Saturday, 14 July 2007

Intensive Farming,and Factory Farming of Livestock. Culling, killing and slaughter.

The devastating effects of
livestock diseases which have

occurred in the UK are difficult to forget;
There is a correlation between livestock diseases and farming practice, including movements of cattle around the country.
The point of industrial agriculture is lower cost products to create greater productivity. When epidemics and mass culling happen, all farms and their livestock(even healthy animals) can be effected, whether their agricultural practice is intensive farming or sustainable farming.
The question I'd like to raise in this post is how many repeated mass slaughters are we, the food consumer ,prepared to accept in the quest for cheap food. I haven't discussed various farming systems, the effects on health and the environment, or animal husbandry here. I do not mean to imply that individual farmers who have suffered the devastating effects of culls on their farms were in any way responsible.
SE(bovine spongiform encephalopathy)- In November 1986 scientists first became aware of the disease. Up to the end of Jan 1998 approximately 170,000 cases were confirmed in the UK. 100,000 cattle were culled.
The human form of the disease, CJD, killed 165 people in Britain.

Foot and Mouth Disease,Spring and Summer 2001.There were 2,000 cases of the disease in farms in most of the British countryside. Around seven million sheep and cattle were killed in attempting to control the disease. This involved concentrating on a cull & then burning all animals located near an infected farm.
Avian Influenza. Feb 2007.160,000 turkeys were killed at a Suffolk 'farm' owned by Bernard Mathews.
Cattle TB. In 2005, 3,300 cattle were thought to be infected with bovine tuberculosis, with the figure rising at 18% each year. Badgers have long been blamed for the spread of TB in UK herds and the government has threatened a cull if further studies back this up. Other research has found that cattle movements are the biggest single factor in TB transmission. This same analysis threw up several issues of farm management, with hedges being particularly prominent; TB was markedly less likely in farms with abundant hedgerows and ungrazed strips of land along fences; but markedly more likely where hedges had lots of gaps. (Dr Fiona Mathews, Oxford University) calculates that "hedge-poor" farms are 60% more likely than "hedge-rich" ones to experience an outbreak.


BSE- Farmers were offered a one-off compensation of £85 million pounds.

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE.-By April 2001, the UK government had announced the following compensation packages;

*£247 million compensation for slaughtered animals.

*£156 million 'agrimonetry' compensation of the sheep, beef and dairy sectors(over the £15 million compulsory aid.) .

*£200 million compensation for 'welfare' slaughter of livestock.

*£40 million payment of the pig industry restructuring fund brought forward to 2001.

*Rates relief for businesses affected by FMD., eg tourism.

*Rates relief for small businesses in rural areas affected by FMD, eg food shops pubs, garages with a rateable value under £9000.

* Unemployment benefits to people whose ability to work is effected by MD.

AVIAN INFLUENZA-Bernard Mathews was told by government he would receive £600,000 in compensation for healthy birds slaughtered in the bird flu outbreak, (despite health safety precautions having been breached)

CATTLE TB- No figures for yearly compensation are yet available here.£35m was spent on a government-funded study on potential culling of badgers, known as the 'Krebs Trial'.

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