Day: May 16, 2021

USA: N.J. celebrities want ban on crates that confine pigs and calves. Christie vetoed it twice.

N.J. celebrities want ban on crates that confine pigs and calves. Christie vetoed it twice.

Updated May 10, 2021; Posted May 10, 2021

Seven years after similar efforts hit a wall under former Gov. Chris Christie, a group of 16 New Jersey celebrities are calling on state leaders to ban the farm practice of using gestation crates to confine pregnant pigs and veal crates to confine calves.

The celebrities — including Steven Van Zandt, Debbie Harry, Chelsea Handler, and Ethan Hawke — joined the Animal Legal Defense Fund in penning the open letter urging the state Legislature and Gov. Phil Murphy to enact a new bill that would criminalize the use of such crates in New Jersey, calling the practice “indefensible.”

“Gestation crates and veal crates are inherently cruel,” the celebrities wrote in the letter, according to a copy obtained by NJ Advance Media. “Both include severely restricting the animal’s movement, to the point of virtual immobilization, which leads to highly stressful conditions that induces physical and psychological illness — and great suffering.”

The celebrities are musician and actor Steven Van Zandt (a Middletown native), actress Maureen Van Zandt, actor Paul Wesley (of Marlboro), comedian Michael Ian Black (of Hillsborough), actress Taissa Farmiga (of Whitehouse Station), television host Daisy Fuentes (of Harrison), comedian Chelsea Handler (of Livingston), musician Debbie Harry (of Hawthorne), actor Ethan Hawke (of West Windsor), YouTube Grace Helbig (of Woodbury), television personality Alison Haislip (of Tewksbury), comedian Myq Kaplan (of Livingston), comedian Bill Maher (of River Vale), actress Cristin Milioti (of Cherry Hill), actress Christina Ricci (of Montclair), and musician Karen O (of Englewood).

Gestation crates are used to confine pigs and calves during pregnancy. Proponents say the crates prevent the animals from fighting each other. Opponents say they prevent the animals from turning around and fully extending their limbs.

“Coupled with increasing demand by consumers for increased compassion and transparency in how farmed animals are raised, now is the time for New Jersey to ban the crates,” Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells said.

New Jersey’s bill (S3401), sponsored by Democrats, would make their use a crime and establish monetary fines. Ten other states, as well as Canada and the European Union, have banned gestation crates.

Christie, a Republican, vetoed measures banning pig gestation crates twice during his tenure as governor, first in 2013 and then in 2014.

Critics accused the then-governor of rejecting the bill because he was planning to run for president and didn’t want to upset pork producers in the key state of Iowa, where nearly one-third of the nation’s hogs are raised.

But it was also uncertain as to how much of an effect the measure would have had in New Jersey. The state is home to fewer than 10,000 pigs, and it’s unclear if any are kept in crates when pregnant.

Christie noted both the state Board of Agriculture and state Department fo Agriculture adopted humane standards in 1995 that cover the issue. He also accused sponsors of using the bill as a “political cudgel” against him.

“I will rely on our in-state experts rather than the partisan politicians who sponsor this bill,” Christie said at the time.

Both houses of the Democratic-controlled state Legislature would need to pass the new bill before Murphy, a Democrat, could decide whether to sign or veto it.

Former state Sen. Raymond Lesniak recently wrote an op-ed saying he had hope the measure would succeed this time now that Murphy is in charge.

“Help is on the way for the suffering pigs,” Lesniak, a Union County Democrat, wrote.


Pro-Palestinian protesters rally against Israeli strikes on Gaza — live  updates | News | DW | 15.05.2021

USA: Approximately 10,000 hogs killed in fire at Pillen Family Farms, Nebraska.

See the video here:

Approximately 10,000 hogs killed in fire at Pillen Family Farms – PLATTE VALLEY – NEWS CHANNEL NEBRASKA

Approximately 10,000 hogs killed in fire at Pillen Family Farms

A large fire near Albion has claimed the lives of approximately 10,000 hogs, according to the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department.

ALBION, Neb. — A large fire near Albion has claimed the lives of approximately 10,000 hogs, according to the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department.

The department was training late in Tuesday night when, at 3:14 a.m., a call from Pillen Family Farm came in: one of their barns near Albion was ablaze. 

“The bells started ringing, and by the time we got west of town … it was just a glowing ball out there,” said Doug Koch, a volunteer firefighter. 

The 20-pound hogs were trapped under the collapsed, burning building; none salvageable.

“I kept thinking, you would have thought at least one pig would come walking out, that at least one would have survived […] It was the most destructive for losing livestock I’ve ever seen that large,” said Petersburg Fire Chief Neil Baumgartner. 

They eventually stopped it by tearing through the building around 11 a.m., but they were later called back onto the scene throughout Wednesday to fend off flames.   

“It is dry so a spark could go a long way… the guys are drinking coffee today,” Baumgartner said. 

The cause is still under investigation, but Baumgartner said there had been construction on-site previously.

While the whole building was a loss, no people were injured. 

Pillen Family Farm has not commented on the issue yet to NCN. 

No human injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

The Animal Welfare Institute said Thursday morning that the Wednesday fire was the deadliest barn fire in Nebraska this year.

“While we are relieved no humans were injured, the extreme suffering and fear these animals must have endured as they were trapped in a burning building cannot be ignored,” said Allie Granger, farm animal policy associate for the Animal Welfare Institute. “Producers and the industry as a whole must take this problem seriously and start prioritizing fire prevention.”

The institute says nearly 5.3 million farm animals have perished in barn fires since 2013. Nebraska reported the most animal deaths from barn fires last year with approximately 400,000 dying in three fires.


Protests held around the country in support of Palestine

Germany: Police save duck family

Report from the Stuttgart policeStuttgart

+++ 🦆 Duck good, everything is good – the duck family of ten has apparently got lost 👮‍♀👮‍♂ +++

A mother duck with her nine little ducklings apparently got lost on Sunday afternoon in the jungle of houses in the west of Stuttgart.
To Papa Erpel’s delight, our colleagues were able to help.

🔹 What happened?
The mother duck probably lost her orientation on Mother’s Day excursion and was heading in the completely wrong direction. After the duck excitedly “spoke to” several passers-by, they finally notified the police at around 3:30 pm.

👉 Our colleagues managed to show the mother duck the right way to the lake of fire at home, whereupon the ten-headed duck pack set off on the sidewalk.
Due to the high number of waddling duck feet, our colleagues accompanied the extended family to their destination for safety.

💦 Papa Drake was waiting longingly for his family at the “Fire-lake” (Feuersee).

Reunited, after all the excitement, they all took a refreshing bath together.

Your #police #Stuttgart

And I mean..Many thanks to the sensitive people who informed the police and also thanks to the police! 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰
Maybe that was their cutest outing of the year.

This world would be a lot more bearable if everyone did their job conscientiously and competently..

My best regards to all, Venus