From the PCRM:
Chicken products may soon carry fecal contamination warning labels if the U.S. Department of Agriculture complies with a legal petition the Physicians Committee filed March 14. The petition calls on the USDA to declare feces an adulterant in poultry products and label products to warn consumers about likely contamination.
“USDA should make consumers aware that chicken often contains feces,” says Mark Kennedy, director of legal affairs with the Physicians Committee. “Contaminated chicken often passes right through inspection, is marketed as ‘wholesome,’ and lands on unsuspecting consumers’ dinner plates, feces and all.”
Kennedy also wrote to the co-chairs of the newly reorganized Congressional Chicken Caucus, Reps. Rick Crawford and Sanford Bishop, urging an immediate industry-wide shift to the petition’s proposed guidelines and labels.
Although USDA holds a zero-tolerance policy for fecal contamination, it applies to visible feces only. Consumers assume that this policy guarantees that the products they eat are not tainted with fecal matter. In practice, however, enforcement standards are lax, allowing fecal contamination as long as the feces are not touching chicken skin or visible to the naked eye. As a result, contaminated meat and poultry products pass inspection.
A federal inspector said, “We often see birds going down the line with intestines still attached, which are full of fecal contamination. If there is no fecal contamination on the bird’s skin, however, we can do nothing to stop that bird from going down that line. It is more than reasonable to assume that once the bird gets into the chill tank, that contamination will enter the water and contaminate all of the other carcasses in the chiller. That’s why it is sometimes called ‘fecal soup.’”
Nearly half the chicken products sold in supermarkets are contaminated with feces, according to independent laboratory testing commissioned by the Physicians Committee in 2012. The study analyzed chicken samples from 15 grocery store chains in 10 major U.S. cities. The Physicians Committee’s petition explains that even thorough cooking does not remove feces from meat.
“Feces may contain round worms, hair worms, tape worms, and leftover bits of whatever the animal excreting the feces may have eaten, not to mention the usual fecal components of digestive juices and various chemicals that the animal was in the process of excreting,” the petition states.
“The presence of feces can shut down a neighborhood pool for days,” says Joseph Gonzales, R.D., staff dietitian with the Physicians Committee. “No one wants to swim in feces, much less eat it. Consumers deserve to know that the chicken breasts or ground beef they’re purchasing is likely contaminated with feces.”
From Compassion Over Killing (COK):
COK Co-Files Lawsuit against Federal Agencies for Failure to Regulate Deceptive Egg Labels
Lawsuit pushes for Mandatory Truth in Labeling on Cartons, including the claim “Eggs from Caged Hens”
Walk into any grocery store in the US, and you’ll likely find cartons of eggs bearing a variety of advertising schemes ranging from images of happy hens roaming around outside to claims such as “animal-friendly.” Surprisingly though, what consumers see or read on the outside of an egg carton doesn’t necessarily represent how the hens who laid those eggs were treated.
Egg Label Claims
Animal welfare claims on egg cartons are currently unregulated in the United States, enabling egg producers to mislead consumers with exaggerated and false claims.
More than 95% of eggs sold in the US come from birds confined in tiny wire battery cages so restrictive, they can barely even move—a practice that, according to polls, most consumers find unacceptable. Furthermore, many experts agree that confining hens in battery cages causes tremendous suffering. Despite these expert opinions and widespread public opposition, battery cage confinement continues to dominate the U.S. egg industry.
However, without any federal oversight, claims on egg cartons can—and commonly do—misrepresent to consumers how those eggs were produced. Compassion Over Killing has documented several cases of express and implied claims on egg cartons across the country that imply a higher level of animal care than is actually the case. Deceptive marketing on cartons of eggs produced by birds likely to have been confined in cages include the claims “animal-friendly” and “naturally-raised” as well as images of hens outside on a green pasture.
In other words, not only is the egg industry cruelly confining hens in cages, it’s also deceiving consumers about that abuse. The egg industry in the U.S. has proven to be incapable of regulating itself, and without government standards in place, the current egg labeling landscape is essentially meaningless.
On March 28, 2013, Compassion Over Killing and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) co-filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration, two agencies within the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Trade Commission for failing to regulate animal welfare labeling on egg cartons.
The lawsuit is based on rule-making petitions originally submitted by COK to these agencies in 2006 and 2007 requesting that egg production methods be fully disclosed on all cartons sold in the U.S., including the clear identification of “eggs from caged hens.”
In spite of Congressional mandates, the agencies have failed to take any action to regulate the often-misleading claims and deceptive imagery widely found on egg cartons. Even the United Egg Producers, the U.S. egg industry’s trade association, has endorsed federal legislation containing a similar labeling program.
Mandatory labeling on egg cartons has already been implemented throughout the European Union and in several states in Australia. Consumers—and hens—in the U.S. deserve the same.
How You Can Help
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If this is true, there are some very, very evil, disgusting, and worthy of death people in this world. Sick, sick, sick mf’ers.
Outlaw Animal Crush Fetish Videos and Images in the United Kingdom
BY HAREEM SHAFI
Target: United Kingdom Parliament
Goal: Demand that animal crush videos and images be outlawed immediately, and punished severely.
Animal crush videos document the abuse of small animals, such as kittens, puppies, mice and rabbits, for the purposes of sexual gratification. Animals are slowly tortured in horrific ways; they are burned alive, skinned alive, dismembered, nailed to the ground, and otherwise abused. The intent is, most often, to illicit screams of pain from the poor creatures. The majority of animal crush fetish videos involve individuals crushing the animal by stepping on it in high heels or sitting on it.
This gruesome industry has entered mainstream pornography over the years and has become popular in many countries around the world. Undeniably, individuals who take pleasure in the torture of innocent, helpless creatures are some of the most perverse in the world. Whether they are the creators of the videos or their consumers, they must be stopped immediately. Many countries, such as the United States, have enacted legislation criminalizing the creation, sale, distribution, advertising, marketing and exchange of animal crush videos. However, in the UK no specific law tackles this serious issue. Anti-obscenity laws and animal cruelty laws both seem to have failed to make a dent in the animal crush industry.
Any pornography that exploits, tortures, and kills a living creature is disturbing and repulsive. Just as laws exist to protect innocent children, laws must exist to protect helpless animals. Repetitive animal cruelty is often seen as the first sign of major mental and social disorders. Undoubtedly, anyone who finds sexual entertainment in the murder of small animals is degenerate. Sign the petition below to demand that the UK parliament take action against this crime and outlaw animal crush videos immediately.
How ANYONE can truly believe that slaughtering a horse is more humane than letting it live out its normal lifespan is beyond me. What lunacy. Where does that kind of thinking stop? This governor deserves immediate impeachment.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s 50-year-old ban on horse slaughtering was lifted Friday when the governor signed a new law that will allow facilities to process and export horse meat, despite bitter opposition by animal rights activists.
Supporters argue that a horse slaughtering facility in Oklahoma will provide a humane alternative for aging or starving horses, many of which are abandoned in rural parts of the state by owners who can no longer afford to care for them. Gov. Mary Fallin also noted that horses are already being shipped out of the country, including to facilities in Mexico, where they are processed in potentially inhumane conditions.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 166,000 horses were sent to Canada and Mexico last year alone.
“In Oklahoma, as in other states, abuse is tragically common among horses that are reaching the end of their natural lives,” the Republican governor said. “Those of us who care about the wellbeing of horses – and we all should – cannot be satisfied with a status quo that encourages abuse and neglect, or that rewards the potentially inhumane slaughter of animals in foreign countries.”
She noted that law strictly prohibits the selling of horse meat for human consumption in the U.S.
Similar efforts are under way in other states, but not without controversy. In New Mexico, a processing plant has been fighting the U.S. Department of Agriculture for more than a year for approval to convert its former cattle slaughter operation into a horse slaughterhouse. In Nevada, state agriculture officials have discussed ways to muster support for the slaughter of free-roaming horses, stirring protests.
The Oklahoma legislation received bipartisan support and was approved by wide margins in both the state House and Senate. It also was backed by several agriculture organizations including the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association and American Farmers.
But animal rights groups fought hard against the plan, including the Humane Society of the United States. Cynthia Armstrong, the organization’s Oklahoma state director, said she was disappointed.
“It’s a very sad day for Oklahoma and the welfare of the horses that will be exposed to a facility like this,” Armstrong said. “It’s very regrettable.”
In addition to animal welfare concerns, opponents have said slaughtering horses for human consumption could pose a threat to human health and safety. American horses are often treated with drugs and medications that are not approved for use in animals intended for food.
Horse slaughter opponents are pushing legislation in Congress to ban domestic slaughter, as well as the export of horses to other countries for slaughter. Many animal humane groups and public officials are outraged at the idea of resuming domestic slaughter. But others – including some horse rescuers, livestock associations and the American Quarter Horse Association – support the plans.
They point to a 2011 report from the federal Government Accountability Office that shows horse abuse and abandonment have been increasing since Congress effectively banned horse slaughter by cutting funding for federal inspection programs in 2006. They say the ban on domestic slaughter has led to tens of thousands of horses being shipped to inhumane slaughterhouses in Mexico.
Although there are no horse slaughtering facilities in Oklahoma, the Humane Society said the USDA has received an application for horse slaughter inspection permits from a meat company in Washington, Okla., about 40 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Fallin said her administration will work with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to ensure that any horse meat processing plant in the state is run appropriately, follows state and local laws, and does not pose a hazard to the community. The law takes effect Nov. 1.
“It’s important to note cities, counties and municipalities still have the ability to express their opposition to processing facilities by blocking their construction and operation at the local level,” the governor said.