Staff Blog


Friday, May 15, 2009

Three panels will tackle humane treatment of farm animals, aquaculture that works and beyond organic wines. Some highlights from first panel:

Marcus Benedetti, Clover-Stornetta Farms: It's good business to treat las vacas well 'healthy, happy cows produce higher quality milk.'

American Humane Certified Program's Tim Amlaw has good news: 'Most producers of all size and scale are endorsing our rules, coming to us’ – in the last year, compliance has gone from 3 to 35 percent.

Dr. Temple Grandin from animal science program at Colorado State: ‘Cows that are scared of humans produce less milk.'; 'Handling in last 5-10 minutes really affects quality of pork.'

Amlaw: 'We're adding video monitoring at [so-called] pinch points,' key spots in the production chain where humane abuses can happen.

Amlaw: In the last year and a half, he's seen it go from a 'push model'-'we’ve pushed for 131 years'-to a 'pull model,' consumer driven.

Grandin: 'Improve handling, you improve productivity...and it costs nothing to implement. Some think they have to treat animals rough.'

Shocker from Temple Grandin from Colorado State's animal science department: 
'Slaughterhouses have been easier to deal with than farmers.'

I liked Temple once I saw she was rocking a black Western shirt stitched with red and white flowers - with a red handkerchief tied at neck.

Temple: 'Chickens like nest boxes...for them a dust bath is nice, but a next box is like sleeping in a hotel room with no door.'

Amlaw is styling himself - two words: bolo tie.

Amlaw: 'Corporations make changes if they think they are going to make more money - they see the demand.'

Amlaw: 'Maybe the economic crisis is helping shift corporations to looking for longer term gains' (looking 50 yrs off vs. quicker money).For a new eco label, 

Temple says there better be third party video auditing. 'Lots of people say they're doing good things, but...'

Got these from my tweepsie 1) Benedetti says CA's Prop. 2 mandated laying hens be cage free >> not true, just bigger cages; 2) Temple Grandin recommends and PubMed as great resources for farm animal welfare research

From Amlaw - Tricky chickies: Fixing a fault nipple drip might cause them more stress than just leaving the screwed up nozzle

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