Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Extremist animal rights terrorist may become a Senator

 

Disgraced animal activist Chris Delforce is being endorsed as a senate candidate by the Animal Justice Party. He launched the Aussie Farms website which defamed many farmers (including freerange egg producers) and published their contact details. The site included an interactive map which purported to show factory farms, slaughterhouses and other 'animal exploitation' facilities across Australia.

Even fellow activist vegetarians and vegans are appalled by the extreme antics of Chris Delforce.

An article by ‘Vegan Police’ paints a poor picture of the man. It says:

Whilst Mr Delforce is gleefully enjoying his 15 minutes of fame thanks to an eager media, it appears that he is paying very little attention to the damage that his comments and websites are doing to ‘the movement’.

Unfortunately, the more that Mr Delforce and his Aussie Farms website(s) appear in agricultural media, the more that animal advocates are being demonised, and the harder things will become in the future.

Mr Delforce is another one of a growing number of people who have labelled themselves as ‘Animal Rights Activists’, andhave paid very little thought to what that actually means. Maybe ‘animal rights’ is the new black.

In a deleted facebook discussion the question was asked on the Aussie Farms fan page how they envisioned these ‘rights’ being granted. Would it be through the granting of a type of personhood or via legislated rights, and would it apply to all animals, or only those used for food?

Their response was we’re more interested in achieving a paradigm shift (as discussed in the interview) in the way animals are viewed, so that people view them not as stock or property, but as living, sentient animals who have a desire and a right to not be abused, exploited or killed. Laws prohibiting the killing of animals can only come as a result of this.

This appears to be contradictory to the footage and images that are on the Aussie Farms website. All I have been able to find are images and footage of other animals as they are used in the animal agricultural system. There are no scientific reports of the sentience of other animals, evidence of their desire to live or anything for that matter that would lead the viewer/reader to believe that they are anything else than property.

If it is Mr Delforce and Aussie Farms’ true intent to ‘convert’ people to veganism, they appear to have gone about it the wrong way.

Gruesome footage doesn’t get people to change their minds or create a paradigm shift. If it did, then the government wouldn’t have resorted to plain paper packaging for cigarettes after the ‘shocking’ photos, and we would be seeing ‘shocking’ images on TV in an attempt to improve the road toll.

If Aussie Farms has the network of supporters that Mr Delforce claims, then I am sure there would have been at least one person who would have been able to do some research into alternative uses for farm land.

We need to be mindful that as it is ‘us’ who are instigating the change, ‘we’ need to be able to present alternatives. Not stomping our feet on the ground like a child throwing a tantrum.

Maybe they could contactHarold Brown at Farm Kind and have a chat to him before they talk to the media again.

Honestly, I am surprised that no one advised Mr Delforce to have his answers prepared BEFORE the media contacted him.”Vegan Police



Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Two thirds of eggs in UK now freerange

 

Free range now officially accounts for nearly two thirds of egg production in the UK, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Environmentr, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Eggs described as Free range eggs made up 62 percent of all production to go through packing stations between July and September 2021.

This is up from 58 percent in the second quarter of this year and 55 percent in the third quarter of 2020.

Enriched cage production has fallen from 39 percent to 33 percent. All major retailers in the UK have committed to abandoning cage production of eggs, by 2025.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Food regulator allowing more GM food

 

Friends of the Earth in Melbourne has alerted consumers that Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is proposing changes to food regulations. It will allow companies to commercialise genetically modified, animals, plants and microbes, allowing a wide range of new genetically modified (GM) foods into our food chain -with no regulation or labelling. This could pose potential health risks and would seriously undermine our right to know how our food is produced.

These would include meat and milk from some genetically modified animals and substances like vanilla and stevia produced by genetically modified microbes in factory vats.

The companies that gave us Agent Orange, paraquat, RoundUp and other toxins will be allowed to self-assess the safety and hazards of these new foods and ingredients, and to sell them without regulation or labelling.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Poultry industry may face another bird flu outbreak

 Australian poultry farmers are bracing for the possibility of another round of infections from avian influenza (bird flu).

Flocks are being affected in many parts of the world with outbreaks of severe bird flu reported in Europe and Asia. Relaxation of border controls and the expected resumption of international travel pose a real risk of infectionThe spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, has alerted the poultry industry after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds.Seven outbreaks occurred in Australia between 1976 and 1997. China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza so far this year, more than the previous year. South Korea reported an outbreak at a farm of around 770,000 poultry. All chickens were slaughtered. Japan reported its first outbreak of the 2021 winter season, at a poultry farm in the northeast of the country. In Europe, Norway has reported an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in the Rogaland region in a flock of 7,000 birds The Belgian government put the country on increased risk for bird flu, ordering poultry to be kept indoors after a highly pathogenic variant of bird flu was identified in a wild goose near Antwerp.

The last serious outbreaks in Australia affected intensive egg producers with large flocks, but the financial implications hit even small producers.All Australian egg producers had to pay a levy totalling$ 395,000 to the Australian Government for the egg industry’s share of costs incurred for the responses associated with an outbreak among ducks during January 2012, an outbreak among laying hens in November 2012; and another outbreak in October 2013. Outbreaks here have generally been spread by contaminated staff and products travelling between intensive facilities housing many thousands of birds.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

What freerange means

 

We still get heaps a questions from people asking what freerange actually means. They often say “We only buy freerange eggs.” When they further say that their eggs are from a major supermarket they are less than happy when I tell them that the eggs are almost certainly not freerange – they are simply labelled that way to rip off customers. The reality is that only intensive producers with many thousands of hens in sheds have enough eggs available to meet supermarket delivery requirements. Even big producers are forced to buy eggs from others businesses to keep up supplies. Eggs are trucked around the country to be stamped and packaged in many different locations and with different labels –  claiming to be freerange.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission tried to fix the problem by taking various firms to the Federal Court for deceptive conduct. The ACCC says“use of the descriptor ‘free range’ requires, at least, that the hens are able to move about freely on an open range on most days, and that most of the hens do so. the ACCC rejects claims by some that it is OK to tell consumers that the eggs are from free range hens when the outdoor range is not regularly used and the farming practices mean that the hens stay indoors all or most of the time. Some of those hens never leave the sheds.

Producers do not have to use the label ‘free range’. Producers choose to describe their eggs as free range to promote their products and obtain higher prices as consumers are generally willing to pay a premium for free range eggs. Unfortunately, after heavy lobbying by the corporate industry, politicians stepped in to protect intensive egg producers by allowing a high density code.

Academic researchers often produce theories and reports designed to demonstrate what 'free range' means in the egg industry. Celebrity chefs usually confine themselves to mistaken comments that bright yolk colour defines whether or not an egg is free range. Yolk colour varies, depending on the hen’s diet. If the yolk colour is always a bright, golden almost orange colour, the hens have almost certainly been fed colouring additives. Academic findings are usually based on carefully arranged criteria set by an organisation which funded the research and expects specific outcomes. Far better to rely on the experience of those in the industry actually running free range egg farms. Some people are fixated on the issue of animal welfare and they lose sight of matters like food safety and land sustainability. Outdoor stocking density is a key example. Academics found it easy to come up with results from research on small scale or short term projects to demonstrate that stocking densities had little or no impact on hen welfare. But it has been impossible for them to demonstrate that high densities have no detrimental impact on pasture quality, pollution of waterways, groundwater and the long term productivity of the land as a result of excessive nutrient loads. The maximum sustainable stocking density for poultry has been established at 1500 hens per hectare to minimise land degredation and ensure the long-term viability of the land.

Laying hens, like most if not all other animals, perform best when they are able to follow their natural behaviour. They clearly need shelter, food and water but they also need to wander around freely to forage, scratch, dust bathe and interact socially with others in the flock.

There is growing evidence that eggs from hens raised on pasture have nutritional benefits over the factory farm versions.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Plans shelved for Mega dodgy farm in UK

A major egg producer in Yorkshire is revamping plans to expand hen numbers by almost 200,000 following opposition from the community.to introduce 192,000 hens in three 9,500sq m buildings on 237 acres of  land near Northallerton. The mega farm was set to cost £10m in a bid to help major supermarkets meet their ‘cage-free’ commitments by 2025.

There are plenty of similar egg producing facilities in Australia which claim to supply freerange eggs. They meet the slack requirements of Federal and State Governments. 

Thursday, November 04, 2021

New system to eliminate hatching male chicks

 An Israeli research organisation, the VolcaniCenter has developed a new process which manipulates the chicken genome to eliminate the hatching of male chicks at hatcheries. If adopted by industry worldwide, this could save the culling of 7 billion male chicks every year.


Dr. Yuval Cinnamon, principle researcher at the Center announced that his team developed a molecular approach to regulate the Z chromosome with an optogenetic system using a blue light that shines through the eggshell at the incubator.

The males have two Z chromosomes, and the females have one Z chromosome and one W chromosome. In chickens, the female is the one that determines the gender of the offspring. If the Z chromosome segregates from the mother hen to the chick, it will develop into a male. If a W chromosome segregates, it will develop into a female,” Dr.Cinnamon said.

The new approach follows developments in Canada and Germany enabling the identification of male embryos which would allow eggs to be destroyed prior to incubation. None of the developments has yet been adopted by the industry but we have urged hatcheries to do so without delay once commercial viability has been established.France and Germany have undertaken to ban he culling unwanted male chicks by the end of 2021, as part of animal welfare reforms. T is expected that chicken hatcheries throughout Australia will also end the practice of euthanising day old male chicks, removing one of the key objections to poultry farms by animal activist groups.