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Archive for the 'Chickens' Category

Schwarzenegger signs landmark egg bill into law

Hens on egg farm crammed together in battery cages. (Farm
battery cages hens

Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed landmark legislation that protects animal welfare and food safety. The new law requires that shelled (whole) eggs sold in California comply with the modest but important food safety and animal welfare standards of Proposition 2. Passed in a 2008 landslide, Prop 2 phases out production of eggs from hens crammed into cages.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Under: Chickens | 1 Comment »

Poultry trucks spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria to cars behind them

January 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists Food & Environment News Roundup:

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have discovered that antibiotic-resistant bacteria from open-air poultry trucks can spread to cars on the road behind these trucks.
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Posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
Under: Antibiotics, Bacteria, Chickens | No Comments »

PROP 2: Why I’m voting YES on Prop 2 next Tuesday

I wrote the following reasons for voting YES on Prop 2 in my Times’ daily newspaper column on Sept. 7. Today is Wednesday (Oct. 29) and we will be voting on this issue next Tuesday (Nov. 4).

This is such an important issue, I want to remind you again why you should be giving Prop 2 a YES vote. I can’t think of any better way to say it than the way I did in my column, so here it is again:
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Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Under: Chickens, Farm Animals, Pigs | No Comments »

Are you at risk for West Nile virus infection?

Sentinel chickens, more birds test positive for West Nile virus in Contra Costa County, CA.

Contra Costa County Mosquito & Vector Control District says the California cities of Antioch and Brentwood remain areas of high risk for West Nile Virus infection.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
Under: Birds, Chickens, Mosquitoes, Squirrels, West Nile virus | No Comments »

FEDS & agribiz can’t spend federal funds on anti-Prop 2 ads

Millions of misappropriated federal dollars temporarily put on hold, won’t be spent on anti-Prop 2 ads.

San Francisco (Aug. 21) — Yes on Prop. 2 – Californians for Humane Farms, the proponents of an anti-cruelty ballot initiative that will provide more humane treatment of California farm animals, announced today that millions of advertising dollars slated to be spent by the federal government and agribusiness giants campaigning against Prop. 2 have been put on hold while a federal court decides whether the advertising violates federal law.
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Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008
Under: Chickens, Farm Animals, Humane Laws | No Comments »

Prop 2 will keep us from torturing our food animals

A study produced by UC Davis researchers and released yesterday provides further evidence that Proposition 2 is good for California consumers.

The study, which was reportedly funded by the American Egg Board, evaluated the economic impact of Prop 2, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, which will appear on the statewide ballot in November.

According to the study’s authors, “little, if any cost increase and no substantial impact on prices to California consumers” will occur when voters approve Prop 2. The measure would prevent the cruel and inhumane confinement of calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens kept in crates and cages so small they cannot lie down, turn around, or extend their limbs.
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Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2008
Under: Animal Laws, Animal protection legislation, Animal welfare, Chickens, Food Animal Abuse | No Comments »

Easter ducklings & chicks pose environmental & health hazards

PLEASE! No live pets for Easter!

Every year, children become ill with Salmonella poisoning from handling baby ducks and chicks, typically sold only during Easter. Dumping those ducklings at your local pond or community lake is also disastrous — to the ducklings and to the environment.

The International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in Cordelia, CA, sent me a note earlier this week asking me to alert you about the serious consequences that can occur when baby animals are purchased on impulse. They provided the facts listed below.

The problem worsens this time of year.

Easter baskets containing live animals are not only cruel, but also dangerous, as children can become infected with Salmonella by handling them. Yet pet shops and feed stores, even ones in urban areas, continue to sell live ducklings, goslings, chicks and bunnies, with no regard for the animals, the environment, or the people who buy them.

Most of these animals will live short miserable lives. When the novelty wears off and the reality of caring for an animal with special needs sets in, these animals, typically bought “on impulse,” usually end up abandoned in a local park to fend for themselves.

Many people think that all ducks and geese are the same but the reality is that domestic ducks and geese have been bred to be slow and flightless. They can’t fly to escape the jaws of dogs, raccoons and other predators.

When food supplies run out, they can’t fly to other lakes and ponds like wild ducks and geese. Or, the problem goes the other way, with overpopulation occurring.

On top of that, it may seem innocent, some think even kind, to feed bread to those “park ducks.” Well-meaning people feed them bread, crackers, popcorn and other junk food that fills them up, but offers no nutritional value. This leads to malnutrition. A steady diet of bread and crackers can even kill them.

And as they weaken they are more prone to disease which will affect the wild waterfowl populations that come and go around them. Botulism, Newcastle disease, duck virus enteritis (DVE), and avian cholera are all diseases that domestic ducks can spread to wild flocks. Outbreaks have caused the deaths of thousands of birds at a time.

The IBRRC center’s rehabilitation professionals see the end results of selling live ducklings at Easter. “One of the biggest problems is hybridization,” says Karen Benzel, spokesperson for IBRRC.

Wildlife rescue centers readily accept wild native ducks that are injured or orphaned but will not take domestic ducks, or hybrids, which result when domestics mate with wild ducks, like mallards. Local humane societies are typically not equipped to handle the needs of waterfowl or chickens and also become overwhelmed with unwanted pet rabbits.

IBRRC, which manages two rehabilitation centers in California, specializes in waterfowl and aquatic birds and in educating the public to the problems they face in the environment.

For the complete article about abandoned ducks and geese and the problems they face, visit the IBRRC Web page at:

International Bird Rescue Research Center, 4369 Cordelia Road, Cordelia, CA 94534, is a leading expert in the rehabilitation of waterfowl and aquatic birds, especially victims of oil spills. Founded in 1971, IBRRC’s staff and oil spill response team members have responded to over 200 international oil spills involving wildlife, treating over 100,000 birds and over 400 species.

IBRRC and their staff and volunteers (like you!) were there to care for oiled waterfowl when we needed them after the ship hit the San Francisco Bay Bridge last fall and dumped 50,000-plus gallons of oil into the Bay.

IBRRC manages three wildlife rehabilitation centers in Cordelia, CA and San Pedro, CA, for the state of California and the Alaska Wildlife Response Center in Anchorage, AK. For more Information about their centers, history, programs, to make a donation or volunteer, please visit their Web site at

Want to give your kids a nice, safe gift for Easter? How about a BIG chocolate Easter egg? YUM! /Gary

Posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2008
Under: Chickens, ducklings, Easter, Oil Spills | 3 Comments »

Friday is International Respect for Chickens Day

Every so often a press release comes scratching at the door and just CROWS for your attention.

Why did this press release cross the road? To stick up for chickens!
MACHIPONGO, Va., May 1, PRNewswire — United Poultry Concerns is pleased to announce our Third Annual International Respect for Chickens Day, May 4. We urge everyone to do an ACTION of compassion for chickens that day — from writing a letter to the editor to tabling at a local mall to showing the movie Chicken Run to going vegan — for life.

What are people doing for chickens on International Respect for Chickens Day?

“I’m planning to leaflet at an outdoor concert.” (Laura Mungavin, Atlanta, Ga.)

“I’m doing a display at my work place.” (Michele Walsh, Saxonburg, Pa.)

“I printed fact sheets off your Web site and am assembling them into packets to distribute at my office.” (Chalon Carroll Young, Esq., Kissimmee, Fla.)

“We’re leafleting in front of the White House and in Takoma Park, Md., around Roscoe the Rooster’s Memorial Statue.” (Karen Davis, President of United Poultry Concerns, Machipongo, Va.)

International Respect for Chickens Day is a day to celebrate the dignity, beauty, and life of chickens and to protest against the bleakness of their lives in farming operations.

“For a chicken trapped in the world of modern food manufacture, to break out of the shell is to enter a deeper darkness full of bewildering pain and suffering from birth to death,” says Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns. “We want to restore chickens to their leafy green world.”

Information about International Respect for Chickens Day is on the Web at

Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
Under: Chickens | 2 Comments »