Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CAFO Propaganda?

The US Poultry & Egg Association("USPEA") is a lobbying organization that fronts for the chicken factory farms.  The CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) industry in the US has produced a series of videos, funded by the International Poultry Expo to explain the chicken factory operations typically used in the USA.  The Canadian systems are virtually the same.

Is this video best described as full disclosure in a fair and balanced manner, or industry propaganda?

Listening to Mr. Bredwell (is that his real name?  How appropriate!), I am half convinced by what he says that all is in order for CAFO's, and I can go back to sleep.  Sounds pretty good the way he explains it.

Unfortunately, while he describes the theory, the day to day practices leave a great deal to be desired.  In addition, we must think hard about what he doesn't say.

For example, CAFO's by their very nature, produce mountains of manure that must be disposed.  In addition, their ventilation systems spew polluted chicken factory bioactive dust to everybody down wind.  That means it contains bacteria, viruses, antibiotics, feces, and other contaminants; all over the neighbouring crops, people, and livestock.

I previously blogged about the resulting water pollution, illustrated by Delmarva Penninsula in the North-East USA.  There, chicken operations produce over 90% of the Nitrogen and Phosphorous pollution in land, streams, lakes, and estuaries (see Blog post Buried Alive in Chicken Manure).

What makes it difficult is that there is a grain of truth in everything that he says.  Only by hearing the full story for both sides is the public going to understand what to believe.

That takes a lot of time, patience, and effort; something that is in very short supply in everybody's busy lives.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fatal Factory Farms

The investigative journalism TV show 60 Minutes Australia says the biggest animal welfare issue in Australia today is the raising of roasting chickens ("roast chook" in Australian lingo).

Whether the chicken factories are in Australia or Canada, they are more or less the same:  plain wrong and un-necessary.  Small flocks of pastured chicken are a clear alternative that's better; for you, the chicken that becomes your food, and the chicken during their lives.

There is a world-wide rejection of housing thousands of chickens in a factory barn, where they never feel grass  under their feet, never feel the gentle breezes in their feathers, nor see the sun in the blue sky.  The factory chicken farm is designed so the chickens waddle between the water spout and the feed bin, then sit down in their own manure, as they can't easily stand due to their extreme rate of growth that collapses their legs.

The factory chickens of today are designed to grow faster than cancer tumors.  Not only is it unhealthy for the chicken, it's unhealthy for the food that results from that explosive, exponential growth.

When the chickens grow too big, too quickly, they often have massive coronary heart attacks, and suddenly keel over dead.

If a heart attack doesn't get them, the toxic dust, fumes, heat, and humidity they are forced to live in every day of their tortured lives takes its toll.  The feathers on their bellies and rear end are literally burned off their bodies by the corrosive environment from which there is no escape.  If not their feathers, then the soles of their feet are blistered and scarred by the toxic ooze upon which they continuously walk.

Watch this 14 minute video, then decide if this is the system that is OK to produce food for you and your family.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

OMAFRA Minister Jeff Leal: Will he Rescue Small Flockers?

Honorable Jeff Leal,
Ontario Minister of
Agriculture, Food, & Rural
Affairs.  Will he rescue
Ontario's small flock
chicken farmers?

OMAFRA Minister Jeff Leal:  Will you Rescue Small Flockers?

If Minister Leal won't help, will you?   See below.

Small Flockers' appeal to the OMAFRA Appeals Tribunal needs to be rescued from the clanking, orthodox bureaucracy of the Appeal's Tribunal and the Chicken Supply Management system.

We have been through the mill and back trying to assert our rights and find a reasonable solution, an epic journey of 680 days (1.9 years) and counting, as follows:
  1. We filed our initial complaint with CFO on 2013/02/21.
  2. CFO refused to act
  3. Because CFO refused to act on our complaints, we asked OFPMC to intercede on our behalf.
  4. OFPMC refused to help small flockers, suggesting we file an appeal to the Tribunal.
  5. We filed an appeal with the OMAFRA Tribunal.
  6. CFO objected to our appeal, and asked that it be summarily dismissed, so we were forced to defend our appeal.
  7. The appeal wasn't dismissed, but the Tribunal decided we must narrow our scope and re-file our appeal.
  8. A revised appeal was submitted to the Tribunal.  This revised appeal was designed to fully comply with the Tribunal's previous decision, 
  9. CFO again objected to the re-stated appeal, again calling it trivial, frivolous, vexatious, and made in bad faith.
  10. We were again required to defend our appeal against being summarily dismissed.  This initial response wasn't enough to stop the CFO avalanche against us.
  11. The Tribunal notified us that they would dismiss our appeal unless we could provide just cause to allow it to continue.
  12. We re-doubled our efforts and responded why it would be unjust to dismiss our appeal
  13. Our appeal was dismissed by the Tribunal.
  14. We believe the Tribunal erred when it ignored all the case law that defended our position, so we asked that the Tribunal's decision be re-considered.
  15. During the review of the Tribunal's decision, they found that two out of three grounds for dismissing our appeal (frivolous and vexatious) were decided in error, so they were reversed and overturned by the Tribunal Review, but the third reason (bad faith) was allowed to stand.
  16. The Minister of Agriculture has the right and duty to intercede on all decisions by the Tribunal on behalf of the government and public policy issues.  Today, just 680 days (1.9 years) after our start, we now file a letter requesting OMAFRA's Minister Jeff Leal to review the Tribunal's decision, and intercede on our behalf, asking the Minister to order the Tribunal to hear our appeal on the Small Flock Regulation ON-Reg. 2484-2014
All we want is to recover the civil rights of Ontario's small flock chicken farmers.  We also hope that the appeal will help get more safe, affordable, nutritious, and locally grown chicken for all regions of Ontario.

Our appeal has been fought against and resisted every step of the way by Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO").  Currently, CFO has a virtual monopoly for Ontario chicken, and uses their government granted regulatory powers to protect their monopoly and maximize their special interest profits.

Ontario consumers pay higher chicken prices (ie. 50% to 300% higher than the rest of the world), and have restricted choices in the types and varieties of chicken available in Ontario stores.

To me, the regulatory powers granted by the government to CFO should be used for the greater good of all Ontario citizens.  CFO doesn't see it that way.  CFO believes the governmental powers granted them are to help them move from multi-millionaire, to become billionaires.

Our letter to Minister Leal, requesting his review and intervention under Section 18 of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affair Act can be viewed here:

 SFPFC's Letter Requesting Minister Leal's Review and Intervention.

I have tried my best for almost two (2) years to advocate for the civil rights of small flock farmers.

Today, I need your help, or all of that effort will soon be lost.

I realize you are busy, just like me and everybody else.  I also realize that if you leave this page before taking the necessary actions right now, you are likely to get busy again, then forget to do it later, or will never find the time.

Therefore, help us right now.

I believe it's worth 2 minutes of your time, no matter how busy you are.

There are thousands of others who have no access to a computer, or will never find this posting and its request, but those thousands of Ontario citizens desperately need your help through the hope that this appeal can result in more locally grown, affordable chicken.

You can help rescue Ontario's small flockers by contacting Minister Leal, encouraging him to help Ontario and its small flockers, saying something similar to the following:

Dear Minister Leal:
I respectfully request that you review and intervene on the Tribunal's decision about the small flock quota exemption appeal (Black Vs. CFO), so as to require the OMAFRA Appeals Tribunal to hear this appeal in full on the issue of the Small Flock Exemption Regulation, ON-Reg. 2484-2014

Minister Leal's Contact Information

Phone: 416-326-3074

Fax: 416-326-3083


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