WILMINGTON, NC (WECT)- Butterball is again accused of abusing turkeys, just one week before Thanksgiving.
The animal advocacy group, Mercy For Animals, says it has undercover footage of Butterball employees in North Carolina kicking, dragging and throwing turkeys at five facilities across four counties. On top of that, the agency says the birds had open wounds on them. Mercy For Animals said abuse happened at Butterball plants in Duplin, Lenoir, Onslow and Sampson Counties during the month of October. Read more
The Humane Society of the United States served notice of its intent to sue 51 industrial-style intensive pig confinement operations located throughout Iowa, North Carolina and Oklahoma for unreported releases of the hazardous pollutant ammonia. These facilities, in several of the top pork-producing states, were identified after The HSUS conducted months of research into an industry that has become heavily consolidated in recent years, with more than 90 percent of family farms raising pigs going out of business in the last three decades. Read more.
Sustainable farming is a way of raising food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers, respects animals, provides a fair wage to the farmer, and supports and enhances rural communities.
Sustainable farming is a return to the way farming used to be done before industrial farming practices started to drive out the family farmer of business 50 years ago.
But why should YOU care?
1. Animal Welfare Farm animals are well treated. That is because the farmer is invested into the health of the animal, unlike an industrial (Factory) farm. A sustainable farmer has a small number of animals and is impacted if that animal becomes sick. Industrial farms factor the number of animals that are going to die into their profitability equations. Animals on sustainable farms are also able to engage in natural behaviors such as grazing, rooting or pecking, and are fed a natural diet appropriate for their species. Factory-farmed animals are crammed together in unsanitary conditions, where they suffer horribly. Read more
2. Your Health Industrial agriculture relies on synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, large amounts of water, Artificial hormones in milk, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, mad cow disease, and large-scale outbreaks of potentially deadly e.coli. According to New York Times bestselling author Jo Robinson, grass-fed beef has two to six times more omega-3′s than factory farmed, grain-fed meat. Read more
3. Our Environment On industrial farms thousands of pounds of animal waste is dumped into “lagoons” and sprayed on fields. This waste is toxic because of the use of antibiotics and growth hormones given to the animals on industrial farms. In 1995 25 million gallons of hog waste spilled into the New River in North Carolina. The spill killed about 10 million fish and closed 364,000 acres of coastal wetlands to shellfishing. It was the worst environmental spill in United States History until the Gulf oil spill in 2010. Read more
4. Supports our Local NC Small Farmers/Rural Communities Sustainable farmers are paid a fair wage and not dependent on government subsidies (your tax dollars) like industrial farms. The rural workforce employed on U.S. farms dropped by about 50 percent in the 1980s and 1990s. These rural farmers spend 95 percent of farm-related expenditures within their local communities. When the farmers were driven out of business by industrial farms, the communities slowly died. Industrial farms replaced jobs that sustained a community with dangerous, minimum wage jobs. Read more
In North Carolina, the heat wave killed about 50,000 broiler chickens at a Johnston County farm when the power went out for about 45 minutes, said Gary Rhodes, a spokesman for Colorado-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., which owned the chickens. Read more from the Huffington Post.
A bill is being fast tracked through the North Carolina legislature will allow factory farms to become even bigger! The bill seeks to change a 1995 law that restricts the size of these industrial sized farms. We already have a huge problem with these mega “farms” in the eastern section of the state, Duplin County alone, 2.2 million hogs produce twice as much untreated sewage waste as the entire New York City metro area. And of course, these animal warehouses are inhumane, treating pigs not like living creatures, but like units of profit.
In the nearly six weeks since the pigs landed on the interstate, they have been pampered at the Durham shelter, where they have taken over the dog exercise pen, completely oblivious to the ruckus their future has caused.
Despite all the pig publicity, their owner has failed to claim them, Durham authorities said, so all five of the swine will sold at noon on May 27 at public auction, as state law requires.
That auction has captured the attention of a handful of livestock farmers and a slew of animal lovers from as far away as Florida and New York who say they are raising the cash to keep those pigs from turning into slabs of bacon. Read more.
UNC researchers produce the first study to tie hog farm pollution to respiratory and nervous system symptoms in nearby residents. Audio interview
People living near hog farms in the eastern part of the state experience breathing problems when emissions from hog waste are highest – that’s from new research done by UNC environmental scientists. Read more
A new bill seeks to address toxic hog lagoons in North Carolina and humane farm animal treatment. More information here.