The zoning board in Jackson County, Indiana, has given approval for a new large hog feeding operation in a rural area of the county. The board on October 15 voted 4-0 to approve a confined feeding operation site north of the community of Crothersville in Southern Indiana. The facility would house about 4,000 hogs. The vote followed a public comment period, where many opponents of the operation expressed worries about odors, truck traffic and possible water contamination to wells and the nearby Muscatatuck River from stored manure. An estimated 100 people attended the meeting. One neighbor, Trina McLain, said she had health concerns about the hog facility being about a quarter of a mile mile from her home and that it would harm the quality of life for nearly 500 homes in the vicinity. However, farmer Kyle Broshears said the hog facility would be built as far as possible from the closest home in the area. His plans call for spending about $900,000 on the facility that would include an 81-by-417-foot building housing the hogs and a concrete pit that would hold about 1 million gallons of manure. The facility meets all the requirements set forth by the county.
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) has begun an active campaign to recruit the next generation of board directors and district committee representatives.
This year, CFO launched a promotional drive to remind farmers-members to participate in the governance process of their industry by putting their names forward as a board director or a district committee representative (DCR).
“Good governance is at the core of CFO’s strategy and we take our responsibility for developing strong and effective practices and leadership renewal very seriously,” said Henry Zantingh, chair, CFO. “We are an equal opportunity board, and encourage all our farmers to contribute and be part of the election process in whatever capacity they can.
Being a director or DCR is an extremely educational and emotionally rewarding part of the farming business and I encourage all of my colleagues to consider putting their names forward in the upcoming elections.”
As part of the 2014 promotional campaign for electoral participation in the governance selection process, CFO has begun an active outreach program which includes extensive marketing through the CFO website, digital outreach on behalf of the board reaching CFO’s 1100 farmer-members and recruitment campaigns in each of the board’s nine districts.
The term for board directors and DCRs is two years, and this year CFO will be holding elections for both positions in Districts 1 through 5.
The CFO board consists of nine farmers-member directors and 33 farmer-member DCRs.
Operations have returned to normal at a Jennie-O Turkey Store plant where employees had reportedly become ill.
From WATTAgNet: Operations have returned to normal at a Jennie-O Turkey Store processing plant in Willmar, Minnesota, after more than two dozen workers there had shown symptoms of illness including coughing and vomiting. Willmar police responded to a call around 7:23 p.m. on October 17 of a possible chemical leak at the Jennie-O Turkey Store facility that was making employees sick, Willmar Police Sgt. Michael Jahnke said. However, after the company and local fire officials inspected the plant, which was evacuated, no chemical leaks or other causes for illnesses were found. Testing was conducted for carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and ammonia. Thirty-one patients from the Jennie-O plant were examined at Rice Memorial Hospital, with one being admitted. Some were transported by ambulance, while others were taken by bus, according to news reports. After the Jennie-O and fire officials conducted what the company referred to as a “thorough plant inspection,” operations at the plant resumed to normal. The Willmar Police Department assisted fire and EMS officials with the situation. Jennie-O Turkey Store is a subsidiary of Hormel Foods. According to the WATT Global Media Top Companies Database, the company operates four slaughter plants and five cooking plants. It also has three hatcheries, eight feed mills and 200 growout houses.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is conducting a survey of the meat slaughter and processing industry to add to FSIS’ understanding of the practices and technologies used to control pathogens and promote food safety. Additionally, FSIS will compare the results to a similar survey the agency conducted in 2004 in order to assess food safety and technology adoption trends over time.
The survey, contracted with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International, will be sent to all eligible beef and pork slaughter establishments across the United States, starting mid-November through the beginning of February 2015. As it has done with other surveys that it has conducted for federal agencies, RTI International will report individual responses to this survey to FSIS, but it will use data masking techniques so that individual establishments cannot be identified.
The results of the survey will be reported to the public only in summary form, so that individual responses or respondents cannot be identified. The meat processing facilities that respond to the survey will receive a summary report of the survey results.
For more information about the survey conducted for FSIS, interested people can contact Gary Noyes at +1.301.504.3672 or at Gary.Noyes@fsis.usda.gov.
The United Kingdom (UK) pig and poultry industries are examining establishing the Monogastric Centre of Excellence.
Companies involved in the UK pig sector and UK poultry sector will meet in mid-November to discuss the idea and to hear from academics on new areas of research and investment in facilities that could boost the two animal agriculture industries’ global position. The upcoming meeting will be open to all people who wish to attend.
The key for the UK pig and poultry chain, the center’s proponents argue, will be how the new structure can improve the quick take up of research ideas and how they can be broadly put into practice.
An expression of interest has already been drawn up, and it is hoped that the proposal will receive government funding amounting to GBP90 million (US$145 million).
Steering group chairman Steward Houston has noted that the relatively new group was moving quickly.
He added: “It is important, however, to ensure that the Monogastric Centre of Excellence is inclusive and genuinely represents the interests and ambitions of the pig and poultry sectors and of all of those organizations and institutions that can contribute, in the broadest sense, to the development and success of the center.”
Animal rights group Humane Watch is urging Starbucks to stop using eggs from caged hens in the breakfast foods the chain sells. The organization has placed a petition on the website change.org, with the petition having already gathered tens of thousands of signatures.
Calling using cages to house layer hens an “outdated agricultural practice,” Humane Watch in its petition urges Starbucks to join other companies in phasing out caged eggs.
“When the public, animal welfare experts, and environmental protection agencies are demanding an end to battery cages, there is no reason for your company to remain on the wrong side of history,” the group stated in its petition.
It also challenges the company to live up to its claims that it supports animal welfare programs and cage-free farms.
Starbucks, on its website, offers the following statement concerning animal welfare: “Just as with our coffee, Starbucks goal is for our food to be produced under the highest quality and ethical standards. One way we hope to help accomplish this is by establishing a buying preference that encourages our suppliers in North America to use animal welfare-friendly practices and provide ingredients such as cage-free eggs, gestation crate-free pork, and poultry processed through more humane systems such as CAK. This supports our efforts to work with suppliers who share our values and have a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.”
More than 200 international experts of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) scientific network of expertise, representing the 296 OIE reference centers from all around the world, reaffirmed their commitment to constantly disseminate new relevant scientific information to the OIE, and support the scientific accuracy and robustness of OIE publications through contributions or peer reviews. The commitment was made during an OIE global conference, held October 14-16 in Seoul, Korea.
“The need for scientific expertise and advice is constantly increasing and so is the reliance to our network of excellence unique in the world”, highlights Dr. Bernard Vallat, OIE director general.
In addition to further fostering the networking of the OIE reference centers, the conference also focused on new tools for the advancement and exchange of knowledge necessary strengthen diagnostic capacities worldwide and continuously improve the response to current and future sanitary threats. In this context, the conference launched a new strategy on a global pathogen genotype platform as well as a new mechanism for the timely diffusion of new disease detection and control methods to the OIE’s 180 member countries.
The OIE global network of expertise, which has grown considerably stronger over the years, supports - on a voluntary and free of charge basis - the development and the excellence of animal health sciences, animal welfare standards and veterinary public health services. It ensures the scientific foundation of the standards and guidelines adopted by OIE member countries and recognized as intergovernmental references for disease control methods and animal welfare throughout the world.
To date, this OIE global network includes 247 reference laboratories, covering 117 diseases in 38 countries and 49 collaborating centers, covering 46 topics in 26 countries. These institutes are selected by the relevant elected specialist commissions of the OIE according to their scientific excellence and then proposed for adoption by the World Assembly of OIE Delegates.
“Strengthening national veterinary laboratory capacities, and thereby reinforcing the veterinary scientific community is key to face the challenges of the future,” said Vallat. “That’s why since 2006, the OIE has developed a laboratory twinning program between existing OIE reference laboratories or collaborating centers and candidate laboratories. This program allows more member countries to provide reference centers to the OIE network and to develop more appropriate laboratory diagnostic methods worldwide”.
The OIE also supports national veterinary laboratories through the performance of veterinary services (PVS) pathway component dedicated to national laboratories and through a capacity building global program for OIE national focal points for laboratories.