CHECK OUT THIS LINK ON THE USDA KILLING FIELDS!
NEVER HEARD OF A "DEPOP TRUCK"? CHECK OUT PAGE 429 UNDER THE “Protocol for Euthanasia of Backyard Premises”
Stamping out is a recognized and proven strategy for rapid elimination of an introduced exotic disease or other emergency livestock disease. The crucial elements of stamping out are:
- designation of infected zones;
- intensive disease surveillance to identify infected premises and dangerous-contact premises or villages within these zones;
- imposition of quarantine and livestock movement restrictions;
- immediate slaughter of all susceptible animals either on the infected and dangerous-contact premises or in the whole infected area;
- safe disposal of their carcasses and other potentially infected materials;
- disinfection and cleaning of infected premises;
- maintaining these premises depopulated of susceptible animals for a suitable period.
Stamping out is often the most cost-effective strategy. The disease eradication campaign is shorter and achieved for a lower overall cost and there is a shorter waiting period before the country can be recognized as free of the disease and resume export of livestock and animal products.
Several social, economic and other factors need to be evaluated before stamping out is selected as the strategy for a disease contingency plan. These include:
- whether or not slaughter of infected animals is likely to gain community acceptance on religious, ethnic, animal welfare and other social and economic grounds;
- advantages, disadvantages and likely success of implementation of other strategies;
(In this context it should be noted that vaccination is not available for some epidemic livestock diseases and stamping out is the only viable option. African swine fever is such a disease. At the other end of the spectrum, for some diseases stamping out is unlikely to have much effect. This particularly applies to insect-borne diseases such as Rift Valley fever and bluetongue.)
- whether or not the manpower, equipment, and other physical resources are available to carry out all activities needed for the implementation of a stamping-out campaign;
(Whilst stamping out is likely to be less costly and more efficient overall, it may be quite resource-intensive in the short term.)
- whether adequate provisions are available for fair and quick compensation of owners for livestock or property destroyed in the campaign.
Well organized veterinary services that have the full political support of the government are crucial to the success of the disease-eradication campaign. The full support of other services such as the police, army and public works is essential. The final important element is prior preparation of a comprehensive contingency plan for the disease in question.
This manual does not discuss strategic issues. For these, reference should be made to the FAO Manual on the preparation of national animal disease emergency plans and manuals on preparation of contingency plans for specific diseases such as rinderpest and African swine fever.
This is a procedures manual: how to carry out important activities in a disease stamping-out campaign. It is divided into three parts:
- Destruction of animals
- Disposal procedures
This manual cannot take into account different circumstances in all countries. It is therefore important that countries use it as the basis for preparing their own manual tailored to suit their requirements and resources. Where possible, an attempt has been made to take into account the circumstances in developing countries and to suggest procedures based on experience of eradication in countries with limited resources.
If an outbreak of a transboundary animal disease or other serious disease occurs and a stamping-out policy is adopted for its control and eradication, it may be necessary to destroy a large number of animals. It is essential that these animals are speedily and humanely slaughtered and are indeed dead before disposal of carcasses commences. Speed is of the essence once the disease has been confirmed because, in most situations, the live animals will continue to produce and possibly disseminate the disease pathogen. An experienced veterinarian should be present during destruction. There is likely to be considerable public interest, at least initially, in the destruction of animals. Positive media coverage concerning animal welfare will reflect favourably on staff and increase community support for the eradication campaign.
The destruction of large animals poses the biggest concern in this regard. They may have to be destroyed individually in public view with firearms, humane killers (captive-bolt pistols) or other means.
Officers in charge must be aware of the impact that animal destruction will have on all personnel involved. They must quickly acquaint themselves with the skills and experience of all assistants and brief and train them accordingly. Furthermore, they must be aware that some people will be unable to handle the mentally and physically stressful environment likely to be encountered.
Where possible, the livestock owner and his or her family should not be present during the slaughter process, as they may experience considerable distress. Counselling and welfare should be made available if needed.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Rome, © FAO 2001
QUESTIONS WITH NO ANSWERS - PART OF A LETTER THAT WAS SENT IN APRIL 2006 TO NEIL HAMMERSCHMIDT, THE USDA'S ANIMAL ID COORDINATOR. FOR MANY MONTHS THE AUTHOR OF THE LETTER WAS ASSURED THAT ANSWERS WERE COMING. AS OF APRIL 2007, THERE HAS STILL BEEN NO ANSWERS! AS AMERICANS, WE BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD HAVE THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ABOUT DEPOPULATION! On page 31 of GAO document 05-214 it talks about depopulation of both diseased and healthy animals, wild and domestic, in 10-km zones around infections. This is one of the big issues that concerns a great many small stakeholders and is alienating people. People see this as a violation of their 4th Amendment Constitutional rights and protections against warrant-less search and seizure. This will also kill off heritage breeds of livestock, some of which are protected by law. The depopulation program outlined in the GAO document 05-214 will make our country more susceptible to terrorist attacks.
- Why is the government pursuing a policy of killing healthy animals?
- Why is the government not doing testing?
- How can we modify this program to not have killing of healthy animals?
- Quarantine - If a flock, or herd, is simply quarantined for the duration of the outbreak then depopulation would not be necessary. Why is the USDA not pursuing quarantine as a first line of defense instead of depopulation?
Vaccination - I understand that on the large factory farms it might not appear feasible but at least on micro farms we already normally vaccinate young animals for other diseases. A vaccination policy might eliminate the need for depopulation which concerns so many people so greatly.
- Why is the USDA pursuing depopulation instead of vaccination?
Compensation - In a recent news report DeHaven is quoted as saying: “Owners will want to report sick birds because they will be paid fair market value for destroyed flocks.” But at the April 20th meeting with the Vermont House Ag Committee, Dr. Wiemers of the USDA said there was not likely to be any compensation.
- If there are killings of livestock will the government compensate?
- If so then at what rate? (Breeding stock is worth far more than the fair market value of animals destined for slaughter. A hog sells for a few hundred dollars. A sow produces $80,000 of offspring and is a valuable genetic reserve that may be irreplaceable, especially if a whole herd of heritage breeding stock is killed.)
Terrorism - Depopulation and kill zones (10-km radius of depopulation) make us susceptible to terrorist attacks because the terrorists could wipe out large areas of agriculture by simply planting a disease every 20-km. This would create interlocking kill zones.
- How will the USDA deal with this opening up of an opportunity to terrorists?
DEPOPULATION HAS ALREADY STARTED!!!!!
September 23, 2007
A fundamental flaw in the government’s whole response to disease is their attitude of “kill first, ask questions later.” This can be seen in the British 2001 response to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) where they killed over six million healthy livestock and virtually destroyed small farmers when there were only a few thousand infected animals.
More recently with their 2007 outbreaks of FMD the British Department of Agriculture went in and again killed healthy livestock without testing first.
Foot-and-mouth pigs test negative
A preliminary test for foot-and-mouth disease in pigs culled on a Surrey farm has proved negative, officials say. The full test results will become available on Tuesday. The pigs were on a farm near two premises infected by foot-and-mouth and they were culled as a precaution.
Laboratory results have established the virus found at the latest outbreak to be the same strain as the one in August.
Reports suggested last month’s outbreak was connected with the Pirbright laboratory site, shared by two occupants - the government’s Institute for Animal Health (IAH) and Merial Animal Health.
Estimates of the cost of the latest outbreak have been put at almost £10m a day.
It isn’t enough that the British government laboratory was the source of the disease in every case. They also have to crush small farmers with their “Kill First” attitude. In the process they are killing healthy livestock and destroying small rural farms. With a cost of £10m a day the least they could do is test the livestock for disease before they begin their killing spree.
As discussed here before the Brits aren’t alone in this abhorrent attitude. Governments in other countries have similar “Kill First” policies. In the United States they have it codified but don’t like to discuss this. On page 31 of the GAO document 05-214 they talk about depopulation (killing) of both diseased and healthy animals, both domestic and wild, in 10-km zones around infections. This is one of the big issues that concerns a great many small stakeholders and is alienating people.
Should USDA officially confirm the presence of a disease, such as FMD, the affected herd and all cattle, sheep, goats, swine, and susceptible wildlife—infected or not—within a minimum 10-kilometer zone around the infected farm would be killed.
-GAO Report 05-214 page 31
Some people quite rightly see this as a violation of their 4th Amendment Constitutional rights and protections against warrant-less search and seizure. This will also kill off heritage breeds of livestock, some of which are protected by law. The depopulation program outlined in the GAO document 05-214 will make our country more susceptible to terrorist attacks as well as government bumbling.
Which threat is worse: Terrorists or Totalitarians? Our great nations Founders wrote the Constitution to protect us from Big Brother Government. They knew clearly that the greater threat lay in the long arm of the law overreaching it’s bounds. It is time to take back our freedoms from the regulatory agents and other government officials who are trampling our rights and freedoms in the name of “protecting us.”
The proper response to disease should be identification, treatment, prevention, isolation and eradication of the disease - not the victims. We have virtually eliminated diseases such as small pox in humans without resorting to killing off entire cities of victims and innocent bystanders. The same principles apply to small farms. We have vaccines for FMD. The fact that the governments are refusing to use them is an economic issue having to do with big business rather than science, ecology or animal husbandry.
PLEASE NOTE IN THE ARTICLE BELOW THAT THESE BIRDS WERE *NOT* SICK NOR WERE THEY DYING, AND THAT THEY ACTUALLY USE THE WORD *DEPOPULATED*! THIS FORM OF AI EXISTS IN THIS COUNTRY ALREADY, EVEN IN THE WILD BIRDS. THEY READILY ADMIT THAT THE BIRDS WERE NOT A THREAT TO HUMANS YET THEY WERE DESTROYED. ALSO NOTE THAT THE OIE (WORLD ORGANIZATION FOR ANIMAL HEALTH) IS INVOLVED, AND THAT THE FARMER WAS NOT CHARGED FOR THE KILLING OF HIS OWN BIRDS *ONLY* BECAUSE HE PARTICIPATES IN THE NPIP - HE WAS *NOT* PAID FOR HIS LOST PROPERTY. HOW SOON BEFORE HEALTHY ANIMALS IN A LARGE RADIUS ARE DESTROYED DUE TO JUST ONE ANIMAL THAT IS NOT SICK OR EVEN A THREAT BUT IS TESTING POSITIVE FOR A DISEASE THAT IS "COMMON"?! WHAT ABOUT ALL OF THE WILD BIRDS THAT THEY SAY ARE "COMMONLY" FOUND TO HAVE THIS AI WITHOUT ANY SYMPTOMS? THERE ARE TOO MANY QUESTIONS AND NOT ENOUGH ANSWERS! WILL YOU WAIT UNTIL IT'S *YOUR* ANIMALS BEING BRUTALLY KILLED BEFORE YOU FINALLY STAND UP AND SAY STOP?
West Virginia (US) turkeys culled for bird flu
05 Apr 2007
Test results for samples collected from turkeys at a farm in West Virginia indicated exposure to an H5N2 avian influenza virus.
The samples were collected by an industry group as part of routine, pre-slaughter surveillance. The turkeys showed no signs of illness and there was no mortality.
Chief Veterinarian John Clifford stressed, "Every indication is that the virus is consistent with low pathogenic strains of avian influenza
, or LPAI, which are commonly found in birds and typically cause only minor sickness or no noticeable symptoms. We can say for certain this is not the highly pathogenic H5N1
strain." The National Veterinary Services Laboratory
plans to run sequencing and pathogenicity tests to further identify the virus.
Approximately 25,000 turkeys were DEPOPULATED and all poultry operations within a 6-mile radius of the affected farm will be closely monitored.
Also, because the affected poultry producer participates in the expanded National Poultry Improvement Plan
, the USDA will provide 100% indemnity for costs associated with depopulating the flock.
In keeping with international animal health standards which require reporting of all H5 and H7 detections, USDA will notify the World Organization for Animal Health
(OIE) of the West Virginia finding.
‘Real World’ Experience with New Poultry Depopulation Method
Submitted by Editor on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 11:50am.
CHARLENE M. SHUPP ESPENSHADE
Special Sections Editor
MANHEIM, Pa. — On April Fool’s Day, April 1, at 8:30 in the evening, University of Delaware Poultry Specialist George “Bud” Malone received a phone call. A turkey farm in West Virginia confirmed the H5N2 Avian Influenza (A.I.) strain on the farm. Could he please bring his equipment to foam the house for depopulation.
This was not an April Fool’s joke, but a chance for Malone and others to earn some “real world” experience with a new technology for depopulation — foaming a house.
Malone addressed the April meeting of the Poultry Management and Health Seminar at Kreider’s Restaurant here Monday.
At hand for depopulation were four houses — two with 10,000 birds, one with 3,000 birds and one with 2,000 birds. Through this experience, Malone said a lot of lessons have been learned for bringing this application to the real world.
Foaming of a poultry house is a relatively new idea, getting its beginnings at the University of Delaware in 2004. The foaming concept involves fire fighting-type foams, including high expansion, compressed air foam, Class A and other foams. Research discovered that the foam can be successfully used to depopulate birds.
The foam is placed in the houses by a couple of methods, including moveable foam generators, stationary foam generators and portable hose and nozzle lines.
These studies have shown that foams are comparable to the carbon dioxide (CO2) polyethylene tent procedure in time-to-death in small groups. The foam is faster as group size increases. Adding carbon dioxide to the foam does not enhance its efficacy. Based on corticosterone levels, the study also showed that the foams are no more stressful than depopulation with the polyethylene tent method.
Malone said there was no evidence of drowning in any of the foamed birds. Foam caused an airway occlusion. The foam acts by physically induced hypoxia (shortage of oxygen).
The foam method for depopulation was recently approved by USDA.
The first challenge Malone encountered was since the call came on a Sunday, he was unable to get permission to pull the foam generator, owned by the Delaware Department of Agriculture, out of state. Fortunately, the manufacturing company owner who developed a foam generator had an available unit and agreed to travel with Malone to the farm.
A North Carolina depopulation team was also contacted and brought nozzle foam equipment to assist. The North Carolina team struggled with their equipment, facing some foam quality issues, pump failures and worker fatigue because of the delays. Because of the poor foam quality, water leaching from the barn became an issue.
Foam quality challenged even Malone’s team since there was not a consistent single brand of foam. One foam, he said, was 20 years old and had “sludge” in the bottom of the container.
With foam, consistency is critical to get the needed height to cover the birds and ensure death. Also if the foam bubbles are too big or too small, it will not work.
Water to make the foam is dumped into a vat system. The problem for both systems was making sure the foam concentrate to water ratio remained at 1 percent. Malone believes this real world trial will send some companies back to the drawing board to develop an in-line injection system to maintain the needed concentrations.
It is essential to get complete floor coverage in the barns when foaming. With the foam generator, Malone said his team did not get far enough into the barns to make sure the corners were fully covered. Also, for the people operating the generator, a communication system is needed. As the operator on the outside of the barn pulls the unit, the unit operator needs to be able to tell them if they need to speed up or slow down.
More work is also needed to ensure proper human safety. It was recommended there be one employee responsible for human safety on the site because everyone else is focused on the birds. Malone said more work is needed on the foam generator system to help pull the generator out of the barn without it getting stuck on bird carcasses.
Despite the challenges, Malone called the depopulation a success and was “pleased with the results.” The main goal is now fine-tuning the process based on what has learned.
Within a couple of hours of foaming the birds, the composting crews were able to move into the house and begin the composting process.
The benefits of this system is that the animals are more humanely depopulated with a quicker kill time and increased worker protection. The farm can move more quickly into composting of the birds.
The key recommendations Malone makes is that states need to enter into reciprocal agreements for faster response time for outbreaks. Also, response teams need to continue to get training to improve the process and foam accessibility is critical.
It was noted that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is looking to purchase a foam generator. Also, Penn State is partnering with the University of Delaware for further work on foam methods of depopulations.
UK DAIRYMAN LOSES 567 HEALTHY COWS TO ANIMAL ID MESS!
By Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 2:37am GMT 19/03/2007
Papers were not in order, so they had to die
Of all the stories I have covered about what is now called the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, few have been more remarkable than the disaster that has just befallen David Dobbin, a 43-year-old Cheshire farmer, who derived his entire livelihood from a large dairy herd. His 567 cows, including pedigree Ayrshires and
Holsteins, had won prizes, and were worth upwards of £500,0000.
In 2005 Cheshire trading standards officials, acting for Defra (one hopes Cheshire's taxpayers do not mind officials whose salaries they pay acting for a government department) began a long series of visits, to inspect the documentation required for Mr Dobbin's cattle under EC rules. The more they attempted to check the animals'
eight-digit ear tags against their EC "cattle passports", the more they claimed to have found "irregularities", although they failed to explain how many or what these were. advertisement
Last November, on Defra's instructions, the officials seized all Mr Dobbin's passports, making it illegal for him to move animals off his farm and all but wiping out his income. Last month, serving him with a "notice to identify", they removed his herd to another farm, stating that, under EC regulation 494/98, it was their intention to destroy all 567 animals.
Dating back to the BSE panic, this diktat says that "if the keeper of an animal cannot prove its identification in two working days, it shall be destroyed without delay" and "without compensation". These powers, as I noted when the regulation was issued in 1998, were unprecedented. Nevertheless the regulation permits officials to destroy only
animals that cannot be identified. Defra has never claimed that the paperwork for most of Mr Dobbin's cows was not in order, only that the officials had found "what they believed to be an unacceptable level of non-compliance with the regulations", and that this "could have serious implications for the protection of the human food chain".
Less than an hour before slaughter was due to begin, Mr Dobbin's combative Liverpool lawyer, David Kirwan, got a High Court injunction, giving the cows a stay of execution. He also won leave from Mr Justice Goldring for judicial review, on the grounds that Defra was acting beyond its powers. But this month, as the injunction expired, Defra
insisted that, unless Mr Dobbin could prove the identification of every one of his animals, they must still be destroyed. Since all his passports, the most obvious means of identification, had been confiscated, this was impossible.
Defra told the court that Mr Dobbin would instead have to provide DNA identification for each animal, within two days. This would have been technically impossible, even if Defra had not moved the cows elsewhere and refused him access.
The need to proceed with the slaughter, Defra argued, was urgent, because it had no resources to look after the cattle properly, causing severe "animal welfare" problems. The judge felt he had little option but to give the go-ahead, and on March 8 and 9 the cows were destroyed.
All Mr Dobbin can now hope for is that the judicial review may confirm that Defra acted outside the law. The officials agreed in court that they had never used these powers on anything like such a scale before. It has not been claimed that Mr Dobbin's animals posed any health risk (BSE this year is down to a single case). His only alleged
offence was "non-compliance" with complex bureaucratic procedures, to an extent which Defra still cannot specify. For this he has seen his livelihood go up in smoke, without a penny in compensation.
Prepared Sept. 27th for publication in the November 2006 “American Family Voice”]
HOGS MASSACRED IN VIRGINIA
WHO’S ANIMALS ARE NEXT
By Jane Williams
Gladstone, Virginia: At 5:00 AM on September 12, 2006, Cindi and Danny Henshaw were awakened by their local Virginia game warden, who arrested Danny on an apparently trumped up Class 2 Misdemeanor charge and took him from his Willis River Hunting preserve for supposedly, “operating a mammalian hunting enclosure without a permit.” As soon as Danny was out of the way, 9 SUV’s and pickups, 4 wheelers, and numerous heavily armed agents entered the Henshaw property with a Quarantine Order and began shooting Henshaw’s hogs and sheep with 12 gauge shotguns. Some 270 shell casings were also found. Individuals participating in the attack were Virginia game wardens, USDA employees, and Virginia Department of Agriculture employees. At the Henshaw’s farm, the Virginia State Veterinarian appeared to be in charge. Some of the invaders wore jeans and sweat shirts with USDA lettering. Others wore white clothing that appeared to be hazardous materials suits. These were probably Virginia Department of Agriculture employees. They sure weren’t hunters, since they mostly used shotguns to kill the livestock and could not hit the scurrying young pigs. Danny was released from custody in 2 hours and allowed to return to the farm where he and Cindi were controlled around the clock by armed guards from September 12th through September 22nd.
A command center had been set up and two other raids were being conducted in Virginia at the same time. [details not available on Sept. 27th]. On September 22nd, the attackers withdrew after killing Henshaw’s sheep and at least 79 hogs. Animals were starved to trick them into the open as they searched for food.
On September 26th, the Henshaws still knew little about why their hunting operation was attacked. About all they knew was that an agent supposedly reported that he had hunted at their reserve in May and, according to the agent, the hog that he shot had probably been infected with pseudorabies. The agent returned on September 9th and killed another hog that supposedly tested positive for pseudorabies. The Henshaws were not provided with any test reports. [It is doubtful that blood from a hog shot at the hunting reserve would have been viable for testing because of the time lapse from the death of the animal and the testing of the blood unless proper refrigeration techniques were used.] Danny and Cindi were held under armed guard around the clock and not allowed to move around to see what was taking place.
Attachments to the Quarantine Order stated that Henshaws would be charged for the costs of the massacre, including man hours, and the incineration of their animals. The hogs that were shot were apparently not tested, but their carcasses were loaded on trailers and hauled away for incineration as blood poured through the slats as the trailers rolled down the road. [On September 27th, the Henshaws were informed that blood from 15 of the slaughtered hogs had tested positive for pseudo rabies. Information about testing will be posted at a later date.] The Henshaws were prevented by armed guards from entering what the agents called, “the compound,” where the animals were being slaughtered. Two 5 ½ year old pet hogs that as babies had been bottle fed in their home from the time the pigs were 3 days old were housed on property with a separate deed from the hunting preserve. They were shot in their pen and their bleeding carcasses were dragged across the driveway where they had once followed the Henshaws around like pet dogs.
On September 22nd, the agents departed because they decided that they could not kill all of the hogs. Danny agreed to feed the hogs corn until they were de-stressed and then kill the remaining hogs. He would have agreed to anything to get the gun slingers off of his property. He was ordered not to do anything with the pigs other than feed them. That included treating wounded pigs and drawing blood for testing. The Quarantine Order stated that the herd must be eradicated within 15 days to prevent the State of Virginia from losing its “pseudorabies free status”.
Arkansas regulations allow 180 days for sell out for slaughter before an order of mandatory destruction is issued. Pseudorabies infected hogs are safe for human consumption. The Henshaws should have been allowed to sell their hogs for slaughter, if pseudorabies had been detected, but they were not allowed to test, confirm the presence of pseudorabies, or sell their hogs. They were only allowed to listen to the gunshots and hear the screaming, wounded, dying hogs.
Danny Henshaw is a nationally known archer (consistently ranking in the top 10 in the US), a highly respected hunter, a well known hunting film maker, and sought after hunting guide. He and Cindi had operated their hunting preserve for 16 years, and it had been grand-fathered in by the Commonwealth’s Attorney to grant it “status” as new Virginia regulations were enacted. Danny had worked as an undercover narcotics agent and a swat team member. He said that this attack goes well beyond his experience as a law officer. Willis River Hunting, located near Gladstone, Virginia, offered guided hunting trips for Russian boar, trophy rams, and sheep. No adult animals remain at Willis River Hunting. The massacre destroyed the Henshaw’s primary business. They offer turkey hunts in Virginia and Kansas and deer hunts in Virginia and Kansas. Danny has even taken some rather famous Governor Clinton security guards turkey hunting and participated in making hunting films in Oklahoma.
USDA QUOTES ON PSEUDORABIES
“Pseudorabies is a viral disease most prevalent in swine, often causing newborn piglets to die. Older pigs can survive infection, becoming carriers of the pseudorabies virus for life. Other animals infected from swine die from pseudorabies, which is also known as Aujeszky's disease and "mad itch." Infected cattle and sheep can first show signs of pseudorabies by scratching and biting themselves. In dogs and cats, pseudorabies can cause sudden death. The virus does not cause illness in humans.” “Pseudorabies is a disease of swine that can also affect cattle, horses, dogs, cats, sheep, and goats. The disease is caused by pseudorabies virus (PRV), an extremely contagious herpes virus that causes reproductive problems, including abortion, stillbirths, and even occasional death losses in breeding and finishing hogs.” “ The virus has never been shown to be contagious to humans, not even to people working on farms with many PRV-infected animals.” “PRV is primarily spread through direct animal-to-animal (or nose-to-nose) contact between an infected and shedding pig and a noninfected pig. If present on inanimate objects, such as boots, clothing, feed, trucks, and equipment, the virus can also spread from herd to herd and farm to farm.”
“Pseudorabies can be prevented primarily through good, tight biosecurity, a sound vaccination program, and thorough, meticulous management with disease control and prevention in mind.” “PRV is known to have existed in the United States for at least 150 years.” “USDA established a voluntary eradication program for pseudorabies in the United States in 1989. The program is cooperative in nature and involves Federal, State, and industry participation. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) coordinates the national pseudorabies eradication program, State governments promulgate and enforce the intrastate regulations, and producers contribute by having their herds tested and instituting control and eradication measures. The program's primary activities include surveillance, herd monitoring, and herd cleanup.” “Currently, all 50 States are considered free of PRV in commercial production swine herds, those herds which have adequate measures in place to prevent contact and potential infection from feral and transitional production swine, known potential carriers of the PRV virus.” “No commercial production herds have been found to be infected with PRV since early 2003. Sporadic infections have been found in transitional production herds, those swine which are captured feral swine, or have the potential to come in contact with feral swine. Any infected transitional herds have been promptly depopulated when found, and intense epidemiological investigations have been conducted to ascertain that no viral spread to commercial production swine has occurred.”
Depopulation is slaughtering all animals supposedly affected with the disease or who are susceptible to the disease (any disease), in this case pseudorabies. All hogs are susceptible to pseudorabies. The armed agents were not able to kill all of the young pigs. Young pigs affected with pseudorabies would have been extremely easy to kill since they are weak and usually dying. Henshaws pigs ran too fast for the attackers to be able to shoot all of them. Henshaws reported that their hogs were robust and healthy. Their sows had not had conception problems, still births, or miscarriages. Young pigs had not been sick or dying.
Pseudorabies testing regulations in Arkansas require testing of 25 animals, or testing all animals on farms with smaller populations every 6 months. Larger hog operations need test only 27 if holding 100-200 head, 28 if holding 201-999 head, or 29 if holding 1000 or more head to be certified a pseudorabies free herd. Once again the small producer faces an economic disadvantage because of this costly testing requirement. This writer has not found any sale barn owner who has ever known of a pseudorabies positive test in Arkansas. Hogs can not be sold legally in Arkansas without blood being drawn by a technician or veterinarian unless the hog farm has been certified pseudorabies free. This testing requirement has caused most sale barns to no longer sell hogs because of the costs and difficulty having a veterinarian on site to draw blood. It has also caused most back yard hog producers to cease raising hogs because of the expense and difficulty involved in meeting the testing requirements. Complete swine regulations can be found at www.arlpc.org under regulations. In 1987, when the Upjohn Company developed Tolvid pseudorabies vaccine was approved, the Upjohn Company stated that 8% of the US hog population was affected by the virus. In 2006, the National Pork Producers Council announced that the United States was free of pseudorabies.
In the United States today, any animal owner might experience the same depopulation tactics that the Henshaws just experienced. Regulations vary from state to state. Animal owners might be paid a portion of what the killed animals were worth. In most states, no warrant is required to enter the farm and tests are not required to confirm a disease. The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission regulations lay out specific guidelines for quarantine and depopulation that all animal owners should study. The Arkansas Animal Producer’s Association is proposing legislation to be considered by the 2007 General Assembly that would prevent a reinactment of the Virginia massacre in this state.
May 20, 2006
- Main Entry: eu·phe·mism
- Pronunciation: ‘yü-f&-”mi-z&m
- Function: noun
- Etymology: Greek euphEmismos, from euphEmos auspicious, sounding good, from eu- + phEmE speech, from phanai to speak — more at BAN
- : the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant; also : the expression so substituted
- - eu·phe·mist /-mist/ noun
- - eu·phe·mis·tic /”yü-f&-’mis-tik/ adjective
- - eu·phe·mis·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb
The government works hard to put a positive spin on the bad news that what they want to do is kill all our livestock. They use words like depopulate:
- Main Entry: de·pop·u·late
- Pronunciation: (”)dE-’pä-py&-”lAt
- Function: transitive verb
- Etymology: Latin depopulatus, past participle of depopulari, from de- + populari to ravage
- 1 : obsolete : RAVAGE
- 2 : to reduce greatly the population of
- - de·pop·u·la·tion /(”)dE-”pä-py&-’lA-sh&n/ noun
Instead of coming right out and saying what they really mean:
Should USDA officially confirm the presence of a disease, such as FMD, the affected herd and all cattle, sheep, goats, swine, and susceptible wildlife—infected or not— within a minimum 10-kilometer zone around the infected farm would be killed.
If the disease were to spread beyond the initial zone, authorities would continue to quarantine and kill animals until the disease was “stamped out.”
-GAO Report 05-214 pages 31 & 34
Recently, Mark Bosma, the Vermont Ag Department’s PR guy said, “I’ll try to use euthanize if that is preferable to people.”
- Main Entry: eu·tha·na·sia
- Pronunciation: “yü-th&-’nA-zh(E-)&
- Function: noun
- Etymology: Greek, easy death, from euthanatos, from eu- + thanatos death — more at THANATOS
- : the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy
- - eu·tha·na·sic /-zik, -sik/ adjective
The problem is they just doesn’t get the point. People don’t want their healthy animals depopulated, stamped out, euthanized or otherwise killed, maimed, spindled or injured by men in moon suites. It doesn’t matter what you call it or what spin you put on the words. The effect is the same - unnecessary deaths. In other countries like England, Germany, India, France, Russia, Egypt and the far east this has lead to total destruction of the rural farm economies, destitution of the people, desolation of families and farmers committing suicide. Is that what our government is pressing for?
Personally, I prefer the immortal words of Arlo Guthrie, “Kill, Kill, Kill!” - It is so much more visceral and real. That is what is being done after all. Lots and lots and lots and lots of killing.
Euthanize has this connotation that you are going to gently put the pet dog or granny to sleep to end their pain. We are definitely not talking about euthanizing livestock.
Depopulate is so impersonal - maybe that is how it is for the desk jockeys who have never delivered a calf, nursed a sick chick or enjoyed the company of happy pastured piglets. To them perhaps the animals are just units to be cut from a production schedule. Small farmers and homesteaders feel a bit differently about the lives of the animals they nurture.
In the good news section we have the fact that Vermont, at least, is backing away from this “Kill, Kill, Kill!” scenario, er, I mean depopulation, and pushing testing in the new Vermont Agency of Agriculture’s (AoA) Avian Influenza Response Plan. Our State Veterinarian Dr. Rood explained some of the AoA’s new thinking in his letter recently. This is definite progress. You may want to ask your state Ag Dept. to consider examining Vermont’s example. With time perhaps we can even get the USDA to consider a more scientific approach to disease control rather than mass killings of healthy livestock.
All terminology aside, I wonder specifically how does the government intend to go about killing all these animals? I am quite curious. How do they plan to “depopulate” 5 hens? 50? 500? 5,000? 50,000? 500,000? Okay, let’s cut to the chase - how are they going to kill the 5,000,000,000 poultry in the United States? That’s five billion birds! That number does not even include small producers which could add another billion birds or so. Realize that is just poultry. There are billions more swine, cattle, goats, sheep, horses and other animals. Then there are all the wild animals they want to kill. My estimate is there is about 1 Giga-ton of animal flesh ready for roasting at this grand BBQ…
This is a real question - I am not being facetious. I would really love to know how the government plans to kill five or six billion birds. Are they going to gas them? What will they do with five billion little dead bodies? Burn them? Have they already built the gas chambers and ovens? This is a major undertaking…
- Main Entry: fa·ce·tious
- Pronunciation: f&-’sE-sh&s
- Function: adjective
- Etymology: Middle French facetieux, from facetie jest, from Latin facetia
- 1: joking or jesting often inappropriately : WAGGISH
- 2: meant to be humorous or funny : not serious [a facetious remark]
- synonym see WITTY
- - fa·ce·tious·ly adverb
- - fa·ce·tious·ness noun
So what is the euphemism for “Der Fearless Leader?” Johanns is going to need a good title.
Here’s another interesting twist. Each state has the power (legislated authority) to “depopulate” in a disease circumstance. However, the USDA (Feds) will be informed by the state “on a case to case” basis (info courtesy of Dr. Weimers, USDA) of any disease outbreak and can decide to send their federal minions into any state and take over the situation. In other words, State rights do not take precident even though the state has the authority and ability to manage the circumstance. This has already happened in Vermont with sheep. Federal “troops” (USDA persons) descended and took over. Comment SallyB — May 23, 2006