruel they don’t go to kindergarten and tell their teacher I want to grow up and work in a slaughter house where I will kill horses and cut them up. If a child said that they would immediately be sent for psychological evaluation. So how do small children grow up to have a career in a slaughter house?  An even more interesting question I am constantly asking as I learn more and more about not only horse slaughter but about factory farming methods is “who thinks of these ways to treat/ torture animals and call it farming?”
So the next time someone accuses me of ignoring people and children by supporting animal causes I will tell them about Virgil Butler and how he felt about the job once he stood back and really took a look at what he did for a living.
To learn more about Virgil Butler go to
Virgil passed away December 15,2006 but he is still spreading the message throught the miracle of the internet. God Bless you Virgil, may I have the emotional strength that you did to stand up for what you believe is right.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29,2010-12-29
I just was catching up on some reading over the holidays and came across an article in the B.C. Animal Sense magazine that talks about why the SPCA cannot prosecute against cruelty that is common place in the rearing of food animals. Canada’s codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals set out guidelines only and any practice that is considered “reasonable and generally accepted” is exempt from both Provincial and Federal animal cruelty laws.
So how is it that we would never allow a Zoo to keep animals in an enclosure that did not allow them to see out, be able to turn around and have to stand on concrete for the duration of its life, yet we allow literally millions of female pigs, known as sows, to live their entire lives like this to produce the food that we purchase.
What makes it wrong in the one circumstance and yet is not only considered OK but is encouraged and supported by the Government in the other instance.  One reason is that I think the majority of the public live in ignorance about how their food is actually manufactured. Certainly the farmers do not want the public to see how the animals are really kept. I have never yet seen a petting zoo that is supposed to be acting as an educational tool, actually show how animals are really raised on the average modern farm. Everything is all cute little lambs nursing from their moms and chickens pecking about on the ground.
 The sides of the delivery trucks in my area delivering milk and dairy products show a cow in a beautiful green pasture. None of this representation of farm life is anywhere near reality. Maybe a lawyer should consider suing the dairy industry for false advertising?
I am mystified as to how we rationalize the incredibly cruel farming methods for our food animals and then spend so much time and energy to prosecute people who are cruel to a single animal. Either animals suffer or they don’t you cannot have it both ways depending on who owns the animal and the purpose of the ownership.
The industry leaders will tell you it is necessary to treat the animals this way in order to produce cheap food to feed the masses and the poor. To me that is the same as my Mother telling me to clean my plate because there are hungry children in Africa. My leftovers could never impact the hungry in the other places of the world and cruelty cannot be justified just to produce cheaper food. If you are truly concerned about feeding the poor any well educated person knows that meat is not the answer as it consumes 16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of finished beef. Meat is not the answer to world hunger. Also the more I learn about factory farming the more I learn about how many animals are killed during the process from birth to slaughter. Each year in Canada 2 ½ to 3 MILLION animals arrive at the slaughter house dead! This means they cannot be used for human consumption and must go to the rendering plant. Also many animals are destroyed because they do not grow quickly enough. It is all about automation and fitting the profile of the desired finished product.It really has nothing to do with food it has everything to do with profit for the huge corporations that control this industry.
Anyway those are some of my thoughts today on the anti cruelty laws and how they are enforced.
If you want to learn more here is a link to Youtube about sow crates.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Interesting additives!

Well I belong to a group that emails interesting news articles related to animals. I received this one a couple of days ago, but did not have time to read it till tonight. Wow, I had no idea that they( they being the top end of the corporate ladder who care nothing about the animal, enviroment or consumer) were making industry so dependent on the need for animal byproducts for even simple things.
I had no idea that plastic bags contained animal byproducts and that even the industry is concerned about it! Turns out that plastic bags may have the potential to pass on Mad Cow Disease! Read below to learn more.
P.S. No wonder animals eat plastic bags if they contain animal fat!
Here is the link as well


Tutorials : Aug 1 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 14)

Animal-Derived Agents in Disposable Systems

Growing Concern Over the Use of ADCs in Polymeric Materials

Polymeric materials have been widely used in bioprocessing for more than a decade. Disposable processing products manufactured from plastic materials include flexible tubing, sanitary fittings, cylindrical tanks, carboys, powder-handling bags, capsule filters, and flexible film-based containers used for storage and mixing of process fluids. Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are the most common polymers employed for surfaces that come into direct contact with solid or liquid process materials.
Although polymers are manufactured from petroleum feedstock, plastics manufacturers often use additives of animal origin to improve material properties and/or to aid in processing of raw polymers.
The principal animal-derived components (ADC) used today are various salts of stearic acid, a long-chain (C18) fatty acid. Derived from the rendering of beef fat (tallow), stearates comprise approximately 100200 ppm in typical raw polyethylene. When added to polymer formulations, calcium and aluminum stearate salts (among others) impart lubricity, preventing the polymer from sticking to metal surfaces during extrusion or mold release. These additives are often referred to as "slip" agents.
In addition to lubrication, stearates bind to and inactivate trace polymerization catalysts remaining in the polymer blend. Stearates applied directly to molds and extruders provide lubricity. Stearate additives have become part of the culture of polymer processing because they are inexpensive and work well.

Concern Over Prion Diseases

Recent outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; "mad cow disease") and related human spongiform illnesses, generically known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), have raised concern over the safety of ADCs. The trend toward serum-free media is largely due to concerns over TSEs. This group of diseases includes BSE, scrapie (which affects sheep), chronic wasting disease (deer and elk), and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD; humans).
Cases of BSE have been sporadic, with the majority limited to Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Significant isolated outbreaks have arisen in other European countries. In North America, five cases of BSE were confirmed between 2002 and 2004. Although the number of animals affected has been in the hundreds of thousands (98% from the U.K.), fewer than 150 cases of the human form of BSE, CJD, have been confirmed worldwide between 1995 and 2002.
BSE and CJD are caused by a prion, an infectious, abnormally shaped, self-replicating protein that is much smaller than viruses or bacteria. CJD is believed to arise from ingestion of tissues, primarily nerve and brain, from infected animals.
Despite a mostly successful effort at eradicating BSE in food animals and the small number of human cases of CJD worldwide, bioprocessors have expressed concern over the use of ADCs in the manufacture and processing of polymeric materials that come into direct contact with bioprocess fluids.
Their apprehension is due to the small size and difficulty in detecting prions, and the fact that most biotech products are injected. Safety standards for injectible drugs are significantly higher than for ingested therapeutics due to the potential for direct infection.
Recently, bioprocessors have developed orthogonal infectious agent removal and inactivation schemes, as add-ons to normal viral clearance, which purportedly remove prions. However, a growing number of biotech experts believe that the unpredictability of BSE/CJD outbreaks, and the seriousness of the human form of prion disease (100% fatal), represent an unnecessary risk.
In response to this perceived risk, many bioprocessors now request fluid-handling products that are free of materials of animal origin. Animal-free materials eliminate unnecessary risk as well as the need to trace materials of construction back to raw materials.
Interest in animal-derived product-free polymers is strongest in Europe, where BSE has been in the news for more than a decade. However, there has been a discernible increase in attention to ADC status from North American and Asian bioprocessors as well.
Increasingly, bioprocessors are asking suppliers to document that construction materials are either ADC-free or, if they employ stearates from animal sources, that the additives were prepared in accordance with standards that guarantee inactivation of any and all infectious agents, including prions.
Since they operate in the epicenter of BSE incidence, regulators in the European Union have a keen interest in the causes and prevention of TSEs. In 2004, the Official Journal of the European Union published a guidance on minimizing risk of transmitting animal spongiform encephalopathy agents through veterinary medicinal products. This document states:
"Tallow derivatives, such as glycerol and fatty acids, manufactured from tallow by rigorous processes, are thought unlikely to be infectioussuch materials manufactured under the conditions at least as rigorous as those given below shall be considered in compliance for this note for guidancetrans-esterification or hydrolysis at not less than 200C for not less than 20 minutes under pressure (glycerol, fatty acids, and fatty acid esters production)"
Generally, processes used to manufacture tallow-based derivatives exceed these specifications.
Increasingly, polymer manufacturers will document that their stearate additives meet or exceed EU standards for tallow-based products. Moreover, many suppliers source stearate additives exclusively from North American sources, which greatly reduces prion contamination risk.
Normally this would be enough to assure biopharmaceutical manufacturers that product-contact surface areas in disposable plastic components pose no risk. However, despite the FDA's recent emphasis on risk-based and science-based manufacturing, biotech remains a highly risk-averse industry. As a result, interest in ADC-free polymers is growing.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Biotech's awareness of ADC additives in polymer processing is reminiscent of the industry's concern over leachables and extractables a decade ago, when disposable polymeric process products were just gaining market acceptance.
Interest in leachables/extractables began as a scientific curiosity but eventually grew into a set of regulations and practices, which today are generally recognized as prudent measures for protecting public health. Today, suppliers of plastic disposable components use only materials for which adherence to regulatory standards for leachables/extractables can readily be demonstrated.
Similarly, if concern over ADCs and prion diseases persists and grows, a product or material's ADC status may become an issue for biotechnology. It is not inconceivable that, at some point in the future, standards for ADCs formulated into product surface areas will evolve from today's acceptance of components that were processed according to reasonable standards, to zero tolerance.
Although substitutes for ADC-based polymer additives are not difficult to find, plastics containing these replacement additives are uncommon. Silicone oils can serve as lubricating agents, as can stearates derived from nonbovine animals, or even nonstearate-based plant-based long-chain fatty acids and waxes. In some situations polymer processors can eliminate slip agents altogether.
The major issue is sourcing and supply. Polymer resins are the prototypic commodity product. About 60 million tons of polyethylene are produced worldwide each year, according to a study by petroleum giant BP. Even specialty or niche PE markets have become commoditized, to the point where suspending production to switch to a new additive involves significant expense.
This added cost is probably not an issue for users motivated to use ADC-free materials. However, the issue is not so much cost as availability, which depends on market forces, principally polymer processors' perception of the value in continuing to produce and sell ADC-free base materials. Today, few PE or PP manufacturers offer ADC-free raw materials; this is unlikely to change soon.
In our experience, most bioprocessors prefer ACD-free materials. While the majority are satisfiedfor nowsimply to be apprised of a material's ADC status, some have already decided to source products produced from ADC-free polymers exclusively.
At the very least, bioprocessors' concerns have increased and the burden is on suppliers of plastic process equipment to demonstrate ADC status for all relevant ingredients.
From the perspective of plastic fabricators and vendors like TC Tech (Maple Plain, MN), establishing and certifying ADC-free status is preferable to demonstrating to each customer, through an exhaustive supply chain analysis, that animal-based ingredients were processed according to reasonable, accepted prion inactivation standards.
To this end, TC Tech has established a line of disposable fluid handling products that are certified to be free of materials of animal origin (Figures 1 and 2). In all cases, certified products carry written documentation from the raw material supplier and the molder/extruder stating that materials and production processes are free of animal-derived agents.

ADC-Free Material

At some point, if worldwide regulatory bodies adopt stricter controls over ADC-derived materials, manufacturers may be required to demonstrate ADC-free status. Or, in the absence of formal guidance, biotech firms may decide simply to switch to ADC-free materials as a prudent measure to reduce risk, validation, and paperwork.
As biotechnology adopts more disposable polyethylene and polypropylene products, there will be a growing need to source single-use containers, tubing, valves, and other equipment from vendors who have been ahead of the curve with respect to the ADC issue.
As with leachables/extractables, where FDA does not outright prohibit new materials, the burden will be on bioprocessors to demonstrate that their processes "do no harm." In our experience, a straightforward certification that components are ADC-free is simpler to achieve than re-inventing the proverbial wheel for each material.