Goats, sheep used for research lived in filth in Washington state, inspector reports

Continuing with the goat theme.

men.goats.apr.16Dozens of goats and sheep used by a Seattle medical research firm backed by a prominent food-safety expert were found in dirty, dilapidated conditions that endangered the animals’ welfare, a federal inspection found.

Many of the 42 goats and four sheep kept at a Redmond farm by Pi Bioscientific Inc., also known as Pi Biologique, suffered from “numerous medical ailments and severe health issues,” according to a March 3 report by the U.S. Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS).

“Lack of adequate staffing, equipment and facilities has adversely affected the care and well-being of the animals, prevented proper biosecurity and has led to the severe discomfort and pain and suffering in these animals,” veterinarian Diane Forbes found.

The animals had little protection from weather and there was no way to remove manure, the report noted.

In addition, staff members couldn’t account for 18 goats and one sheep that apparently went missing since a 2014 inventory that found there were 60 goats and five sheep on the premises.

Mansour Samadpour, the director of IEH Laboratories in Seattle — the firm hired by companies including Chipotle and Costco to improve their food-safety practices — said Tuesday he is a shareholder in Pi Bioscientific and the problems have been corrected.

“We had no idea this was happening,” Samadpour said, adding that staff who had been hired to care for the animals on the farm weren’t doing their jobs properly.

The animals are used for antibody testing for medical research, Samadpour said. Pi Biologique distributes test kits for common food allergies, according to a company website.

Chilliwack Cattle Sales owners previously investigated for injured cattle, E. coli

Chilliwack isn’t just a bad Canadian band that peaked in 1977 and that my high-school girlfriend happened to like (to her credit, she introduced me to Neil Young), it’s a town in B.C. and home of Chilliwack Cattle Sales, Canada’s largest dairy farm and a major supplier to Dairyland, where eight employees were secretly recorded brutally abusing cows.

dairy-farm-employee-whipping-cowThe undercover video from the non-profit group Mercy for Animals Canada — shot by a former employee of the farm — shows dairy cows being whipped and beaten with chains and canes, as well as punched and kicked.

A day after the B.C. SPCA recommended charges against the eight employees, it has emerged that the same farm was in court in 2008, after six cows were injured while being transferred to slaughter.

The case went to the B.C. Supreme Court, but the farm, which is owned by the Kooyman family, was cleared of all charges.

Then last year, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency charged meat processing operation Pitt Meadows Meats, also owned by the Kooymans, with selling E. coli tainted beef in 2010.

That case is still before the courts.

Farm owner Jeff Kooyman said those cases do not reflect on the quality of Chilliwack Cattle Sales, which has 3,500 dairy cows.

“We have high standards and when you’re working with that many employees, things do happen. We’ve got to work harder at regulations, more inspections,” said Kooyman.

Kooyman said he and his family knew nothing about the cruel treatment of the cattle, saying his company has zero tolerance for animal abuse.

Anna Pippus, director of legal advocacy with Mercy for Animals Canada, described the abuse as sadistic and rejected Kooyman’s claim that none of the owners knew about the abuse.

“Our undercover investigator repeatedly brought his concerns to the farm’s owners, who failed to take any corrective action,” said Pippus.

“The company allowed criminal cruelty to animals to flourish on its watch. Without our investigation, this cruelty would have continued to run rampant indefinitely.”

The farm is a major milk supplier to Dairyland, which is owned by Montreal-based dairy giant Saputo. Pippus accuses Dairyland of failing to properly oversee operations at the farm.

Truck crammed with 500 cats stopped en route to restaurants in China

Some 500 cats were discovered crammed into a truck during a routine check as it made its way to restaurants across China to sell the pets as meat.

The animals were rescued thanks to vehicle checks in Xuzhou, in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

Having pulled over the truck in what they assumed was a run of the mill stop, officers were shocked to find the horrific haul.

Officer Sun Hai, who helped rescue the terrified felines along with a colleague, said: ‘The driver said it was a full load of rabbit. 

‘But after we instructed him to uncover the load we were shocked to find a full load of living cats.’

Following the find the pair informed volunteers from a local animal protection centre who quickly arrived on the scene.

They cut open the bags with keys and knives to save the animals from suffocation and also bought water and food.

It is believed that the owner of the load refused to reveal where the cats had come from and it even took seven hours of negotiations to get him to hand them over to rescue teams.

The cats have now been transferred to an animal rescue centre at Tangzhang County, where they are being treated.

Abuse is shocking and it’s all on video; Ohio dairy farm worker charged with animal cruelty

Billy Joe Gregg Jr. – a man with not two but three first names and of course, it’s Billy Joe – an Ohio dairy farm worker has been charged with 12 counts of cruelty to animals after a welfare group released a video it says shows him and others beating cows with crowbars and pitchforks.

He’s in jail, pondering his 15 minutes of fame.

Associated Press reports the County sheriff’s office says Gregg was fired from Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City on Wednesday.

Conklin calls the mistreatment shown on the video "reprehensible." Chicago-based Mercy For Animals says the undercover video was shot between April 28 and Sunday.

The video is available at:

It is graphic and disturbing.

USDA shuts Chino, Calif. meat processor for cruelty

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has shut down a meat processing company after concluding workers committed egregious acts of animal cruelty.

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that the move came nearly a week after the Humane Society of the United States released video showing employees of the Westland Meat Co. tormenting cows that were too injured or weak to stand.

The original video is available at https://community.hsus.org/campaign/CA_2008_investigation?qp_source=gaba89.

A related news video is below.

When the video was released last week, the USDA suspended business with the company, sent a team of investigators to the Chino plant and ordered schools across the country to stop serving beef from the company to children.

An employee of the Humane Society of the United States worked undercover inside the company for about six weeks in the fall, secretly recording what went on.

His video shows what appear to be crippled cows dragged with forklifts, sprayed in the face with a high-pressure water hose and poked in the eye with a stick.

The images sparked concern not only from animal-welfare advocates, but from food-safety experts, who feared the company might have used the tactic to prod sick animals to slaughter in violation of state and federal regulations.

So-called "downer" cows, or those that are not able to get up, are more likely to produce beef contaminated with foodborne illnesses such as mad cow disease, E. coli and salmonella.

Dr. Richard Raymond, USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety, said last night,

"We maintain an inspection system that safeguards the safety and wholesomeness of our food supply. USDA will take appropriate action based on the findings of the investigation."

Maybe, but USDA may need to adopt some new inspection and investigative techniques if the HSUS can so easily document such grotesquely poor treatment of animals.