August 6, 2011
Buyers of poultry products from a Cargill processing plant in Arkansas may have gotten a little something extra with their turkey burgers: a strain of antibiotic-resistant salmonella that is implicated in the death of a Sacramento man and the illness of 79 others around the country. In response, Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of turkey products last week, among the largest food recalls ever. But just because that turkey is off the shelves doesn't mean it's safe to eat undercooked poultry — or any of a host of other foods potentially contaminated by antibiotic-resistant "superbugs.
February 1, 2011 |
In this farming town an hour outside Seoul, the stalls sit eerily empty of animals, helter-skelter hoof marks in the mud the only reminder of once-thriving operations. The animals are all dead, swept away by a fast-moving outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease that has seen the government come up with a grisly solution to save money and time: burying many pigs and other livestock alive. "Having to bury little baby pigs alive is ? there's no way to describe how I suffered inside," sobbed the wife of one farmer who said she was so ashamed she declined to give her name.
December 14, 2010 |
The U.S.-raised animals we eat consumed about 29 million pounds of antibiotics in the last year alone, according to a first-ever Food and Drug Administration accounting of antimicrobial drug use by the American livestock industry. The release of the figures -- in a little-noticed posting on the FDA's website Friday -- came in response to a 2008 law requiring the federal government to collect and disseminate antibiotic use in livestock as part of the Animal Drug User Fee Act . The Union of Concerned Scientists, which authored a 2001 report that was highly critical of the routine practice of feeding antibiotics to livestock, estimated the yearly animal consumption of antibiotics to be eight times as large as the volume of antibiotics produced for human consumption in the U.S. Mardi Mellon, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Food and Environment program, said the new report corroborates the 2001 findings of the group's report, titled "Hogging It.
November 6, 2010 |
It's been a bad year for grizzly bears, and, if forecasts prove correct, it's only going to get worse. The tally of grizzly deaths in the states bordering the greater Yellowstone region is fast approaching the worst on record. And that's before the numbers come in from the current hunting season, a time when accidental grizzly shootings are traditionally high. Here in Wyoming, more bears were killed this year than ever, including a bear shot by a hunter last week. A number of complex factors are believed to be working against grizzlies, including climate change.
August 31, 2010 |
A giant slaughterhouse in the Illinois river town of East Moline is creating a big stink — and it hasn't even been built yet. Supporters of the proposed facility, which would process thousands of hogs a day, say it would bring jobs and economic revitalization to the Iowa border community. Mayor John Thodos says he thinks it will create 2,500 jobs in an area where unemployment has doubled in five years. The controversy surrounding the project reflects an intensifying national debate over how we should house, raise, slaughter and process the livestock we consume.
June 3, 2010 |
Giving new meaning to the term "server farm," a team of Hewlett-Packard Co. researchers has come up with a plan for combining cow chips and computer chips to build an environmentally friendly data center — powered by manure. HP scientists have proposed using a biogas recovery system that would convert livestock waste into methane, to be used as fuel to generate electricity for data centers — those cutting-edge computer facilities that serve as the nerve centers for an increasingly Internet-dependent world.
March 13, 2010
Year after year, legislation intended to preserve the effectiveness of available antibiotics by limiting their use in livestock is shot down. The latest bills introduced in both houses of Congress have been stalled for close to a year. Banning the use of antibiotics in perfectly healthy animals has always been the right thing to do for the health of the American public. Overuse of antibiotics, whether in animals or humans, renders them less effective because it leads to the development of resistant bacteria.
February 25, 2010 |
In wind-whipped tents, makeshift shelters and overcrowded family compounds, Afghans who fled the battleground town of Marja are asking themselves and one another: When will it be safe to go home? Since the start this month of a massive assault by U.S. Marines and British and Afghan troops on the southern Afghan town, nearly 4,000 families have sought shelter in nearby Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. By the calculation generally used by aid agencies -- six people per family, though many are far larger -- that would add up to at least 24,000 people, nearly one-third of the town's population.
February 7, 2010 |
Based on the novel by Nicolas Sparks, director Lasse Hallström's romantic drama "Dear John" follows the relationship between Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) and soldier John Tyree (Channing Tatum) as they communicate through love letters during seven years of military deployments. For John's scenes in the Middle East and Africa, livestock coordinator Dan Hydrick provided exotic background animals to give a sense of place. But for Savannah's scenes in the United States involving a young autistic character, Hydrick tackled an even more unusual challenge: teaching a young autistic actor, Braeden Reed, to ride a horse.
December 21, 2009 |
Army Spc. Kathy Tanson, who grew up on a farm in Corning in Northern California, is wrestling goats and sheep into submission so they can be vaccinated against parasites and anthrax. Spc. Jose Lopez, who worked at his uncle's irrigation company in Tulare County, is putting headlocks on cattle so they stand still for their shots, one for rabies and another one to provide a vitamin boost to help them through the brutal Afghan winter. And Col. Eric Grimm, who attended veterinary school before joining the military, is demonstrating the proper way to subdue a balky donkey without getting kicked: Grab it by the head with one hand, and lift up its tail with the other.