News of Note

Probing the link between slaughterhouses and violent crime
Sinclair’s abattoir labourers get so desensitized to violence that rates of murder, rape and brawls among them rise. The book cemented the link between slaughterhouses and crime for decades to come — long before pig farmer and serial killer Robert Pickton haunted headlines.  More than a hundred years later, a University of Windsor researcher may have proven the literary classic right. Criminology professor Amy Fitzgerald says statistics show the link between slaughterhouses and brutal crime is empirical fact.

Biodiversity in Peril, the U.N. Warns
Among the causes of biodiversity loss are habitat changes like converting land to agricultural use; excess exploitation of resources, like overfishing; pollution from agricultural nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous; the arrival of invasive species; and climate change (shrinking Arctic ice and ocean acidification, for example).

Latin America wants to end ‘lethal research’ on whales
The Buenos Aires Group said that beside the lethal research loophole, they would also bring up at the June meeting of the 88-nation IWC other dangers to whale populations around the world, including “climate change, marine pollution and incidental capture.”  Marquieira, a Chilean, told the Latin American group on Wednesday that whale hunting has not stopped despite the 1986 moratorium and that his plan would save 4,000-5,000 whales over the next ten years.

An unusually meaty menu at skid row shelter
On Monday night’s dinner menu at the Union Rescue Mission: tacos made from elk, deer, sheep, wild pig, black bear and antelope. For pescatarians, there were yellow tail, tilapia and tuna tacos. Vegetarians were out of luck. About 250 pounds of fresh game meat was donated for the feast, sponsored by the Sportsman Channel as a part of its national “Hunt. Fish. Feed.” initiative.

The Fight to Save Small-Scale Slaughterhouses
For small meat businesses in America, catastrophic events result from changes high up in the regulatory food chain that make it very difficult for small plants to adapt. The most recent extinction event occurred at the turn of the millennium, when small and very small USDA-inspected slaughter and processing plants were required to adopt the costly Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety plan. It has been estimated that 20 percent of existing small plants, and perhaps more, went out of business at that time. Now, proposed changes to HACCP for small and very small USDA-inspected plants threaten to take down many of the ones that remain, making healthy, local meats a rare commodity.

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