Pig Farmers’ Perceptions, Attitudes, Influences and Management of Information in the Decision-Making Process for Disease ControlSubmitted on Sep 01, 2014 (Original item from 2013) Farmed Animals | General Animal Protection
This qualitative study conducted in-depth interviews with owners of small to medium sized pig farms across England to explore how they accessed information on pig diseases. The farmers relied more on their veterinarian, industry journals, and other farmers than on government information resources, suggesting that new findings in research may be most effectively communicated through veterinarians. Although economic factors were the top priority when deciding whether to treat disease, animal welfare was also a concern.
This paper compares three different strategies to reduce long-term greenhouse gases from the farming of animals: increased productivity, technological means to clean up farming-related emissions, and dietary changes away from meat and milk on a global scale. Considering the potential for each strategy to meet the UN goal of maintaining global temperature below the 2°C increase, alone and in combination with the others, the authors conclude that it is unlikely the goals can be met without including a dietary change strategy.
This study measured whether native grass buffers planted around fields of row crops were beneficial to at-risk bird species. Buffered fields were compared with non-buffered fields in 14 states over a 6-year period. The majority of species showed dramatically higher breeding populations near buffered fields, while a minority of species showed moderately higher populations near unbuffered fields, or varied from year to year. The authors recommend targeting buffers to areas where the species who are most helped by them most need support.
This Humane Society-authored literature review targeted to farmers discusses the advantages of open floor housing over cage housing for chickens raised for slaughter. Foot-friendly flooring, litter for dustbaths, and optimal space allowances for best health and welfare are also discussed. Of particular interest is a cited study that showed more chickens would cross difficult barriers to get to less crowded space than to get to food when very hungry.
This Dutch study compared the impact on global climate change of a mink coat to a synthetic fur coat. All aspects of manufacturing and distributing both coats was considered: growing feed for the minks, raising them, and disposing of their waste, synthesizing the "fur" and backing material for the faux coat, transportation of both coats for sale, and incineration of the coats at the end of their usefulness. The study found that impact of the mink coat on climate change was 3-10 times higher than the impact of the faux fur coat.
This article describes the mission and activities of The Donkey Sanctuary, a British charity with sanctuary/education centers internationally. The charity takes an integrated approach to donkey rescue, using all-local staff, and building trust in the community by assisting with other needs. The article describes the history of donkeys, where and how donkeys still perform work for humans, and welfare assessment, and calls for multidisciplinary attention to studying and improving the lives of donkeys.
Drawing upon recent research and other sources, this article examines cow and management-related risk factors for hock lesions, an injury experienced by the majority of cows on dairy farms worldwide, which can lead to serious health consequences. Herd size, pasture access, age at first calving, cubicle housing and design, flooring and bedding material are discussed, along with vulnerabilities affecting individual cows. Hock lesion risk is reduced on organic farms. The authors note that inconsistent definitions and scoring systems impede data collection on this important subject.
This article cites numerous studies to illustrate effects of meat production on climate change and human health, and the benefits of a reduced meat diet. The authors propose meat reduction as an immediately viable alternative to more costly carbon reduction techniques that can't ramp up quickly enough to stop the escalation of global climate change. Taxing meat, including meat production in carbon trading systems, and promotion of non-meat alternatives by government and health organizations are suggested.
This philosophical essay draws a distinction between harm to animals inflicted by abusive individuals on factory farms, and harm inherent in the industrial farming system. The author observes that animal advocates often find themselves on the defensive when debates over factory farming are reframed by skeptics as debates over the good character of farmers. He defines and provides examples of other systemic categories of harm that animal advocates can use to shift the burden of justifying factory farming to those who are skeptical about its harmfulness.
Dead or Alive? Comparing Costs and Benefits of Lethal and Non-Lethal Human–Wildlife Conflict Mitigation on Livestock FarmsSubmitted on Jul 17, 2014 (Original item from 2014) Farmed Animals | General Animal Protection | Wildlife and Exotics
This study compared lethal versus non-lethal methods of predator control (of jackals, caracals and leopards) on 11 South African livestock farms over a 3-year period. Non-lethal methods included guardian dogs, guardian alpacas, and mesh collars to prevent fatal throat bites. Non-lethal control on average was cheaper and as effective or better at reducing losses compared to lethal controls. More than 3/4 of the participating farmers continued to use non-lethal controls only, or in combination with lethal controls, at their own cost, after the study.
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