France Plans Mass Duck Slaughter as Bird Flu Hits Foie Gras

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Foie gras producer Robin Arribit force-feeds a duck with corn in La Bastide Clairence, southwestern France, on Dec. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Bob Edme, File)

PARIS (AFP) — French producers of foie gras called Thursday for a mass preventive cull of ducks to try to halt the spread of a severe strain of bird flu that is ripping through poultry farms in the southwest of the country.

The highly pathogenic H5N8 virus was first detected in a bird in a pet shop on the Mediterranean island of Corsica in November before spreading to duck farms on the mainland in December.

Several European countries have reported cases of infection, five years after a major outbreak prompted the slaughter of millions of ducks in France.

“The virus is stronger than us. New clusters are constantly emerging,” the head of France’s CIFOQ federation of foie gras producers, Marie-Pierre Pe, told AFP.

On Tuesday, the government’s chief veterinary officer, Loic Evain, said that over 200,000 ducks had already been slaughtered and that a further 400,000 birds were set to be culled, out of around 35 million reared each year.

He described the virus, which is not harmful to humans, as “very, very contagious.”

Officials in Belgium said Thursday they had culled three contaminated poultry flocks — one in Menin, in the west of the country, another in Dinant in the south and a third in Dixmude in western Flanders.

Belgium’s federal food safety agency AFSCA, which has ordered poultry owners to lock up their animals to avoid contamination, said that 20 cases of the virus had been found in wild birds.

Herve Dupouy, a French producer who heads the local poultry section of the FNSEA farmers federation in the Landes department, a bastion of the foie gras industry, said “the situation is out of control.” 

He called on the state to cull all poultry flocks in the area and impose a two-month production freeze.

“There’s no other solution,” he said.

So far the authorities have been culling all ducks and geese within a 3-kilometer radius (about 1.8 miles) of an infected flock. Free-range chickens and turkeys within that range have also been slaughtered.

CIFOQ said Thursday that government officials had shared plans to expand the culls over a wider area.

The agriculture ministry declined to comment.

In its latest update on January 1, the ministry said 61 bird flu clusters had been detected on poultry farms and in pet shops. Of these, 48 were in the Landes department, with the rest in the neighboring Gers and Pyrenees-Atlantique departments.

Pe said the number of clusters found had since risen to around 100.

Chinese market in jeopardy

The head of France’s chamber of agriculture, Sebastien Windsor, called Wednesday for “radical measures” to try to restore confidence in export markets such as China which announced this week it was suspending French poultry imports over the virus.

Producers of foie gras, a pate made from the livers of force-fed ducks or geese, fear a repeat of the devastation wrought by two previous waves of bird flu in the winters of 2015–16 and 2016–17.

Over 25 million ducks were culled in the first outbreak, followed by 4.5 million the following year, causing a steep decline in foie gras production.

Besides France and Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Britain and Ireland have also reported bird flu outbreaks since the winter began.

Dutch authorities culled some 190,000 chickens in November over the discovery of the virus at two farms.

Fighter charged with animal cruelty over attempted bobcat sale

Tim Bissell  4 hrs ago


Fighter charged with animal cruelty over attempted bobcat sale (msn.com)

There’s a Sheep Hidden In A Sea of Santa Clauses. Can You Spot It?Pelosi joins calls for VA secretary’s ousterFighter charged with animal cruelty over attempted bobcat sale

[CW: The following story describes alleged incidents of animal cruelty]a cat sitting on a table: FILE PHOTO-A pet bobcat in Melissa, TX. Picture taken on September 23, 2018. © Photo credit should read Adam Gray / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Imag… FILE PHOTO-A pet bobcat in Melissa, TX. Picture taken on September 23, 2018.

According to the Houston Chronicle Jovidon Sorbon, 33, has been arrested and charged with a misdemeanour cruelty to non-livestock animals. in connection to allegations that he trapped a wild bobcat and attempted to sell it on Craigslist for $1,000.

Investigators got wind of Sorbon after concerned individuals noticed someone was trying to sell a bobcat online. The Craigslist ad, allegedly set up by Sorbon, read that the bobcat was 8 months old and had been trapped when it was 3 months old. Tipsters contacted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and a sting operation was set-up.

Authorities state that an undercover agent contacted Sorbon posing as an interested buyer and that when that agent asked Sorbon if he had the animal in his procession, Sorbon answered in the affirmative. Authorities further allege that Sorbon told the agent that the animal had never been to a vet.

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An arrest warrant states that agents arranged to meet Sorbon at a Jack in the Box in Sugar Land. When Sorbon arrived at the location he was arrested. Reportedly, he claimed he did not know it was illegal to sell the animal.

Texas Park and Wildlife game wardens seized the bobcat and transported it to Houston SPCA’s wildlife division for medical care. Under examination it was determined that the animal had a severely broken toe, among other injuries. Experts claimed these injuries were consistent with trapping practices.

An X-ray revealed that the animal had also been shot resulting in injuries to its torso, right front leg and hind leg. Investigators do not know when the animal was shot or if this had any connection to the suspected trapping.

The bobcat is currently under the care of the Houston Society for Prevention to Cruelty to Animals.

Sorbon is listed as having a 1-0 pro record on Tapology. His lone pro fight was at FURY FC 37 in Denver, CO on September 28, 2019.

You can support the Houston SPCA with both one-time and monthly donations here.

Information on how to report animal cruelty in the United States can be found here on the Humane Society of the United States official website.

Can Mushrooms Provide a Vegan, Green Alternative to Animal Leather?

BUSINESS

Project goal: To create an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to leather, in this case using fungi.

 

Project partner: Indonesian startup Mycotech is supported through universities, research institutions and the DBS Foundation. In 2019/2020, the company also received from funding from the SEED Initiative (Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development) and the German Environment Ministry’s International Climate Initiative.

Project budget: Mycotech has received $500,000 in funding since 2017.

Humankind has been using animal skin to produce leather for thousands of years. It’s a textile with a long tradition, but critics say making it causes animal suffering, consumes a lot of water and pollutes the environment with chemicals and CO2.

According to the company founded in 2012, the material is breathable, robust and grows using agricultural waste such as sawdust. The waste is mixed with fungi spores, which form mycelium — a fine branching mass of threadlike structures. After a few days, it can be harvested from the waste blocks, tanned and further processed.

Scientists around the world are researching mycelium properties, believing it could provide the basis for new materials. Some fashion businesses are already using “mushroom leather” to make products like shoes and bags.

 

A film by Nicole Ris und A.B. Rodhial Falah.

Reposted with permission from DW.

Kaporos, Largest Live Animal Wet Market in the United States, Opens Ahead of Yom Kippur

SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 BY  — LEAVE A COMMENT

https://theirturn.net/2020/09/19/kaporos-wet-markets-yom-kippur/

In the days leading up to Yom Kippur, tens of thousands of Hasidim in Brooklyn will purchase and physically handle live chickens in a wet market setting. Wearing little to no PPE, they will swing the chickens around their heads as part of an annual atonement ritual called Kaporos. The chickens will be killed in approximately 30 makeshift slaughterhouses erected without permits on public streets in residential neighborhoods in violation of eight New York City health codes. The body parts, blood and feces of thousands of animals will contaminate the streets of South Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park for several days.

Kaporos is, in effect, the largest live animal wet market in the country and the only one in which the customers handle the animals before the animals are killed. Many of the animals have compromised immune systems and show signs of respiratory disease. The chickens make each other sick, and they also infect some of the people who handle them with e. Coli and campylobacter. If the viruses that these animals carry commingle and mutate into a more dangerous strain that could be spread among humans, then these Kaporos wet markets could be the source of the another zoonotic disease outbreak. According to a toxicologist who studied fecal and blood samples taken during Kaporos, the ritual “constitutes a dangerous condition” and “poses a significant public health hazard.”

During Kaporos, tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews purchase and physically handle live animals, without PPE, putting themselves and the public at risk of zoonotic disease

In addition to putting all of us at risk of another zoonotic disease pandemic, Kaporos, which attracts hordes of people in small areas, could be a COVID “super spreader” event because Hasidic communities have been observed not wearing masks or engaging in social distancing.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio; his Health Commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi; and his Deputy Commissioner of Disease Control, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, allow this mass ritual slaughter to take place, in spite of the health code violations and risks to public health, because NYC’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities represent a powerful voting bloc that can make or break elections in NYC and NY State. In fact, taxpayers help to underwrite the cost because the NYPD provides barricades, floodlights and a large police presence at many of the Kaporos sites. Given the risks and the disruption and death we have already endured already with pandemic, how can the Mayor and his health deputies allow Kaporos to take place?

The Kaporos wet market contaminates the public streets and sidewalks of several NYC neighborhoods with the blood, feces and body parts of thousands of animals killed in pop up slaughterhouses erected without permits in violation of 8 NYC health laws

During Kaporos, some of the live and dead chickens are discarded onto the streets. Rescuers bring the survivors who they find to veterinarians and sanctuaries to live out their lives in peace

For the past several years, animal rights and public health advocates have pled with Mayor de Blasio and his revolving door of health commissioners (Dr. Mary Bassett, Dr. Oxiris Barbot and now Dr. Dave Chokshi) to shut down Kaporos, given the health code violations and the risks to the public health. Both in court and in the media, city attorneys and spokespeople for the NYC Department of Health have defended Kaporos and argued that the City has discretion over which laws to enforce. Throughout the month of September, the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos plastered 300 posters around New York City to sound the alarm about Kaporos.

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, a project of United Poultry Concerns, plastered billboards around NYC to educate the public about the risk to public health created by Kaporos

 

Daily coronavirus briefing: ‘Sunny and delightful’ weather on tap for 146th running of the Kentucky Derby

The fastest two minutes in sports will take place Saturday with no spectators in attendance because of the pandemic. Plus, one country is planning to give free COVID-19 vaccinations to all of its 126 million citizens.

Updated 09/05 at 9:24 AM PDT

https://www.accuweather.com/en/health-wellness/live-news/covid-19-usa-cases-and-daily-news-briefings/791547

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Deciding whether or not to keep beaches open for Labor Day weekend wasn’t an easy decision for cities to make. Adam Del Rosso explains what some cities decided.

Here are the latest updates, listed in eastern time, and the most important things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic.

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Hundreds of people marched in defiance of tough measures that have been in place for a month in Melbourne, Australia. More protests took place in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Protesters in Melbourne chanted “freedom” and “human rights matter” amid a heavy police presence. “In the absence of a vaccine, we may have to live this way for years,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. Police were criticized earlier for the arrest of a pregnant woman in her home for promoting the protest online.

Americans who tried to escape coronavirus orders by buying a boat experienced limited choices, waiting lists, non-negotiable prices and bigger deposits with no certain delivery date. Demand surpassed supply while manufacturers had sick workers and dealt wit difficulties obtaining materials, according to UPI. Nowadays by the time a customer decides to purchase, “someone else has made an offer and the boat is sold,” said yacht broker Barin Cardenas, founder and chief executive at Yacht Creators in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “As soon as boats hit the floor, they’re sold,” said Matt Lodder, president of Memphis-based Marine Sales Group. “Lately, customers are putting down deposits on any boat, even before it arrives, just so they know they will get something. I tell them the wait can be 30 days.”

The director of the National Institutes for Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said it’s “unlikely” that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready by October, although there are currently three vaccines in the US in phase 3 clinical trials, CNN reported. “This is like the Boy Scout motto, ‘Be Prepared,’” Collins said. “Even if it’s very low likelihood if everything happened to come together really beautifully and we had an answer by then and we knew we had a vaccine that was safe and effective, wouldn’t you want people to be ready to figure out how to do the distribution? That’s all that CDC is saying.” Collins continued by adding, “now keep in mind that the likelihood of that is pretty low.”

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers, provided by researchers at Johns Hopkins University:

  • Confirmed cases: 26,651,696

  • Fatalities: 875,168

  • Recoveries: 17,748,841

The NFL is limiting the number of staffers each team can take while traveling in an effort to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus, according to NBC Sports. Teams will not be allowed to bring more than 70 staff members, including coaches, the medical staff and everyone in contact with the teamSports Business Journal’s Ben Fischer reported. Previously, the teams could each bring up to 110 staffers. Those who don’t fly with the team aren’t allowed access to the official traveling group.

Madrid has become the coronavirus capitol of Europe as second waves of the virus sweep over the continent. In response to the growing number of cases in the city, officials are instating new social distancing regulations starting on Monday, The Associated Press reported. The AP reports that the outbreak in the city is focused in culturally diverse neighborhoods, such as San Diego, with smaller apartments and narrow streets while the residents continued to commute to work at manual labor-related jobs. Jorge Nacarino, president of the local neighbors’ association in San Diego, points to poverty and a history of inadequate investments for the neighborhood as the reasonings behind the growth in cases. “We need a serious plan of public investment in the area, from health centers and sports facilities to social programs,” he said. “It’s been through decades of neglect that San Diego has fallen behind the development seen in surrounding areas.”

U.S. and Mexico hold the most instances of front-line workers dying due to COVID-19 out of all nations. Worldwide, a report by Amnesty International says at least 7,000 healthcare workers have died due to the virus, with about 1,300 coming from Mexico and 1,100 from the United States. According to the organization, the reason for so many deaths is because hospital cleaners do not have the same access to protective gear that medical professionals do. However the Mexican government has denied this claim. In the U.S. and Mexico, cases among healthcare workers make up one in seven of all cases in the countries. ”For over seven thousand people to die while trying to save others is a crisis on a staggering scale,” Amnesty International Head of Economic and Social Justice Steve Cockburn said, according to UPI. “Every health worker has the right to be safe at work, and it is a scandal that so many are paying the ultimate price.”

South Dakota is continuing to host large-scale events, despite warnings from experts who say not to. The South Dakota State Fair, which kicked off on Thursday, reported 205,000 people in attendance last year. This year, it is set to run through Labor Day weekend with increased measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as additional hand-washing stations and an encouragement to wear masks, although they fair does not require they be worn. South Dakota has already drawn headlines this year for for holding the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Sioux Empire Fair amid the pandemic. According to USA Today, South Dakota became a coronavirus hotspot for new infections following the two previous events.

Early results from Russia’s potential coronavirus vaccine show no major negative side effects, according to a study published in the medical journal The Lancet. The trials consisted of “two open, non randomized phase 1/2 studies at two hospitals in Russia conducted on 76 healthy volunteers aged 18-60,” according to the study. It also said the vaccine formulations were safe and well tolerated. Both 42-day trials did not find any serious adverse effects among participants and confirmed the vaccine elicits an antibody response, the study stated. The vaccine, dubbed “Sputnik V,” is the world’s first to be registered after being approved by the Russian health regulators last month. The vaccine went through a rapid Phase 1 and 2 clinical trial with no data being published from the trials. Chief of Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, told CNBC that the vaccine is on track to be exported by November.

After the mayor of Clanton, Alabama, died of the coronavirus in July, officials in the small town have been rethinking how they should handle the coronavirus. Driver was often deemed as the best-known person in the town and the death of the former mayor has stunned residents and has become a wake-up call to many. Resident Sammy Wyatt told The Associated Press, “People had gotten lax on trying to protect everyone else. They weren’t wearing their masks like they ought to.” Clanton is located halfway between Birmingham and Montgomery and is home to about 8,800 people and is marked by a water tower shaped like a giant peach. Driver has worked for the community since he was 18 years old and was elected to the Clanton City Council for 12 years, he then became mayor on his first attempt in 1984 and never lost re-election. How Driver contracted the infection is still unknown, but the former mayor began feeling ill around Father’s Day weekend.

The main lobby for commercial airlines in the United States, Airlines for America, warned that air travel may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to Reuters. Amid continuing concerns over the coronavirus, CEO Nicholas Calio of Airlines for America said on Thursday that many are hoping for a second round of government aid to help the industry from further suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic. Travel restrictions due to the coronavirus started in the United States back in January when airlines began screening passengers arriving from Wuhan. In the months following, several additional restrictions and bans have been put into place for international travel, causing drastic losses for airlines in the country. Calio said in a virtual media briefing that nobody will be confident about the recovery until there is a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.

Mexican tattoo artist Omi Debua is giving a free tattoo to people who beat the coronavirus by inking a “COVID-19 survivor” logo onto those whose lives were effected by the disease. Debua told AFP in an interview that he was born with a desire to give back to people who have lost something. “There are so many people who have lost family members, friends. These people were given something too and that is a second chance at life.” said Debua. Watch below for more.

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is set to take place at 7:01 p.m. on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The race, which is usually the first leg of the Triple Crown, was postponed in May due to the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, organizers were going to allow a limited number of spectators into Churchill Downs to watch, but that plan was recently scrapped and no fans will be in attendance. Although wet conditions have been an issue for some of the workouts this week ahead of the race, the weather looks to be near perfect for jockeys and horses on race day. A high temperature of 82 is forecast at Churchill Downs on SaturdayAccording to the AccuWeather forecast, it will be a “sunny and delightful” day thereBy race time at 7, the temperature will drop a few degrees to 79 with an AccuWeather RealFeel Temperature of 77. For most Americans who watch the Derby, little else will be different apart from not seeing spectators on hand and wearing extravagant hats. Folks at home can tune in on TV or online and mix up a few mint juleps at home and enjoy the fastest two minutes in sports.

Kentucky Derby entry NY Traffic runs during an early-morning workout at Churchill Downs, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5th. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Japan’s government announced plans on Friday to take on the cost of nationwide coronavirus vaccinations, once a vaccine becomes approved, Reuters reported. The move would essentially make obtaining a vaccination free for Japan’s entire population, which, as of 2020, totals more than 126 million people. Earlier this week, The Japan Times reported government officials were working on the plans to make the vaccine free in an effort to control the pandemic. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who resigned last week due to health issues unrelated to the coronavirus, has reportedly said that the goal was to vaccinate the entire population by the middle of 2021. Friday’s announcement was made by Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who has been leading the country’s coronavirus response, and it included plans to set up a fund that would provide compensation for people who experience side effects from a coronavirus vaccine. Currently, several biotech and pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine, but none have yet been approved for widespread use. Japan has reported more than 70,000 cases and more than 1,300 fatalities since the onset of the pandemic, according to figures compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

More: https://www.accuweather.com/en/health-wellness/live-news/covid-19-usa-cases-and-daily-news-briefings/791547

North Koreans forced to give up pet dogs to supply restaurants

Credit: HD Wallpaper

North-Korean elites have been forced to give up their pet dogs as they symbolise “western decadence,” South-Korean newspapers report, and to salvage food scarcity.

In the country, dogs are kept mostly by elite figures who can afford the luxury, as they signal superiority. According to the supreme leader, this practice leads to social dissatisfaction and should be seen as a trend tainted by bourgeois ideology.

The story was reported by one of South Korea’s oldest newspapers, the Chosun Ilbo. It must be noted that North and South Korea have remained at war since June 1950, and Chosun Ilbo is known to be generally sceptical of the country’s northern neighbour.

“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them up or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down,” according to one of Chosun Ilbo’s sources. “Some of them are then taken to state-run zoos, or sold to dog meat restaurants.”

According to the newspaper, the move comes amid rising civil unrest over the declining economy, the Covid-19 pandemic and recent heavy floods.

By confiscating the dogs, Kim Jong-Un hits two birds with one stone: he destroys a live symbol for economic inequality and simultaneously contributes to solving the food crisis.

The Daily NK, a South Korean newspaper reporting on North Korea based on a network of informants from the North, published a similar story in July. Sources told the Daily NK that all dogs over 15 kg were bought up to supply Pyongyang restaurants with meat. Owners received a certificate rather than money, which will allow them to be reimbursed with oil and rice on 10 October.

Serving dog meat has been a declining trend in South Korea, but the dish remains popular in China and North Korea. North Korea’s capital has multiple restaurants specialising in dogs.

According to the Daily Mail, the UN recently reported that up to 60% of North-Korea’s population of 25.5 million currently suffers from a shortage of food.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

WHO: Live animal exports could spread ‘ghastly disease,’ must stop

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/who-live-animal-exports-could-spread-ghastly-disease-must-stop-638320

“I think it’s getting to a stage where it can’t be safe and it’s not nice you see the suffering of animals.”

A calf in a live animal transport (photo credit: ANIMALS NOW)
A calf in a live animal transport
(photo credit: ANIMALS NOW)
An epidemiologist from the World Health Organization warned that live animal exports could spread a “ghastly disease” and must be stopped in an interview with The Project on Sunday.

“A pandemic of some sort was inevitable,” explained Prof. Marylouise McLaws, a member of the WHO Health Emergencies Program Experts Advisory Panel for Infection Prevention and Control Preparedness, Readiness and Response to COVID-19. “As soon as you push the natural environment further in and they’ve got nowhere else to go, humans and animals will mix, and not respectfully.”
“I think it’s getting to a stage where it can’t be safe and it’s not nice you see the suffering of animals,” added McLaws, stressing that live animal trade has to stop.
Mclaws stated that she realized ending live animal exports “won’t be liked” and admitted that she didn’t think it would change until “maybe there’s an outbreak of some ghastly disease in animals while they’re being shipped to other countries.”
Last year, an outbreak of tuberculosis was found in cows from Portugal that had been imported to Israel, according to Globes.
There are six proposals that are being brought to the Knesset plenum for a gradual end to the live transports by both coalition and opposition MKs. A proposal by Coalition Chairman Miki Zohar had been approved in an initial reading in the 20th Knesset but the legislative process ended after elections were called.
The proposals would have the transports end within three years. “The animals are imported from Australia and Europe, on lengthy sea voyages, which can take weeks,” read the explanatory notes of the bill. “During the journey, the animals are kept in heavy density, wallowing in their feces and that of their fellows, and suffer from intense heat, bumps and other serious injuries. Many of them are sick and many do not survive.”

“Experts and professional bodies in Israel and around the world all share the position that the transport of live animals should be avoided as much as possible, the transport durations should be shortened as much as possible and live transports should be converted into the meat trade,” continued the explanatory notes.
“The live shipping industry is interested in one thing – money. Any other consideration, animal welfare or public health simply does not interest them,” said Animals Now, an Israeli non-profit aimed for animals rights. “The businessmen of this industry are packing together animals at an unimaginable density for days and weeks, wallowing in their own feces, so it is clear that the diseases will run wild. For the sake of animals, for the sake of our health, we must hurry up and promote legislation to stop live shipments already in the current Knesset.”
Some 315,770 calves and lambs were imported into Israel in the first half of 2020, marking a drop of about 16% compared to the first half of 2019.

Understanding Euthanasia: When Life and Words Become Worthless

Animals subjected to “euthanasia” often die by carbon dioxide poisoning, ventilation shutdown, and other mass-killing techniques that prolong suffering for minutes, even hours.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals rightly defines euthanasia as a “good death.” But the Guidelines make all kinds of exceptions for situations in which the inhumane killing of animals—a very bad death—may be considered “euthanasia.”

People take their beloved companion animals reluctantly to the veterinarian to be euthanized, not to get rid of an inconvenience or for some other selfish purpose, but because their pet’s suffering is profound, cannot be alleviated, and will only worsen. Euthanizing a hopelessly suffering nonhuman animal or human being is an act of mercy. In such cases, the decision-makers implicitly understand the true meaning of euthanasia. The sufferer is not going to die slowly and painfully with an infusion of, say, carbon dioxide gas (CO2), or be baked to death “humanely,” as described in “How to Kill Half a Million Chickens at Once” and in “Pigs Roasted Alive in Coronavirus Mass-Extermination, Probe Uncovers” where the investigators errantly refer to the killings as “euthanizing.”

This verbal corruption confounds our discourse when, instead of a companion animal or human sufferer, the subject is a chicken, a pig, a turkey, or a mouse on a farm or in a laboratory. In these settings, the individual is one of the hundreds, thousands, or millions of captive individuals who exist solely for human use. They are born to be harmed—injured, infected, killed—for human “benefit.” When the researcher or the farmer decides in the interest of expedience to kill them, by whatever means, the term that is used to characterize the procedure is “euthanasia.”

An example appears in the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine publication, Water-Based Foam for Poultry Depopulation, which cites the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in support of the mass-suffocation of poultry under rolling carpets of chemically irritating fire-fighting foam:

Euthanasia of large numbers of birds in a quick, efficient manner with welfare consideration. The process is used to control disease spread or end the suffering of dying birds during a disease outbreak or natural disaster situations.

Though decades of research have confirmed that exposure to CO2 gas causes pain, panic and slow suffocation in mammals and birds, who will desperately seek to escape a CO2-filled chamber, the AVMA Guidelines 2020 equivocate, as in this directive for killing small animals in experimental settings:

In addition to humane outcomes, an important consideration in the choice of method for euthanasia of laboratory animals is the research objectives for the animals being euthanized.

 

For small animals like mice and rats in laboratories: Carbon dioxide, with or without premedication with halogenated [inhaled] anesthetics, is acceptable with conditions for euthanasia of small rodents.

In other words, a “humane outcome”—a manner of death that is painless, swift, and compassionate—may be sacrificed to “research objectives” and still be called “euthanasia,” and even absurdly at times, “humane euthanasia.”

Appallingly, the AVMA has fostered a language of impunity for agribusiness and the animal research industry to the point of elevating, in public and industry discourse, the opposite of what euthanasia and humane treatment literally mean. This fraudulent usage is a perfect example of Orwellian “newspeak,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings.”

It’s easy for the public and for animal advocates to get lulled into a sense of complacency when all around us the authorities use terms like “euthanasia” to not only characterize but endorse the mass killings of farmed animals and animals in laboratories by asphyxiating, baking, or engulfing them in deadly chemicals with fire-fighting foam. Animals subjected to the cruelties of carbon dioxide, fire-fighting foam, and ventilation shutdown can take up to ten minutes, even hours, to die while struggling together in agony; and many survive these automated, crude procedures only to be trashed, buried or bulldozed, alive.

Where does this leave us—the animal advocacy community—in confronting the massive, unrelenting, painful carnage of living, breathing beings? Do we ignore it because the problem is too big for us to change? Do we justify our position because, as even animal advocates have said on occasion, fraught with frustration that can degenerate into apathy, “They’re going to die anyway”?

Of course, we’re all going to die, but when it comes to our own species and our beloved companion animals, we do not invoke our mortal fate as an excuse for abuse. The conundrum in the case of laboratory animals and farmed animals isn’t simply that they are “going to die anyway.” It’s that they are going to die inhumanely in a slaughterhouse or as part of an experiment, or in the inhumane circumstances that surround slaughter and experimentation—transportation, neglect, rough handling, overwhelming stress, fear, and learned helplessness.

There is no quick or easy answer because if there were, animal advocates would champion it. But this much we know: Silence and euphemisms like “euthanasia” are not the answer. We may be uncomfortable with a problem that is so immense and seemingly intractable, but we need to speak up—and speak accurately—even if we feel we’re shouting in the wind.

As animal advocates, we cannot allow animal exploiters to define the conversation for us, lull us into false rhetoric, or determine how we regard animals. Succumbing to these pressures, we degrade the lives of the animals down to the level at which the exploiters abuse them. By submitting to linguistic subterfuges, we accommodate virtually any mistreatment of animals as acceptable. This is the moral downslide that allows agribusiness and animal researchers to inflict pain, torment, and death on animals unfazed. It’s the type of “convenience” that debased language facilitates. As advocates for animals, let us not call the brutal mass-extermination of innocent, defenseless creatures for the sake of human convenience, “euthanasia.”

For the animals’ sake, we cannot let ourselves, or the public, be “put to sleep.”

Karen Davis, PhD is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. She is the author of numerous books, essays, articles, and campaigns advocating for these birds. Her latest book is For the Birds: From Exploitation to Liberation: Essays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl (Lantern Books, 2019).

Barbara Stagno is the President and Founder of Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research & Experimentation (CAARE). Since 1995, Barbara has worked to oppose the exploitation of animals, especially the use of animals in experiments. She founded CAARE in 2014 to disseminate information about the power of emerging science to end the use of animals in research, while also raising awareness of their immense suffering. Before starting CAARE, Barbara was a campaign director for a national animal protection organization.

AK: Fairbanks man snared dozens of moose to use as wolf bait, troopers say

A Fairbanks trapper faces misdemeanor charges after he admitted snaring more than two dozen moose to use the meat as bait for catching wolves, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported this week.

Joseph Lyndon Johnson, 24, was charged in early January after an Alaska wildlife trooper investigated a trapline the man had set, the newspaper reported, citing an affidavit for a criminal complaint.

The trooper, investigating the man’s trapline on March 21 near Hess Creek north of Fairbanks, found a trapped live wolf next to a moose carcass. He also found two marten traps, still set though the season ended weeks earlier.

The trooper set up a camera to observe the trapline. That was soon stolen.

Days later, a trooper, after flying over the area in a helicopter, found that only part of the moose remained. The moose contained markings suggesting it had been snared around its snout. Other evidence suggested it had been hauled there by sled. The wolf had been removed.

A necropsy showed the moose had been trapped in a snare.

After finding records showing Johnson had taken a wolf, the troopers received a search warrant for his home. They found the missing camera, a gray wolf, and other items showing Johnson operated the trapline.

The man admitted to snaring 25 moose to use for wolf bait, the newspaper reported, citing the affidavit.

Johnson faces four Class A misdemeanor charges, according to online court records. They include using game as animal food or bait, unlawful possession or transportation of game, and two counts for leaving the marten traps out after the season closed.

Officials with the Alaska State Troopers did not immediately provide comment on Friday.

A class A misdemeanor can bring one year in jail and a $10,000 fine, state records show.

Local group Help Asheville Bears petitions Amazon to stop selling ‘cruel’ animal traps

ASHEVILLE – In two weeks, a petition by local advocacy group Help Asheville Bears that urges Amazon to stop selling “cruel” animal traps has garnered over 32,000 signatures on Change.org.

The petition appeals directly to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, asking him to “immediately cease the sales of steel-jaw leg hold/foot hold traps, snare traps, and attractants on Amazon.com, as these are used in poaching and the maiming of bears and other wildlife,” it says.

Certain foothold traps, also called steel-jaw or leg-hold traps, are legal in North Carolina — but it’s illegal to use them to hunt black bears.

Trapping rules

Trappers after other game, like raccoons or coyotes, can legally use foothold traps as long as they meet certain requirements. The traps can’t have a spread larger than 7.5 inches, and the jaws must be smooth-edged and without teeth or spikes, according to the Wildlife Resource Commission’s guide to legal trap types in North Carolina.

“These traps are legal for foxes, coyotes, and other animals, but they also trap smaller bears — which would be illegal,” Jody Williams, a spokesman for Help Asheville Bears, told the Citizen Times. “How do dogs and other animals like cats or bears know that it’s not for them? Members believe this is why 100+ countries ban them already. Amazon makes it easy for people to get these smaller jaw traps, bear traps, and bear and animal attractants.”

In North Carolina, it is legal to sell much larger, toothed traps, as long as they’re for decorative use, not trapping.

More:

“You would think with bear trapping being illegal, that the traps couldn’t be sold new online with just a simple disclosure saying they are for decoration only,” Williams said. “Also, note how many trapping supply companies online sell these bear traps but are not in the business of selling decorations.”

Videos posted on Help Asheville Bears’ Facebook page in September show what appears to be a hunting supply store selling large, toothed foothold traps — the kind that are illegal in North Carolina. Help Asheville Bears did not identify the store by name but said it was near Burnsville, about 35 miles from Asheville.

“These larger traps … were sold next to hunting supplies, bear attractant, and many other types of traps, not near home decor/antique/collectible items,” the post said. “(It) can give people the wrong idea and encourage unlawful trapping.”