Feral hogs are becoming a real problem in many states, causing millions of dollars of damage to crops and pasture across the US each year. They can also transmit serious diseases to farm animals – and potentially humans. In North Carolina, Animal Welfare Approved staff members are working closely with other local groups to tackle the growing problem of feral hogs in the state.
While there are some true “wild boars’ in” the US, most feral hogs are descendents of escaped domestic pigs that have reverted to a wild state. Feral hogs are therefore not a true native wild animal and many states regard them as an invasive species. Feral hogs breed rapidly and are capable of thriving in a wide range of environments – their numbers and the area they cover in the US are both increasing. This is not helped by the widespread practice of hunters who are smuggling live trapped feral hogs from state to state and releasing them on hunting ranches.
It was two years ago today that the U.S. saw its largest meat recall in history. The USDA recalled 143 million pounds of beef distributed by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company and said that the meat had been used in school lunches and food assistance programs.
On January 18 of this year, Huntington Meat Packing Inc. of Montebello, CA recalled 864,000 lbs of beef because it may have been contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This past weekend the recall was expanded to more than 5 million lbs of meat. Some of the products made from this meat appear to have been distributed through the USDA National School Lunch Program.
Happy anniversary of the Hallmark recall, America! You were expecting flowers?
Some of you will hopefully have read my previous blogs on the benefits of grassfed beef. In particular, the fact that grassfed beef is not only good for animal welfare and the environment, but that it is also better for our health.
While scientists have now shown that cattle from feedlots are much more likely to carry the deadly E. coli O157:H7 (along with other unsavory food poisoning bugs), they have also conducted studies which found that cattle fed forage and grass diets did not carry E. coli pathogens that are known to be harmful to humans. So supporting grassfed beef operations – as championed by Animal Welfare Approved – is a great way to help ensure that America’s beef supply is better for the environment, as well as safer and healthier for you.
But here at AWA we are often asked if other naturally farmed products, such as pasture-raised eggs, are also better for our health. The good news is that scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports our argument that pasture-raised is better for you.
RESPONSE TO KATIE COURIC'S RECENT CBS NEWS STORIES
Scientists have known for many years that bacteria can mutate to become resistant to antibiotics or pick up genetic material from other bacteria that have survived the antibiotic use, and then further spread this within the bacterial population. And this is exactly what has been happening on intensive farms across the U.S. over the last few decades.
Part of the problem with this overuse of low-dose antibiotics is the fact that while the low dose kills off the more susceptible bacteria first, it leaves behind those bacteria that aren’t susceptible – in other words, the ones that show resistance. And because the farmers generally use the same antibiotics over and over again, in the end the only bacteria left are those that are resistant. Without anything to control them, these resistant bacteria can multiply and easily spread from animal to animal, and then from farm to farm.
Animal Welfare Approved seeking AWA pasture-based farm(s) to supply eggs in Washington, DC area. If not currently certified, must be willing to pursue free certification. Immediate need. Please contact Julie Munk at email@example.com or at 202.546.5292.