News of Note

Animal rights activists accused in UC Santa Cruz researcher attack move to dismiss case
Four animal rights activists accused of taking part in a violent demonstration at the home of a UC Santa Cruz researcher are fighting to have the federal indictment filed against them dropped…attorneys, in court papers filed in April, argue that the descriptions of what the activists are accused of are so vague, it’s impossible for them to determine what allegations they’re supposed to defend themselves against.

Former DeCoster Egg Farm Agrees to Settle Animal Cruelty Case
Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson cited Maine Contract Farming with ten civil counts of animal cruelty for depriving hens of necessary sustenance and proper shelter. The farm agreed to pay $2,500 dollars in fines for each count; to reimburse the Animal Welfare Board more than $9,000 for the cost of its investigation; and to make a one-time payment of $100,000 to the Maine Department of Agriculture for ongoing monitoring of hen treatment at its facilities as well as those of other egg farms around the state.

Manure smells like trouble at 2 Oregon CAFO dairies owned by New Seasons’ founder
If Oregon has a pioneer of the local food movement, it is Chuck Eggert. Co-founder of Portland’s enviro-chic New Seasons grocery chain…Eggert’s Mayfield and Rock Ridge dairies have repeatedly mismanaged the manure that 700 milking cows produce, racking up 20 manure-related violations and $35,000 in state fines. A $20,000 fine this month was the largest ever by the state’s Confined Animal Feeding Operation program.

USDA Grant To Put Fruit, Veggies In Wyo. Schools
A U.S. Department of Agriculture program will make it easier for Wyoming youngsters to heed their mothers’ advice by eating veggies during the school day.  State Superintendent Jim McBride announced Wednesday that 90 Wyoming elementary schools have been chosen to receive USDA fresh fruit and vegetable grants for next school year.

The Freegan Establishment
Freeganism is a bubbling stew of various ideologies, drawing on elements of communism, radical environmentalism, a zealous do-it-yourself work ethic and an old-fashioned frugality of the sock-darning sort. Freegans are not revolutionaries. Rather, they aim to challenge the status quo by their lifestyle choices. Above all, freegans are dedicated to salvaging what others waste and — when possible — living without the use of currency.

Deputies Hope Cockfighting Bust Sends Message
Officials said several concerned citizens tipped them off to the fighting.  At the home, they found what the Humane Society of the United States calls one of the biggest cockfighting rings in South Carolina…deputies hope that this bust will send a strong message to people in Greenville County  that cockfighting will not be tolerated.

Those scientists – working hard to make farming more profitable and easing the minds of people concerned about animals…:

Effects of Feeding Elevated Concentrations of Copper and Zinc on the Antimicrobial Susceptibilities of Fecal Bacteria in Feedlot Cattle
Cattle are fed elevated concentrations of copper and zinc for growth promotion. The potential mechanisms of growth promotional effects of these elements are attributed to their antimicrobial activities, similar to that of antibiotics, in that gut microbial flora are altered to reduce fermentation loss of nutrients and to suppress gut pathogens. Copper and zinc fed at elevated concentrations may select for bacteria that are resistant not only to heavy metals but also to antibiotics.

Easing the pain of bovine mastitis
“It is easy to underestimate how much pain cows may experience in even mild cases of mastitis and that’s why many cases are not seen as being painful when in fact they are. This means not only is cow welfare being compromised so too is production because the cow may be less likely to eat.”

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