‘This cow jumped from a ship that was transporting her to the slaughterhouse. She swam for over 5 hours in a desperate attempt to escape certain death. She was collected by another boat and slaughtered that same night. Those 5 hours were the closest thing she felt to freedom in her entire life. If she didn’t jump off the ship, no one ever would even know she existed.’
For the first time in Germany, African swine fever was detected in a wild boar. This was confirmed by Agriculture Minister Klöckner. The region’s farmers are on alert.
The African swine fever, which is highly contagious and mostly fatal for domestic pigs and wild pigs, has reached Germany.
“Unfortunately, the suspicion has been confirmed,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner on Thursday in Berlin. The epidemic has been present in Europe for years and has apparently been introduced to Germany from Eastern Europe. More carcasses in the region are now being sought.
“The virus is extremely infectious and easily transmitted,” said Klöckner. Therefore, so-called restriction areas must now be defined. This means areas in which the disease is suspected. In the affected state of Brandenburg, where the infected wild boar carcass was found, the first villages are to be cordoned off today.
However, the consumption of pork is harmless: “African swine fever is harmless to humans,” said Klöckner. “Even contaminated meat can be eaten by the consumer without any problems” (!!!)
The wild boar carcass was found on the German-Polish border on Wednesday. The suspected case was then checked on Thursday night by the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, which, as a national reference laboratory, clarifies suspected cases.
“We analyzed three samples and the results are clear,” explained the head of the institute, Thomas Mettenleiter.
The carcass in Brandenburg had already rotted heavily. “So it has been a long time since the virus may have spread,” said Mettenleiter.
Farmers are very concerned about the economic impact.
With the current evidence of swine fever, Germany is losing its “disease-free” status and there could be a risk of export bans for pork to non-EU countries, such as Asia.
One thing is certain: in the event of an outbreak among domestic pigs, all animals on the farms affected must be killed.
And I mean…A few days ago we received great reports from the conservative media..“When examining pork and pork liver, researchers in Germany found hepatitis E viruses in more than ten percent of all samples”.
Now we’re getting a visit from a new terrorist group, that of the pig front. It doesn’t look good for farmers, farmers threaten high losses.
So… we still haven’t lost hope that the new terrorist will do a better job than his predecessor, this weakling Corona.
Probably the most nutritious, health-protective foods in the world, berries are true heroes.
They contain a wide range of essential nutrients and a whole lot more – a wealth of health-defending antioxidants which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties and are great for your digestive system.
Even though berries are sweet, they don’t contain much sugar because much of their volume is pumped up by water. What little sugar they provide is well-balanced by the amount of fibre in them so it’s a healthy equation. Berries won’t cause sudden blood sugar spikes and as such are also a great food for diabetics.
Much of the health benefits berries provide are due to the phytochemicals they contain. These potent compounds protect plants against bacterial and fungal infections, UV radiation and environmental damage and they serve a similar purpose in our bodies.
An almost magical bunch of compounds berries contain are called phenols or phenolic compounds. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, including heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases. On top of that, they also encourage beneficial bacteria in your gut!
Anthocyanins are a type pf phenolic compound – they’re pigments responsible for the bright red, blue and purple colour of many fruits, vegetables and flowers but they also have strong health-protective properties. They are antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, have been linked to lower risk of heart disease and even cancer. Anthocyanins tend to be concentrated in the skin of fruits but berries that have a brightly coloured flesh, such as strawberries, blackberries or raspberries, contain more as the whole fruit is saturated with them.
As well as containing the powerful phenols, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and the important mineral manganese. They also contain decent amounts of folate (vitamin B9) and potassium.
Strawberries have some powerful antioxidants, such as pelargonidin – responsible for their bright red colour – and ellagic acid, which helps to strengthen your immune system.
Whenever you can, buy organic strawberries for maximum health benefits. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to buy strawberries when they’re in season, so they’re local and cheaper – if it’s not strawberry season, go for frozen, rather than imported from far away.
Superfood strawberries agree with most people but not all – some people, who are allergic to tree pollen, are also allergic to strawberries. This kind of allergy includes itching or tingling in the mouth, hives, headaches, swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat, even breathing problems in severe cases. Funnily enough, if you suffer from this allergy but love strawberries, you may be able to eat white strawberries – cultivated so they’re suitable for people with this issue.
Wild raspberries have been gathered by people for millennia and although cultivation may have changed their colour varieties and size, they are still chockful of nutrients. They’re a great source of antioxidants, vitamins C and E, folate, magnesium and even iron!
Raspberry specialty are the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help protect your eyes from blue light damage and prevent macular degeneration.
It’s best to buy organic whenever you can and keep a bag of frozen raspberries on hand for adding to your breakfast, smoothies and desserts.
Blackberries are simply amazing – with all the benefits of other berries, including antioxidants, vitamins C and E, folate, potassium and then some! Their bonus nutrients are vitamin A – essential for healthy vision, immune system and many vital reactions in your body – and vitamin K, essential for blood clotting, bone health and your immune system.
A cup of blackberries also covers about half of your daily need for the mineral manganese, necessary for good bone health, immune system and healing.
Just like blackberries, blueberries contain lots of vitamin K. They have slightly less of the other vitamins than raspberries, blackberries and strawberries but are still a good source!
There are several varieties of blueberries – the kind you commonly buy in the shops originally come from America and have white or translucent flesh. Their anthocyanins are concentrated in the skin only. On the other hand, bilberries – wild European ‘blueberries’ – are dark purple both on the outside and inside and pack a super dose of anthocyanins.
Good to know: all types of blueberries have traditionally been used in the treatment of diarrhoea, thanks to their astringent properties.
How much should you eat?
Berries are among the healthiest foods on the planet and contain more antioxidants than any other fruit so if you can, have some every day! A handful of fresh or thawed berries is enough – added to your morning cereal, smoothie or as a part of a dessert. Sadly, jam or any kind of heat-processed berry products don’t count. If you’re travelling and need something that’ll keep, freeze dried berries are also a good option.
Synthetic leather is based on fossil raw materials and is therefore problematic for the environment like real leather. A sustainable alternative could be leather made from mushrooms, as researchers of Vienna report.
Vienna – leather is made from animal hides and is therefore considered ethically questionable and problematic for the environment.
The latter also applies to synthetic leather, it is based on fossil raw materials.
A leather substitute made from mushrooms with similar properties to the original could be a sustainable alternative and has “enormous market potential,” report Viennese researchers in the journal Nature Sustainability.
Concerns about classic leather production range from ethical issues related to the use of animal products to the significant environmental impact of livestock and the leather processing industry.
It is estimated that the livestock sector is responsible for twelve to 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, there is deforestation for pastures and animal feed and the use of problematic chemicals in tanning.
Artificial leather made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane is made from fossil raw materials.
On the other hand, leather-like materials obtained from mushrooms are CO2-neutral and generally also completely biodegradable at the end of their useful life, explained Alexander Bismarckfrom the Institute for Material Chemistry at the University of Vienna, who, together with colleagues, assessed the sustainability of cattle and artificial leather production in an overview article and was the first Presented developments and commercialization of leather substitutes derived from mushrooms. The mycelium of the fungi is used – the thread-like cells that make up the majority of the fungal biomass.
Mushroom biomass grows on an inexpensive waste product
Hundreds of workers have tested positive for Covid-19 at meat plants across the world
New Study Shows Virus Survives on Contaminated Meat
Over the past few months there has been much in the news about serious outbreaks of Covid-19 affecting workers in meat plants and slaughterhouses in several countries, including the UK. Hundreds of workers have tested positive for Covid-19 at UK meat plants in Anglesey, Wrexham and West Yorkshire. Major outbreaks have also occurred in Germany, France, Spain and the US.
These outbreaks represent serious issues of worker safety and public health, with much of the focus being on the conditions for workers and their potential to spread Covid-19 amongst themselves and their communities.
However, much less attention has been focused on the possibility of meat becoming contaminated in these highly infected slaughterhouses.
Recent research published by Dale Fisher and colleagues from the National University of Singapore has found that the Covid-19 virus can survive on frozen meat and fish for up to three weeks, prompting warnings that contaminated food imports could have the potential to cause new outbreaks of Covid-19, demonstrating a clear potential public health risk.
The paper comes against the backdrop of otherwise unexplained outbreaks in several countries, including Vietnam, New Zealand and China, where the virus had previously been eradicated.
The possibility is not new: food safety agencies have admitted the possibility of meat contamination. Meat processing facilities are cold, damp indoor environments and provide ideal conditions for the Covid-19 virus to linger and spread. There is evidence that coronaviruses can survive at low temperatures on stainless steel, for example, a common environment in abattoirs, for up to 28 days.
Not surprisingly, the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) has sought more information on the potential for persistence of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, on foods traded internationally as well as the potential role of food in the transmission of the virus.
Calls for Testing
I wrote independently to the Executive Directors of both the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to raise the question. I asked, in view of the potential risk, what measures they will be taking to test meat products for the home market and for export.
While responding politely, the agencies have so far dismissed my concern.
According to their view, the essential point is that Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, not a food-borne disease, and so meat is very unlikely to be a vector for the spread of the coronavirus – even if it comes from a slaughterhouse where large numbers of workers have been infected.
The fact is we simply do not know how much of a role contaminated meat is playing in radiating the virus into the wider retail meat sector. The latest research from the University of Singapore suggests that more attention is needed and, at the very least, testing of meat for contamination before shipping would be a wise precaution.
That is why I have repeated my call to both the FSA and EFSA to take the precautions necessary including testing of meat products for viral contamination.
With Covid-19 proving so persistent and having such profound effects on society, every sensible precaution should be taken to close down possible routes of transmission, which surely includes testing meat to make sure that we’re not putting contaminated food in our shopping basket.
Written by Philip Lymbery – CEO of Compassion In World Farming (London UK); and a personal friend with whom I have campaigned long and hard on the issue of live animal exports / intensive farming, for many years.
A man (in my opinion) who very much knows what he is talking about !
Advocate General misses the point on alternatives to slaughter without stunning
10 September 2020
Today the Advocate General of the Court of Justice released its non-binding opinion on the possibility for EU Member States to adopt a national ban on the slaughter without stunning, following a request made by the Belgian Constitutional Court.
Animal welfare remains basically forgotten in today’s opinion not permitting Member States to adopt rules which provide both for a prohibition of the slaughter of animals without stunning, and for an alternative stunning procedure for the slaughter carried out in the context of a religious rite (i.e. reversible stunning).
Even if the final opinion depends on the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice, Eurogroup for Animals is concerned about this judgement. While so much emphasis is given to the freedom of religion enshrined in the Slaughter Regulation by Art 4.4., it does not equally consider the provision laid down in Article 26.2 (c), empowering Member States to adopt “national rules aimed at ensuring more extensive protection of animals at the time of killing than those contained in this Regulation in relation to […] the slaughtering and related operations of animals in accordance with Article 4.4” .
Despite the opinion seems favourable to the adoption by Member States of technical conditions which seek to minimise the suffering of animals at the time of killing, it is negative towards the adoption of reversible stunning, which would allow for the conservation of the rites while preserving the welfare animals.
Eurogroup for Animals and its members will continue working to make sure that all the animals will be properly stunned before being slaughtered.
Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals
“In 2020 we should not think that, as cited in the opinion, animal welfare and religion ‘often sit uneasily’, as technology and best practice are there to guarantee that both values are respected at the same time”, commented Reineke Hameleers, CEO at Eurogroup for Animals.
Scientific evidence has unambiguously shown that slaughter without stunning is incompatible with the welfare of animals. It must also be noted that acceptance of stunning methods is increasing among religious communities, as demonstrated by the declaration made last year by Ismailaga Cemaati, the largest Islamic group in Turkey, announcing that stunning animals prior to slaughter is acceptable and Halal.
“This is just an opinion and in the past we witnessed that the CJEU rule can be different from the not-legally binding Advocate General advice. Eurogroup for Animals and its members will continue working to make sure that all the animals will be properly stunned before being slaughtered” added Hameleers.
Approximately 2,000 pigs have died in a shed fire on a farm in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland.
The farrowing house which was located at Glenmarshal Pedigree Pig, comprised a shed where 140 sows and their piglets were kept, was destroyed by the blaze which broke out on 7/9/20.
We understand that approximately 2,000 pigs in total have died as a result.
The Northern Ireland (NI) Fire and Rescue Service was called to the farm at 20:54 BST on Monday evening to attend to the fire, which is understood to have been accidentally caused by an electrical fault.
The fire was brought under control at approximately 11.50pm.
Special animal rescue teams worked alongside fire crews at the scene.
Owner Trevor Shields, who praised the fire fighters for doing a “tremendous job”, said: “It is very emotional, it’s actually difficult for me to even talk about it.
“Our losses are quite substantial because this is one of the top breeding farms in Europe and there’s bloodlines that have just been wiped away. We’ll just have to put the pieces together and get over it because they are gone.”
Some of the bloodlines believed to have been lost may still be on the farm in other parts, but there will be some of the lines lost could go back as far as 40 years.
Mr Shields said he was told the cause of the blaze is likely to have been an electrical fault and the Fire Service is treating it as an accident.
Mr Shields said Glenmarshal is a well-known name in the pig breeding world and a regular prize-winner at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s Balmoral Show.
Four fire engines were called to the scene.
Assistant Group Commander Martin Healy said they arrived to a well developed blaze and they “worked in difficult conditions to prevent the fire spreading to adjacent buildings”.
He said it was “a very difficult scene to witness” and he was thankful they were able to stop the fire spreading to other sheds where more pigs were housed.
Special animal rescue teams worked alongside fire crews at the scene.
In Oregon, a skilled hunter was impaled and killed by a deer he shot hours earlier.
Mark David from Hillsboro stalked a private property in Tillamook, Oregon, with a bow and arrow on Saturday. From his hiding place, he discovered a big elk stag – and shot it.
This deer impaled the 66-year-old with his antlers before he died (Image: Oregon State Police)
The arrow hit the bull, but the badly injured animal ran away in a panic and disappeared into the undergrowth. The 66-year-old chased his prey until dark, but without success.
“Forked” by deer
The next morning the American set out with the property owner to search. Around 9.15 a.m. they found the injured elk and David was already drawing his bow to kill the animal when it suddenly attacked.
The stag attacked the hunter with his antlers – hunters refer to this as “fork” – and rammed one of the tips right into his neck. His companion tried to save the 66-year-old, but he could no longer help him.
The man died of serious injury at the scene of the accident.
As the Oregon State Police reports, the elk was shot after the fatal attack. His meat was donated to Tillamook County Jail.
Last November, a 66-year-old hunter in the US state of Arkansas was killed by a deer that he believed he had shot. During the inspection, he was attacked and impaled by the supposedly dead animal.