Uproar at South Carolina School After “Pig Rodeo” Sends Students Fleeing in Tears


Uproar at South Carolina School After “Pig Rodeo” Sends Students Fleeing in Tears

Uproar at South Carolina School After “Pig Rodeo” Sends Students Fleeing in Tears

 

Pop quiz time, Care 2 readers.  What high school pep rally event could possibly result in this outcome:  angry parents, weeping schoolchildren, television news coverage, blistering Facebook complaints and an animal rescue?   Who guessed “a pig rodeo”? Was that you?  If so, you get a gold star.

In a moment of brilliantly bad decision making, the Ninety Six High School in Greenwood, S.C., decided it would be a mighty fine idea to hold a “pig rodeo” as a fundraiser during a pep rally on Feb. 20.  What actually happened at that event is hard to determine with any accuracy, however.  The story differs depending on who’s telling it.

What’s crystal clear is that many people, parents and students alike, were extremely upset about the way the pig was treated.

Catching a Frightened Little Pig

School representatives placed a young, greased female pig in a fenced off area inside the school gymnasium.  The point of the “rodeo” was to have competing teams try to catch the pig as it ran around inside the enclosure.  It’s fun to chase a scared pig who can’t get away, after all, right?

According to some attendees, the pig ran around the enclosure squealing as faculty and students tried to grab her.  An educated guess might be that she was frightened.  Another educated guess might be that those who were able to grab the pig probably got their hands on a greasy, wildly thrashing and surprisingly heavy animal.

Several participants probably hefted the shrieking pig up and then lost their grip. The poor pig undoubtedly fell to the floor more than once, awkwardly and hard.

Reports say that one parent present at the event posted the following to her Facebook page:

The animal’s head struck the gym floor several times as it was lifted shoulder height and spiked like a football. Students were crying and visibly upset by the pig’s screams of terror and pain.

Several students walked out and were mocked by a teacher for it. As other students tried to flee the grisly sight, they were forbidden and made to stay and listen to this animal be tortured. One young girl hid under the bleachers in tears. By the end of the ordeal, the pig could no longer walk. Students suspected his legs were broken.

My children and several of their friends came home visibly distressed.

Students reportedly posted these comments to Facebook afterward:

I’m still sickened to the point of no return. It was a traumatizing experience… The sight alone was horrific enough to be plastered into my mind forever, but what really topped off the haunting and completely unnecessary affair?  The sound.  The bloodcurdling shrieks, squeals and screams.  I cannot stress the magnitude of anguish I felt in the pit of my stomach.

Another posted:

School was just…awful.  I’m pretty sure that was considered animal cruelty.  And I don’t appreciate being called stupid, silly and needing to chill out.

Clearly, there’s enough parent and student anger out there to validate that something seriously inappropriate happened in that school gymnasium.  Even if it turns out to be not much more than a case of a scared, squealing pig being chased around and perhaps dropped several times, that’s enough to raise the ire of animal lovers.

And to do it in front of tearful children?  Wrong for the pig, wrong for the kids.  What were they thinking?

School District Superintendent:  Im Sorry, It Wont Happen Again

Greenwood District Superintendent Dr. Mark Petersen made the decision to have a “pig rodeo” at the pep rally.  He’s hip deep in a media circus now, so he must be deeply regretting that choice.

In various responses to press inquiries, Dr. Petersen has said people have “exaggerated” what happened.  “The pig was not spiked, thrown down, nor did any bones get broken,” he told FoxCarolina News.

“Yes, we did have a pig rodeo yesterday afternoon in the high school and the middle school was there as well,” he told WYFF News 4.  “I would never harm an animal, let alone in front of children.  This activity will not be scheduled again.  I apologize to those that were offended.”

Charlotte the Pig, Happy at Sanctuary

Joe Mann, a representative of Big Oaks Rescue Farm, took the pig to a veterinarian the day after the rodeo.  The school had returned the pig, now known as Charlotte, to the home from which they’d borrowed her.  Mann showed up, apparently at the request of the school, and asked if he could take Charlotte to the veterinarian for an examination.

The vet, Dr. Paula Watkins, found no broken bones.  She did identify some soft tissue injuries and bruising, but could not say for sure whether these occurred before the rodeo or during it.  Otherwise, Charlotte is fine.  She is now resting comfortably at the sanctuary, blissfully unaware of the rancorous frenzy her rodeo experienced has caused.

Dr. Petersen has already apologized and stated he’ll never hold a pig rodeo again.  If you’d like to let him know that he should never again schedule any type of school event which uses a live animal for entertainment purposes, please sign this petition.  We will see that it is delivered to Dr. Petersen.  It’s the least we can do to make it up to Charlotte

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/uproar-at-south-carolina-school-after-pig-rodeo-sends-students-fleeing-in-tears.html#ixzz2uR6QcLUg

900 Dead Piglets Fed to Their Mothers at Horrific Kentucky Farm


900 Dead Piglets Fed to Their Mothers at Horrific Kentucky Farm

900 Dead Piglets Fed to Their Mothers at Horrific Kentucky Farm

An undercover investigation at Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, Ky., recently exposed not only the horrific conditions pigs endure at factory farms, and the gruesome practices they claim will keep pigs healthy.

Secret film footage (view the footage below) taken earlier this year by an investigator working for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reveals that after 900 piglets died from diarrheal disease in a 2 day period, their intestines were ground up into “a smoothie” and fed to their mothers and other sows. Kentucky state law prohibits the feeding of dead pigs to pigs, and for good reason.

According to the HSUS:

Studies of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus in Europe have consistently found higher risk of infection in large industrial factory farming operations, compared to smaller farms that raise their pigs outdoors. The diarrheal disease is coursing through U.S. pigs, especially at factory farms, while smaller family farms with higher animal welfare standards typically don’t engage in these practices. Since the outbreak started in the U.S. in April 2013, several million pigs have died from the virus.

The fact that the farm shares its name with a medieval torture device for women seems all too appropriate according to the investigator who broke the story. At Iron Maiden, sows are kept in cramped cages known as gestation crates. As Care2′s s.e. smith reported earlier this year, these small, narrow stalls “are so small the animals cannot turn around and many can’t lie down, either, forced to stand on a slatted concrete floor (for easier waste management) until they’re ready to deliver their piglets, at which point they move to farrowing crates.”

In addition to these inhumane conditions, the sows were then forced to consume remains from diseased piglets, just one of several disturbing practices HSUS officials say are fairly widespread within the industrial sector of the pig industry.

“The entire atmosphere at this facility is awful for animals, many of whom are perpetually immobilized and suffering from body sores, diarrhea attacks and prolapsed uteruses,” said Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection at HSUS, in a press release.

The Humane Society said it believes the practice is prohibited by state and federal law banning feeding animals “unprocessed waste” including meat products. The industry, with the support of some animal care experts, says it’s a scientific and veterinarian-approved way of humanely dealing with PEDV. Without it, claims The Center for Food Integrity’s Animal Care Review Panel, even more pigs would die.

“There’s no question that people may be put off by this treatment, but PEDV is wreaking havoc out there on the farms and ‘feedback’ is the only control method we have found to be effective,” said Dr. Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

Maybe not creating the inhumane and unnatural conditions that bred the disease would be a better place to start? I’s hard to see how feeding living animals the diseased flesh from dead animals could be allowed by the FDA and USDA. Then again, both agencies find it totally acceptable to feed chicken poop to cows.

Although we can’t count on the government to address these practices through regulation reform, pressure from consumers continues to be successful in creating change at the other end of the supply chain.

More than 60 major food companies—McDonald’s, Safeway, Costco, Target and dozens more—have mandated that their pork providers eliminate the crates from within their supply chains. Additionally, major pork producers including Smithfield, Tyson and Cargill are moving away from gestation crates.

TAKE ACTION

Please sign and share the petition to urge the USDA to ban Iron Maiden and all farms from feeding dead piglets to their own mothers.

Warning: the following video contains graphic footage

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/900-dead-piglets-fed-to-their-mothers-at-horrific-kentucky-farm.html#ixzz2u83jWaXW

Es gibt kein Impfstoff Afrikanische Schweinepest in Europa angekommen


Es gibt kein Impfstoff Afrikanische Schweinepest in Europa angekommen

In zwei Regionen Litauens wurde die tödliche Tierseuche festgestellt, die neben Hausschweinen auch Wildschweine befällt. Für Menschen und andere Haus- und Wildtiere ist sie ungefährlich.

                           In zwei Regionen Litauens wurde die tödliche Tierseuche festgestellt, die neben Hausschweinen auch Wildschweine befällt. Für Menschen und andere Haus- und Wildtiere ist sie ungefährlich.                                                   (Foto: DPA)

In Litauen ist die Afrikanische Schweinepest bei Wildschweinen festgestellt worden. Der Deutsche Bauernverband rief die Landwirte nun auf, ihre Betriebe vor der Pest zu schützen.

Der Deutsche Bauernverband hat die Landwirte aufgerufen, ihre Betriebe vor der Afrikanischen Schweinepest zu schützen. „Massiv verstärkte Vorbeugungsmaßnahmen sind das Gebot der Stunde, mögliche Übertragungswege müssen unterbunden werden“, sagte Generalsekretär Bernhard Krüsken. So dürften nur unbedingt notwendige Besucher wie Tierärzte in die Ställe. Auch bei Fahrten zwischen den Betrieben sollten sich die Bauern auf das Nötigste beschränken.

Die Afrikanische Schweinepest hatte nach Angaben des Friedrich-Loeffler-Instituts vor wenigen Tagen die EU erreicht. In zwei Regionen Litauens wurde die tödliche Tierseuche festgestellt, die neben Hausschweinen auch Wildschweine befällt. Für Menschen und andere Haus- und Wildtiere sei sie ungefährlich, betont das Institut.

Es gibt kein Impfstoff gegen die Afrikanische Schweinepest

„Wirtschaftlich sind die Folgen nicht nur für die betroffenen Betriebe, sondern für alle Schweinehalter verheerend“, warnte Krüsken. Handelspartner nähmen auch einzelne Fälle zum Anlass, kein Fleisch mehr aus den betroffenen Ländern zu kaufen. Die EU-Kommission hatte von Russland die Aufhebung des Importverbots für Schweinefleisch aus der EU verlangt. „Da es keinen Impfstoff für die Afrikanische Schweinepest gibt, ist die Situation besonders schwierig und Vorbeugung so wichtig“, sagte Krüsken. Das Loeffler-Instiut nannte neben Transportfahrzeugen besonders das Verfüttern von Speiseabfällen als Infektionsquelle.

Experten-Interview: Auswirkungen von Schweinepest noch gering

Die Auswirkungen auf deutsche Landwirte dürften eher gering sein. Das glaubt Experte Matthias Quaing von der Interessengemeinschaft der Schweinehalter Deutschlands (ISN) in Damme. „Eine direkte Gefahr für unsere schweinehaltenden Betriebe gibt es konkret noch nicht“, sagte Quaing. Allenfalls am sinkenden Export dürften deutsche Bauern die Schweinepest spüren, denn Russland lasse inzwischen keine Schweinefleisch-Importe aus der EU mehr zu.

Wie groß ist die Gefahr, dass die Krankheit auf Schweinemastbetriebe hierzulande übergreift?

Es gibt im Moment noch keine Anzeichen, dass sich die Krankheit ausweitet. Natürlich sind Landwirte, Vieh- und Fleischhändler alarmiert. Man weiß, dass da eine große Gefahr lauert, aber man hat noch die Hoffnung, dass man glimpflich davon kommt. Was die Hygiene auf den Betrieben angeht, haben wir hier schon seit Jahren hohe Standards. Jeder Landwirt weiß, wenn die Krankheit ausbricht, hilft nichts anderes, als das der ganze Viehbestand getötet wird. Allein schon deshalb sind alle sehr vorsichtig.

Also sehen sich deutsche Landwirte gar nicht betroffen?  Doch, denn aktuell haben russische Behörden die Lieferungen von Fleisch an einigen Grenzen zurückgewiesen. Etwa ein Viertel der Schweinefleischexporte aus der Europäischen Union gehen nach Russland, das sind im Jahr 750.000 Tonnen Fleisch. Wenn diese Lieferungen ausfielen, dann würde sich das in der EU natürlich schon bemerkbar machen. Aber es gibt kaum deutsche Betriebe, die eine Lizenz zum Handel mit Russland haben. Von einem Handelsstopp wären Dänemark, die Niederlande, Belgien oder Polen viel mehr betroffen. Allerdings könnte sich ein Handelsstopp indirekt auf unsere Betriebe auswirken.

Was heißt das genau? Wenn Dänen und Holländer ihr Fleisch nicht in Russland absetzen können, wollen sie ihre Produktion hier loswerden. Die EU ist ein zusammenhängender Markt, Grenzen zwischen den Ländern gibt es nicht mehr.

Also könnte es doch sein, dass die Verbraucher in der EU von sinkenden Preisen profitieren?   Die ersten Schlachtkonzerne haben bereits angekündigt, den ohnehin schon vergleichsweise geringen Schlachtpreis um fünf Cent pro Kilo zu senken. Das wären für den Landwirt fünf bis zehn Euro weniger pro Tier, als er ohne den Einfluss der Schweinepest erzielt hätte. Aber der Endverbraucher wird davon nicht viel merken, fürchte ich. Die Preise an der Fleischtheke sind doch sehr träge, zudem betrifft der Preisverfall insbesondere die Fleischteile, die von den deutschen Konsumenten nur wenig nachgefragt werden.

        01.02.2014 | 10:57 Uhr