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Farm Animals

Farm Animals



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All the families living in Yalding own animals. Livestock includes oxen, horses, cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. Finding enough food for the animals is a constant problem for the farmers. At the end of the autumn, the villagers have to decide how many animals they can afford to keep alive during the winter.

Oxen are the most valued animals owned by the peasants as they are used to plough the land. Most plough-teams consist of between four and eight oxen. As it is unusual for villagers to own more than two oxen, it is necessary for them to combine their resources in order to have their land ploughed efficiently.

Some villagers use horses for ploughing. When the condition of the ground is good, horses are faster than oxen. However, most villagers prefer employing oxen for this task. Oxen are cheaper to keep than horses. Oxen are also more willing to work in difficult conditions.

Pigs are also popular animals to own as they have the ability to find food for themselves. Their favourite food is acorns from oak trees and nuts from beech trees. The villagers have to pay pannage to Hugh de Audley before he allows their pigs to go into the woods to search for food.

Pigs can cause a lot of damage in their search for food. Yalding, like most villages in England, has by-laws stating that all pigs have to have an iron ring placed in their nose. Gilbert Payne is Yalding's swineherd. He gathers the pigs together and takes them into the wood so that they can feed on acorns. On other occasions he takes them to feed on the waste ground. Every year the peopk living in Yalding give him a penny for every pig that he has looked after.

Pigs can produce two litters a year and each litter can number six or more piglets. Pigs are ready for eating in their second year. The meat produced by pigs is important to the peasants as the animal supplies much of the fat in their diet.

Cows are kept for their milk. Cows are expensive and in 1336 cost over 9s. to buy. The villagers also have difficulty finding enough hay for them to eat during the winter.

Most of the families obtain their milk from female sheep called ewes. At Is. 6d. ewes are fairly cheap to buy and are much easier to feed in the winter. Although a ewe only produces a tenth of the milk of a cow, they also provide wool for clothing and if necessary, meat during the winter months. Their dung also helps the crops grow.

In 1336 there are five times as many sheep as people in England. The keeping of sheep does create extra work for villagers. Sheep do a lot of damage if they manage to get into the fields growing crops. They therefore have to be herded during the day and fenced in at night. The sheep also have to be protected against predators like wolves.

1. Read Animals in Yalding. Fill in section 4 and 5 of your Family Information Chart.

2. Name the people in the village who own: (a) a bull; (b) two or more oxen; (c) at least ten cows; (d) more than a eighty sheep.

3. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of keeping sheep.

5. Look at source 1. How is the swineherd helping the pigs find food?

6. Study sources 2 and 3. (a) Give three possible reasons why the man in source 2 is using oxen rather than horses. (b) Describe the two ploughs being used in these pictures. Explain how these ploughs are different. Why did farm workers use two different types of plough?


All About Farms and Barn Animals

Farms are businesses that raise animals. As farmers operate their businesses, they often grow food, too. Some of the food grown on farms feeds farm animals, and other food is sent from the farm to feed people. A visit to a farm might involve meeting many different animals that live there. You might see cows, pigs, chickens, horses, sheep, goats, llamas, and donkeys living on farms. Animals such as horses can also help with work on the farm, although farmers do most of this work with machines on modern farms.

A farm may raise cows for milk or beef. A dairy farm usually keeps many cows and milks them two or three times each day, collecting the milk to sell. Farmers feed cows a special mixture of grains that will keep them healthy and help them produce lots of milk. A cow might eat up to 100 pounds of food each day, and it may drink as much as 50 gallons of water. Farmers take good care of their cows to keep them healthy, often letting them roam in pastures during the day and when they aren’t being milked. Cattle raised for beef are not milked. Farmers take special care of the cattle to help them grow into big, strong animals. When the cattle grow to a certain size, farmers send them to a different market facility. Cows on a farm usually sleep in barns.

Some farmers raise pigs. A female pig is called a sow, and a male pig may be called a boar. Farmers usually keep pigs indoors so they can care for them carefully. An average pig may grow to weigh between 600 and 900 pounds, but some pigs can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds. Pig farmers take special care of pigs, feeding and watering them, so they grow and stay healthy. Once pigs are old enough and big enough, a farmer sells them and they leave the farm.


Virtual | Farm Animals

Offered All Year: If you visited a farm in 1900, chances are you would find a few chickens, horses, and possibly even sheep in the barnyard. As the days get shorter and the leaves turn colors, the animals and the farmers get ready for winter. Come and visit our animals virtually, and learn how the farmer makes sure the animals’ basic needs are met and how the animals adapt to the seasons. Students will understand that animals have important jobs on the farm and learn how members of the farm family, including children, share the work of caring for animals. Next, engage in some experiments at home on in the classroom, to discover cool things that eggs can do. (Besides being delicious, of course!)

Virtual field trips feature fun hands-on activities designed to get your students engaged. E ach program includes:

  • Pre-field trip warm-up questions or activities to get students thinking about the topic
  • 30-40 minute online lesson led by our naturalists, with engaging information and guidance to prepare the students for their hands-on activity
  • Hands-on activity for students to explore outdoors at their home or school
  • Post-field trip wrap-up questions to guide the teacher’s assessment

Program Objectives

  • Animal life cycles
  • How farmers take care of their animals
  • Important jobs of animals and children on a farm in 1900

Relevant Curricula

Next Generation Science Standards: K-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes | K-LS1-1 Patterns in the Natural World | 1-LS1-1 Structure and Function | 1-LS1-2 Growth and Development of Organisms | 2-LS2-2 Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems | 3-LS1-1 Organisms and Life Cycles | 3-LS2-1 Social Interactions and Group Behaviors | 3-LS3 Heredity, Inheritance and Variation of Traits | 4-LS1 Structure, Function, and Information Processing

NJ Social Studies Standards: 6.1B Geography, People and the Environment

Cost & Scheduling

$60 for groups of up to 25 students (scholarships available for certain programs)


S. Aerts D. Lips S. Spencer E. Decuypere J. Tavernier Particle De (2006) ArticleTitle “A New Framework for the Assessment of Animal Welfare: Integrating Existing Knowledge from A Practical Ethics Perspective.” Journal for Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19 IssueID 1 67–76

Berdoy, M. (2002), “The Laboratory Rat: A Natural History,” http://www.ratlife.org.

F. W. R. Brambell (1965) Report of the Technical Committee to Enquire into the Welfare of Animals kept under Intensive Livestock Husbandry Systems HMSO London

A. M. Beck A. H. Katcher (1996) Between Pets & People: The Importance of Animal Companionship Purdue University Press West Lafayette, IN

J. P. Broida L. Tingley R. Kimball J. Miele (1993) ArticleTitle “Personality Differences between Pro and Anti Vivisectionists” Society and Animals 1 129–144

T. Hardy (1985) The Mayor of Casterbridge Penguin Classics Edition London

A. M. Hills (1993) ArticleTitle “The Motivational Bases of Attitudes toward Animals” Society & Animals 1 111–128

Jensen, P. (2005), “Domestication and Animal Behaviour,” in From Darwin to Dawkins: The Science and Implications of Animal Sentience, London: Compassion in World Farming.

Littlefair, P. (2005), “Why China is Waking Up to Animal Welfare,” in From Darwin to Dawkins: The Science and Implications of Animal Sentience, London: Compassion in World Farming (Abstract).

H. G. Parker L. V. Kim N. B Sutter S. Carlson T. D. Lorentzen T. B. Malek G. S. Johnson H. B. DeFrance E. A. Ostrander L. Kruglyak (2004) ArticleTitle “Genetic Structure of the Purebred Domestic Dog” Science 304 1160–1164 Occurrence Handle 10.1126/science.1097406

Regan, T. (2005), “Do Sentient Beings Have an Inherent Value?” in From Darwin to Dawkins: The Science and Implications of Animal Sentience. London: Compassion in World Farming (Abstract).

J. A. Serpell (1986) In the Company of Animals Cambridge University Press Cambridge

J. Webster (1995) Animal Welfare: A Cool Eye Towards Eden Blackwell Science Oxford

Webster, J. (2005), “Ideals and Realities: What do We Owe to Farm Animals?” in From Darwin to Dawkins: The Science and Implications of Animal Sentience, London: Compassion in World Farming (Abstract).

F. Wemelsfelder (1997) “Investigating the Animals’ Point of View. An Inquiry into a Subject-based Method of Measurement in the Field of Animal Welfare” M. Dol S. Kasanmoetalib S. Lijmbach E. Rivas R. Bos Particle van den (Eds) Animal Consciousness and Animal Ethics Van Gorcum Assen 73–89


Contents

Livestock as a word was first used between 1650 and 1660, as a compound word combining the words "live" and "stock". [9] In some periods, "cattle" and "livestock" have been used interchangeably. Today, the modern meaning of cattle is domesticated bovines, while livestock has a wider sense. [10]

United States federal legislation defines the term to make specified agricultural commodities eligible or ineligible for a program or activity. For example, the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 (P.L. 106–78, Title IX) defines livestock only as cattle, swine, and sheep, while the 1988 disaster assistance legislation defined the term as "cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry (including egg-producing poultry), equine animals used for food or in the production of food, fish used for food, and other animals designated by the Secretary." [11]

Deadstock is defined in contradistinction to livestock as "animals that have died before slaughter, sometimes from illness or disease". It is illegal in many countries, such as Canada, to sell or process meat from dead animals for human consumption. [12]

Animal-rearing originated during the cultural transition to settled farming communities from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animals are domesticated when their breeding and living conditions are controlled by humans. Over time, the collective behaviour, lifecycle and physiology of livestock have changed radically. Many modern farm animals are unsuited to life in the wild.

The dog was domesticated early dogs appear in Europe and the Far East from about 15,000 years ago. [13] Goats and sheep were domesticated in multiple events sometime between 11,000 and 5,000 years ago in Southwest Asia. [14] Pigs were domesticated by 8,500 BC in the Near East [15] and 6,000 BC in China. [16] Domestication of the horse dates to around 4000 BC. [17] Cattle have been domesticated since approximately 10,500 years ago. [18] Chickens and other poultry may have been domesticated around 7000 BC. [19]

The term "livestock" is nebulous and may be defined narrowly or broadly. Broadly, livestock refers to any breed or population of animal kept by humans for a useful, commercial purpose.

Animal Wild ancestor Domestication Utilization Picture
Horse Tarpan Mongolia Riding, racing, carrying and pulling loads, meat, milk
Donkey African wild ass Africa Beast of burden and draught
Cattle Eurasian aurochs Eurasia Meat, milk, draught
Zebu Indian aurochs Eurasia Milk, meat and draught.
Bali cattle Banteng SE Asia Meat, milk and draught
Yak Wild yak Tibet Pack animal, milk, meat and hide
Water buffalo Wild water buffalo India and SE Asia Meat, milk and beast of burden
Gayal Gaur India and Malaysia Beast of burden and draught
Sheep Mouflon Iran and Asia Minor Meat, milk and fleece.
Goat Bezoar ibex Greece and Pakistan Meat, milk and fleece
Reindeer Reindeer Eurasia Draught, milk, flesh and hide
Bactrian camel Wild Bactrian camel Central Asia Riding and racing
Arabian camel Thomas' camel North Africa and SW Asia Riding and racing
Llama Guanaco Andes Pack animal and fleece
Alpaca Guanaco Andes Fleece
Domestic Pig Wild boar Eurasia Meat
Rabbit European rabbit Europe Meat
Guinea pig Montane guinea pig Andes Meat

Micro-livestock Edit

Micro-livestock is the term used for much smaller animals, usually mammals. The two predominate categories are rodents and lagomorphs (rabbits). Even smaller animals are kept and raised, such as crickets and honey bees. Micro-livestock does not generally include fish (aquaculture) or chickens (poultry farming).

Traditionally, animal husbandry was part of the subsistence farmer's way of life, producing not only the food needed by the family but also the fuel, fertiliser, clothing, transport and draught power. Killing the animal for food was a secondary consideration, and wherever possible its products, such as wool, eggs, milk and blood (by the Maasai) were harvested while the animal was still alive. [20] In the traditional system of transhumance, people and livestock moved seasonally between fixed summer and winter pastures in montane regions the summer pasture was up in the mountains, the winter pasture in the valleys. [21]

Animals can be kept extensively or intensively. Extensive systems involve animals roaming at will, or under the supervision of a herdsman, often for their protection from predators. Ranching in the Western United States involves large herds of cattle grazing widely over public and private lands. [22] Similar cattle stations are found in South America, Australia and other places with large areas of land and low rainfall. Ranching systems have been used for sheep, deer, ostrich, emu, llama and alpaca. [23] In the uplands of the United Kingdom, sheep are turned out on the fells in spring and graze the abundant mountain grasses untended, being brought to lower altitudes late in the year, with supplementary feeding being provided in winter. [24]

In rural locations, pigs and poultry can obtain much of their nutrition from scavenging, and in African communities, hens may live for months without being fed, and still produce one or two eggs a week. [20] At the other extreme, in the more developed parts of the world, animals are often intensively managed dairy cows may be kept in zero-grazing conditions with all their forage brought to them beef cattle may be kept in high density feedlots [25] pigs may be housed in climate-controlled buildings and never go outdoors [26] poultry may be reared in barns and kept in cages as laying birds under lighting-controlled conditions. In between these two extremes are semi-intensive, often family run farms where livestock graze outside for much of the year, silage or hay is made to cover the times of year when the grass stops growing, and fertiliser, feed and other inputs are bought onto the farm from outside. [27]

Livestock farmers have suffered from wild animal predation and theft by rustlers. In North America, animals such as the gray wolf, grizzly bear, cougar, and coyote are sometimes considered a threat to livestock. In Eurasia and Africa, predators include the wolf, leopard, tiger, lion, dhole, Asiatic black bear, crocodile, spotted hyena, and other carnivores. In South America, feral dogs, jaguars, anacondas, and spectacled bears are threats to livestock. In Australia, the dingo, fox, and wedge-tailed eagle are common predators, with an additional threat from domestic dogs that may kill in response to a hunting instinct, leaving the carcass uneaten. [28] [29]

Good husbandry, proper feeding, and hygiene are the main contributors to animal health on the farm, bringing economic benefits through maximised production. When, despite these precautions, animals still become sick, they are treated with veterinary medicines, by the farmer and the veterinarian. In the European Union, when farmers treat their own animals, they are required to follow the guidelines for treatment and to record the treatments given. [30]

Animals are susceptible to a number of diseases and conditions that may affect their health. Some, like classical swine fever [31] and scrapie [32] are specific to one type of stock, while others, like foot-and-mouth disease affect all cloven-hoofed animals. [33] Where the condition is serious, governments impose regulations on import and export, on the movement of stock, quarantine restrictions and the reporting of suspected cases. Vaccines are available against certain diseases, and antibiotics are widely used where appropriate.

At one time, antibiotics were routinely added to certain compound foodstuffs to promote growth, but this practice is now frowned on in many countries because of the risk that it may lead to antibiotic resistance. [34] Animals living under intensive conditions are particularly prone to internal and external parasites increasing numbers of sea lice are affecting farmed salmon in Scotland. [35] Reducing the parasite burdens of livestock results in increased productivity and profitability. [36]

According to the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, Livestock diseases are expected to get worse as climate change increase temperature and precipitation variability. [37]

Since many livestock are herd animals, they were historically driven to market "on the hoof" to a town or other central location. The method is still used in some parts of the world. [38]

Truck transport is now common in developed countries. [39]

Local and regional livestock auctions and commodity markets facilitate trade in livestock. In Canada at the Cargill slaughterhouse in High River, Alberta, 2,000 workers process 4,500 cattle per day, or more than one-third of Canada's capacity. It closed when the COVID-19 pandemic infected some of its workers. [40] [41] The Cargill plant together with the JBS plant in Brooks, Alberta and the Harmony Beef plant in Balzac, Alberta represent fully three-quarters of the Canadian beef supply. [41] In other areas, livestock may be bought and sold in a bazaar or wet market, such as may be found in many parts of Central Asia.

In developing countries, providing access to markets has encouraged farmers to invest in livestock, with the result being improved livelihoods. For example, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has worked in Zimbabwe to help farmers make their most of their livestock herds. [42]

In stock shows, farmers bring their best livestock to compete with one another. [43]

Animal husbandry has a significant impact on the world environment. It is responsible for somewhere between 20 and 33% of the fresh water usage in the world, [45] and livestock, and the production of feed for them, occupy about a third of the earth's ice-free land. [46] Livestock production is a contributing factor in species extinction, desertification, [47] and habitat destruction. [48] Meat is considered one of the prime factors contributing to the current sixth mass extinction. [49] [50] [51] [52] Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in various ways. Habitat is destroyed by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and for animal grazing, while predators and herbivores are frequently targeted and hunted because of a perceived threat to livestock profits for example, animal husbandry is responsible for up to 91% of the deforestation in the Amazon region. [53]

In addition, livestock produce greenhouse gases. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that agriculture (including not only livestock, but also food crop, biofuel and other production) accounted for about 10 to 12 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (expressed as 100-year carbon dioxide equivalents) in 2005 [54] and in 2010. [55] Cows produce some 570 million cubic metres of methane per day, [56] that accounts for from 35 to 40% of the overall methane emissions of the planet. [57] Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of the powerful and long-lived greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. [57] As a result, ways of mitigating animal husbandry's environmental impact are being studied. Strategies include using biogas from manure. [58]

The value of global livestock production in 2013 has been estimated at about 883 billion dollars, (constant 2005-2006 dollars). [59]

Livestock provide a variety of food and nonfood products the latter include leather, wool, pharmaceuticals, bone products, industrial protein, and fats. For many abattoirs, very little animal biomass may be wasted at slaughter. Even intestinal contents removed at slaughter may be recovered for use as fertilizer. Livestock manure helps maintain the fertility of grazing lands. Manure is commonly collected from barns and feeding areas to fertilize cropland. In some places, animal manure is used as fuel, either directly (as in some developing countries), or indirectly (as a source of methane for heating or for generating electricity). In regions where machine power is limited, some classes of livestock are used as draft stock, not only for tillage and other on-farm use, but also for transport of people and goods. In 1997, livestock provided energy for between an estimated 25 and 64% of cultivation energy in the world's irrigated systems, and that 300 million draft animals were used globally in small-scale agriculture. [60]

Although livestock production serves as a source of income, it can provide additional economic values for rural families, often serving as a major contributor to food security and economic security. Livestock can serve as insurance against risk [61] and is an economic buffer (of income and/or food supply) in some regions and some economies (e.g., during some African droughts). However, its use as a buffer may sometimes be limited where alternatives are present, [62] which may reflect strategic maintenance of insurance in addition to a desire to retain productive assets. Even for some livestock owners in developed nations, livestock can serve as a kind of insurance. [63] Some crop growers may produce livestock as a strategy for diversification of their income sources, to reduce risks related to weather, markets and other factors. [64] [65]

Many studies [ which? ] have found evidence of the social, as well as economic, importance of livestock in developing countries and in regions of rural poverty, and such evidence is not confined to pastoral and nomadic societies. [61] [66] [67] [68] [69]

Social values in developed countries can also be considerable. For example, in a study of livestock ranching permitted on national forest land in New Mexico, USA, it was concluded that "ranching maintains traditional values and connects families to ancestral lands and cultural heritage", and that a "sense of place, attachment to land, and the value of preserving open space were common themes". "The importance of land and animals as means of maintaining culture and way of life figured repeatedly in permittee responses, as did the subjects of responsibility and respect for land, animals, family, and community." [70]

In the US, profit tends to rank low among motivations for involvement in livestock ranching. [71] Instead, family, tradition and a desired way of life tend to be major motivators for ranch purchase, and ranchers "historically have been willing to accept low returns from livestock production." [72]


The Five Freedoms: A history lesson in animal care and welfare

The Five Freedoms have been the basis of animal welfare since the 1960s. Learn about what they are and why they have endured.

Concern about animal care and welfare is not a new topic for those who raise animals, but it continues to be of greater concern for the general public. More and more people want to know and understand how animals, especially those raised to enter the food chain, are cared for, where and how these animals live, and what a modern farm is like. The answers to these questions do not have one single, correct answer. In reality, there are innumerable correct ways to raise animals depending on the animals&rsquo breed and &ldquojob&rdquo (e.g., cattle raised for dairy production verses cattle raised for beef production) size, location, climate, facilities, staff, goals of a farm and several other factors. What remains the same across all farms is that farmers care about the animals they raise and want animals thriving. One way to ensure animals are in a positive state of welfare is to use the Five Freedoms as benchmark for meeting animals&rsquo needs.

To understand the importance of the Five Freedoms and why there were developed, let&rsquos turn back to 1964 when Ruth Harrison, a British woman, wrote &ldquoAnimal Machines.&rdquo The book described intensive livestock and poultry farming practices of the time. The outcry of the British public regarding the information in the book prompted the British government to appoint a committee to look into the welfare of farm animals. In 1965, the committee, chaired by professor Roger Brambell presented the 85-page &ldquoReport of the Technical Committee to Inquire into the Welfare of Animals Kept under Intensive Livestock Husbandry Systems,&rdquo which became known as &ldquoThe Brambell Report.&rdquo

In summary, the report stated that animals should have the freedom &ldquoto stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs.&rdquo These freedoms became known as &ldquoBrambell&rsquos Five Freedoms&rdquo and were expanded on to create a more detail list of the needs. The Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee was created in response to Brambell and colleagues&rsquo report to monitor the livestock production sector. In 1979, the name was changed to the Farm Animal Welfare Council (now Committee) and by the end of that same year, the initial Five Freedoms had been codified into the format below.

The welfare of an animal, which includes its physical and mental states, how it is coping with its environment, and involves human experiences and ethics to evaluate animal welfare through observation and interpretation of an animal&rsquos behavior and health status. The codified Five Freedoms are as follows:

  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from Discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease: by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
  4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal&rsquos own kind.
  5. Freedom from Fear and Distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

The Five Freedoms are used as the basis in writing animal care protocols and expectations for many professional groups, including veterinarians as noted on the American Veterinary Medical Association website. They have been adopted by representative groups internationally including the World Organization for Animal Health and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Most of the animal welfare audits developed for implementation on farms and in processing facilities are based on the Five Freedoms.

The impact and use of the Five Freedoms is widespread across the world. An upcoming article from Michigan State University Extension will focus on recognizing how animal caregivers, especially youth in 4-H animal science projects, use the Five Freedoms every day in caring for animals.


CATTLE

Cattle are bovines that descend from ancient animals called aurochs. They have complex, four-compartment stomachs called rumens and eat vegetation. In nature, cattle swallow their food whole. Later, the partially digested food, or cud, is regurgitated into their mouths for them to chew. "Chewing the cud" is a well-known cattle trait. The natural lifespan for cattle is twenty to twenty-five years.

There are many different breeds of cattle. Some are specially bred for meat (such as Angus and Hereford), whereas others are bred to produce milk (such as Jerseys). Adult female cattle are called cows. They produce milk for their newborn calves for months. People learned long ago to take calves away from their mothers and collect the milk for human consumption. Young female cows that have not yet given birth are called heifers. Uncastrated adult male cattle are called bulls. They are used only for breeding purposes. Male cattle castrated before they reach sexual maturity are called steers. They are a major source of beef in this country.

As shown in Table 4.2, there were over 97.1 million cattle on U.S. farms in 2005. Figure 4.5 shows that the cattle inventory increased dramatically through the early 1970s and then declined, before leveling off in the mid-1990s.

Beef Cattle

HISTORY

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the U.S. cattle industry was concentrated in the western states. Cattle were herded by cowboys to markets in large cities with railroad hubs. Cattle were shipped by rail to massive stockyards and slaughtering/processing centers in places such as Chicago and Kansas City. As refrigeration and electricity spread throughout the country, slaughterhouses were able to move away from the big cities and into rural areas.

During the 1950s large meat companies began setting up feedlots for cattle, first in the Great Plains and later further west. (See Figure 4.6.) Before that time cattle mostly ate grass, with some corn and other grains added to fatten them. They were slaughtered when they reached marketable size, around three to four years of age. U.S. farmers began producing a surplus of corn in the mid-1950s, and it became a primary feed for beef cattle. Cattle fed a diet rich in corn got fatter much faster and could be slaughtered much earlier than grass-fed cattle. Corn-fed beef had a rich, fatty taste with a marbled texture and was more tender than grass-fed beef. It was also much cheaper. Heavy marketing by grocery stores led to huge demand for corn-fed beef.

PRESENT CONDITIONS

Table 4.5 shows the number of feedlots and their inventories as of January 1, 2006. At that time there were more than fourteen million cattle on approximately eighty-eight thousand feedlots in the United States. The vast majority of feedlots (97.5%) each contained less than one thousand head of cattle. However, the small number of feedlots that each contained more than thirty-two thousand head of cattle accounted for a large portion (40.4%) of all the cattle on feedlots. More than 5.7 million cattle were on these massive feedlots at that time.

Most beef cattle are slaughtered around the age of fourteen to sixteen months. Calves spend the first six to eight months of their lives with their mothers, drinking milk and grazing on grass at farms and ranches around the country. This is called the cow-calf stage of the business. Following weaning, most calves are moved to large, crowded feedlots — outdoor grassless enclosures — to be "finished" for slaughter. During finishing the cattle receive virtually no exercise to prevent muscle buildup and fat loss. The animals are given various drugs to help them digest the rich corn diet and fend off disease from the crowded and often dirty conditions.

In March 2002 the reporter Michael Pollen purchased an eight-month-old calf from a South Dakota ranch and chronicled the calf's life in "Power Steer" (New York Times, March 31, 2002). Following weaning, Pollen's calf spent several months in a backgrounding pen becoming accustomed to a corn diet before being shipped to a feedlot. At the feedlot, crowded with thirty-seven thousand cattle, the calf was fed a diet of corn, fat, protein supplements, and some alfalfa hay and corn silage for roughage. The calf was given antibiotics to help it digest this new diet.

TABLE 4.5
Cattle feedlot breakdown, by number and inventory, January 1, 2006
Feedlot capacity (head)Number of feedlots%January 1, 2006, inventory (1,000 head)%
Source: "Table A1.6. Cattle-on-Feed Production," in 2005 United States Animal Health Report, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, August 2006, http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/content/printable_version/AHR_Web_PDF/J_appendices.pdf (accessed November 28, 2006)
<1,00086,00097.52,32816.5
1,000-1,9998551.05063.6
2,000-3,9995470.67775.5
4,000-7,9993500.41,0097.1
8,000-15,9991840.21,3639.6
16,000-31,9991370.22,43817.3
≥ 32,0001260.15,71140.4
All feedlots88,199100.014,132100.0

Pollen notes that feedlot cattle must be fed antibiotics and antacids to overcome digestive problems from eating corn rather than grass. Corn-fed cattle are prone to severe bloat, indigestion, and other conditions that can weaken their immune systems and make them susceptible to serious diseases. Thus, many are fed continuous low-level doses of antibiotics to keep them reasonably healthy. The corn diet damages their livers, but this is a trade-off acceptable to the beef industry because cow liver is not in high demand. Pollen's steer also received a hormone injection of synthetic estrogen to help him gain weight, a common and legal practice.

According to Pollen, the cattle on the feedlot lived amid a thick layer of manure during their entire stay, another reason that antibiotics are required for feedlot cattle. Generally, manure is not a concern until slaughtering time, when it is washed off the carcasses during processing. Pollen argues that this practice is not healthy for the people who will eat the beef or for the cattle living in this environment.

Ranchers use the feedlot system because it is much cheaper for them than finishing the cattle at the ranch. The price of beef is so low that profit margins on cattle are slim. Ranchers and farmers must cut costs wherever they can. Many ranchers sell their calves to corporations and companies running feedlots. Others retain ownership and pay rent to the feedlot during the finishing process.

Dairy Cattle

Dairy cattle are a valuable commodity because they produce milk that can be consumed as a drink or used to make other dairy products. According to the ERS, the average per capita consumption in the United States during 2004 was 21.2 gallons of milk, 31.3 pounds of cheese, and 26.4 pounds of frozen dairy products (mostly ice cream).

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reports in Charts and Maps: Milk Production and Milk Cows (February 17, 2006, http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Milk_Production_and_Milk_Cows/milkprod.asp) that dairy cows produced more than 175 trillion pounds of milk during 2005. The combination of factory farming, high-tech breeding, and modern medicine means that the average dairy cow produced three times as much milk in 2005 as did a cow in 1955. Milk production per cow increased by 19% between 1996 and 2005 alone. (See Figure 4.7.)

Even though some people assume that dairy cattle spend leisurely days in rolling fields of grass and are only occasionally milked, the reality is that dairy cows have become milk-producing machines. Most dairy cows live in small indoor stalls or are confined to large dirt pens called dry lots. To produce milk, the cows must have calves. Modern farmers keep dairy cows pregnant almost continuously, often through artificial insemination. They take the calves away from their mothers as soon as possible after birth to prevent the calves from drinking the valuable milk. Male calves and any cows that cease to produce milk are slaughtered for beef. Common health problems in dairy cows include mastitis (an udder infection) and lameness because of back and leg problems.

Many dairy cattle are given antibiotics and other drugs on a routine basis. One of the most controversial drugs is called bovine growth hormone (BGH). The Animal Protection Institute, in "Get the Facts: The Destructive Dairy Industry" (2007, http://www.api4animals.org/facts?p=373&more=1), indicates that BGH can increase by 25% the amount of milk that a cow can produce. Animal welfarists note that BGH enlarges cows' udders to such a degree that the cows suffer from spine and back problems and have difficulty keeping their udders from dragging in dirt and manure. The International Dairy Foods Association (November 2006, http://www.idfa.org/reg/biotech/rbst_idfa_position.cfm) states that BGH has been used in U.S. dairy herds since 1993 and that Americans have consumed billions of gallons of milk from BGH-supplemented cows. The IDFA reports that the milk has been deemed safe for human consumption "by the FDA, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the National Institutes of Health, the American Dietetic Association, Health Canada, and regulatory agencies in 50 countries." The use of BGH, which is also called bovine somatotropin, is banned in Europe and Canada because of its effects on cow health.

Another criticism of the factory farming of dairy cattle is that the cows spend long periods standing on hard surfaces. This includes concrete floors, metal gratings, and dirt-packed dry lots. Welfarists contend that this contributes to lameness problems in dairy cattle. Lameness is a major reason for cows to be culled (killed) during the raising process. Experts studying downed animals (those that cannot stand and walk because of injury or illness) arriving at slaughterhouses report that a large percentage of downers are dairy cows.

Veal is meat from young calves that are raised in a way that produces tender, light-colored flesh. This meat is highly prized for its pale color and delicate flavor. According to the American Veal Association (2004, http://www.vealfarm.com/industry-info/facts.asp), veal farmers purchase unwanted calves from the dairy industry (mostly male Holstein calves) and raise them to the desired weight.

The Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association (2005, http://www.veal.org/Content/Veal101Veal.aspx) explains that there are three main types of veal:

  • Special-fed veal calves are fed a nutritionally complete milk supplement until they reach eighteen to twenty weeks of age and typically weigh from 400 to 450 pounds. The meat is ivory or creamy pink, with a firm, fine, and velvety texture. Approximately 85% of the veal consumed in the United States is special-fed veal. This is the veal industry's premium product.
  • Bob veal calves are fed milk. They usually weigh less than 150 pounds and are approximately three weeks old when marketed. The meat has a light-pink color and a soft texture.
  • Grain-fed veal calves are initially fed milk and then receive a diet of grain, hay, and nutrition formulas. The meat tends to be darker in color and has additional marbling and often visible fat. Grain-fed veal calves are usually marketed at five to six months of age and weigh from 450 to 600 pounds.

THE CONTROVERSY

Veal production is harshly criticized by both animal rights supporters and welfarists. They view the early separation of calves from their mothers and the extremely confined conditions under which the calves live as inhumane. Some calves are kept in very narrow stalls or boxes that prevent them from turning around and are allowed no exercise that would help them build muscles. Also, critics accuse producers of feeding the calves diets that are extremely low in iron to prevent the flesh from darkening. This results in anemic calves that suffer from health problems and stress brought on by their living conditions. The British government has banned the use of veal crates that do not allow a calf to turn around and requires that calves be fed a diet containing sufficient iron and fiber.

American veal producers defend the use of individual stalls to raise their calves. They point out that this method reduces the spread of disease by preventing interaction among the calves. Each calf receives its own feed and does not have to compete with others for food. Also, each calf can receive individual attention to its nutrition and health needs. The American Veal Association claims that the stalls are designed so that calves "can comfortably lay in a natural position, stand up, groom themselves and interact with their neighbors."

In November 2006 Arizona voters passed a measure banning the use of confining crates for veal calves. It was the first state ban of its kind.

CONSUMPTION OF VEAL

Figure 4.8 shows annual consumption data for veal on a per capita basis. Americans consumed only 0.41 pounds of veal per person during 2004, down from a high of 8.4 pounds per person in 1944.

Cattle Slaughter

Cattle killed at federally inspected slaughterhouses are required by law to be killed humanely. In most plants the preferred method is use of a stun gun. Cattle are directed single-file through chutes that lead to the stunner. As each animal passes by, the stunner shoots a stun bolt into the animal's forehead to render it unconscious.

The animal is then hoisted up by one rear leg to hang from a bleed rail. At that time, its throat is cut so that the blood can drain out. Federal law requires that no animal fall into the blood of other slaughtered animals. This is why bloodletting is performed while the animal is suspended in the air. Following bloodletting, the animal moves down the line to a number of processing stations where the tail and hocks are cut off, the belly is cut open, and the hide is removed.

SPECIALLY DESIGNED METHODS

Temple Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University and a renowned expert on cattle handling and slaughter. She maintains a comprehensive Web site full of useful information on this subject at http://www.grandin.com. Grandin designed the systems in use at most U.S. slaughterhouses and has written many guidance documents for the American Meat Institute.

Grandin suffers from autism and says that this allows her to see the world "in pictures," as animals see it. She has published many books and articles on the proper design of livestock chute systems. For example, chutes must be curved to trick the animals into thinking they are going back to where they came. The chutes must have high walls to keep the animals from seeing what is going on around them. Each animal should only see the rear end of the animal in front of it as it walks toward the stunner.

Grandin's recommendations are designed to keep cattle moving efficiently and peacefully. This has both economic and welfare benefits. Cattle that balk (refuse to move ahead or try to go back down a chute) hold up production. Also, animals that panic are believed to release stress chemicals that taint their meat. Therefore, it is in the best interest of producers that their cattle remain calm in the slaughterhouse. Maintaining quiet and calm also leads to less stress for the animals, which is of importance to animal welfarists.

Grandin says that she is often asked if animals entering the slaughterhouse know they are about to die. She believes that the animals do not suspect their fate, because if they did, they would all balk and panic. She reports that cattle will calmly walk into restraining devices covered with the blood of other cattle, as long as the previous cattle were also calm. However, cattle will refuse to approach a location in which a stressed animal has been killed. Grandin believes that animals that become agitated for several minutes release fear pheromones that other animals can smell.

Grandin (June 2006, http://www.grandin.com/welfare.audit.using.haccp.html) has developed an audit procedure with which slaughterhouses can be graded on how well they meet AMI guidelines. The audit procedure centers on five main performance categories that can be graded numerically:

  • Stunning proficiency (the number of cattle stunned correctly on the first try)
  • Insensibility on the bleed rail (the number of cattle that are still breathing, moving their eyes or blinking, making sounds, or trying to lift themselves up)
  • Electric prod usage (the number of cattle that are prodded to keep them moving and the manner in which the prodding is performed)
  • Slipping and falling cattle (the number of cattle that slip and fall while they are being moved through the plant)
  • Vocalizing cattle (the number of cattle that moo, bellow, or make some other noise during handling and stunning)

In addition, the auditor assesses how the plant handles nonambulatory animals (downers), the condition of flooring and pens, truck unloading and handling procedures, the presence of drinking water in the pens, problems with overcrowding, and the general health condition of the cattle at the plant.

Grandin reports in "Survey of Stunning and Handling in Federally Inspected Beef, Veal, Pork, and Sheep Slaughter Plants (January 7, 1997, http://www.grandin.com/survey/usdarpt.html), an audit she did for the USDA in 1996 of ten federally inspected slaughterhouses in various states, that only three of the plants were able to stun at least 95% of the cattle with a single shot. She also describes problems with poor equipment maintenance, lack of management supervision, excessive use of electric prods, transport of downed animals with forklifts, and other such practices.

Grandin notes in "Corporations Can Be Agents of Great Improvements in Animal Welfare and Food Safety and the Need for Minimum Decent Standards" (April 4, 2001, http://www.grandin.com/welfare/corporation.agents.html) that in 1999 she was hired by McDonald's Corporation to audit the company's beef and pork suppliers for their compliance with the standards. She states that compliance greatly improved after McDonald's fired a supplier that failed the audit. For example, 90% of the plants audited after that firing were able to stun at least 95% of the cattle with a single shot. In addition, the use of electric prods was reduced or eliminated, and most abusive behavior by employees stopped.

Between 2001 and 2005 Grandin oversaw audits conducted for restaurants at dozens of beef and pork plants. The most recent audit findings are in the "2005 Restaurant Animal Welfare Audits of Federally Inspected Beef and Pork Slaughter Plants" (April 2, 2006, http://www.grandin.com/survey/2005.restaurant.audits.html). She reports that all the beef plants rendered 100% of their cattle insensible before the bleedline. More than half of the plants (55%) stunned 99% to 100% of their cattle on the first shot. The remaining plants stunned 95% to 98% on the first shot. Nearly a third of the beef plants received an "excellent" rating for their ability to move cattle through the plant using electric cattle rods on less than 5% of the cattle. Ten plants received an "acceptable" rating in this category, and one plant had a "very bad 61% electric prod score."

Grandin notes that better stunning technology and equipment maintenance have led to continuous improvements in the audits she has conducted over the years. She warns plants that they must have "zero tolerance" for hoisting, skinning, or cutting any animal showing any obvious signs of sensibility or even partial return to sensibility after stunning.

PROBLEMS WITH THE PROCESS?

Stories in the media since the late 1990s have exposed some problems with slaughterhouse procedures. In "'They Die Piece by Piece': In Overtaxed Plants, Humane Treatment of Cattle Is Often a Battle Lost" (Washington Post, April 10, 2001), Joby Warrick analyzed USDA records and conducted interviews with current and former slaughterhouse workers and federal inspectors. The workers, who made about $9 an hour, claimed to have seen many conscious cattle moving down the bleed rail.

A worker responsible for cutting off the cattle's hocks reported that dozens of conscious animals reached his station each day. He said the animals were blinking, moving, looking around, and making noises. Other workers also reported having to cut into living cattle. Workers in charge of stunning complained that the line moved so fast that they did not have time to do their job properly.

Warrick notes that the USDA had relaxed its oversight of slaughtering plants since 1998 and did not track the number of humane slaughter violations that occur each year. A records review, however, showed that inspectors found 527 violations in 1996 – 1997, including incidents in which "live animals were cut, skinned, or scalded."

Warrick reports that footage from hidden cameras at slaughterhouses show blinking cattle hanging from bleed rails. Other cattle twist, turn, and arch their backs as if trying to pull themselves upright. Footage also shows squealing hogs being lowered into the scalding water baths that are designed to soften the hides of dead animals. Industry officials claim that the videotaped incidents were staged by disgruntled employees and that unconscious animals kick and twitch by reflex.

Live animals on the bleed rail are a danger to line workers. According to Warrick, many workers are kicked by the animals and suffer broken bones and teeth. Although the line is supposed to be stopped when a conscious animal is detected, workers said that this does not happen.

Animal welfare activists say that the allegations made by Warrick are not unusual. They blame many of the problems on the extremely fast line speed at slaughterhouses and the use of low-paid workers. According to Warrick, most plants process around four hundred animals per hour. This figure has increased eightfold since the early 1900s.

Another major concern of welfarists relates to the problem of downed animals. Downed animals are primarily dairy cattle that collapse from illness, injury, or other causes. They are often tossed alive onto trash heaps, or dragged by chains or pushed by forklifts around stockyards and slaughterhouses. Animal welfare organizations consider processing of these animals inhumane and have tried unsuccessfully since the 1990s to achieve legislation called the Downed Animal Protection Act, which would require that critically ill or injured farm animals be humanely euthanized at the stockyards. In December 2003 a downer cow in Washington State tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease. This is an extremely serious disease in cattle. It has been linked to a similar fatal disease in humans believed to have eaten beef contaminated with BSE. The USDA promptly announced a ban on the processing of downer cattle for human consumption. However, the audit report Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program (January 2006, http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/50601-10-KC.pdf) by the USDA inspector general reports that twenty-nine downer cattle were slaughtered at two plants audited during fiscal year 2004.

RITUAL SLAUGHTER

The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act has exceptions for ritual slaughter — that is, slaughter conducted according to religious dictates. Ritual slaughter is practiced by some orthodox Jews and Muslims. Their teachings require that animals killed for food be moving and healthy when they are killed by having their throats slit. This was originally intended to ensure that sick animals were not eaten by humans. Meat from animals killed in this manner is said to be kosher in Jewish tradition and Halal in Muslim tradition. Regarding ritual slaughter, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act does require "simultaneous and instantaneous" cutting of the throat arteries "with a sharp instrument" to render the animal insensible (unconscious).

Animal welfarists complain that strict interpretation of the directives for ritual slaughter means that cattle are not stunned before being bled out. They may be jerked up to the bleed rail by a hind leg while still fully conscious. The jerking action can break the leg and tear apart joints, causing them severe pain. Their thrashing makes it more difficult for the cutter to cleanly cut their throats, which prolongs the entire process.

There are upright restraining devices that hold animals more humanely while their throats are being cut. The AMI strongly recommends the use of these devices, both for the welfare of the animals and the safety of the plant workers. Grandin and Gary C. Smith report in "Animal Welfare and Humane Slaughter" (November 2004, http://www.grandin.com/references/humane.slaughter.html) that throat cutting must be done precisely with a long, razor-sharp knife to induce "near-immediate collapse." Otherwise, the animal can remain conscious for more than a minute. Animals that struggle against their restraints or become agitated stay conscious the longest.

Singer states in Animal Liberation that critics of ritual slaughter are often accused of being racist or anti-Semitic. He points out that parts of ritually killed animals wind up on supermarket shelves and are purchased by people who may not be aware of how the animal was killed. This is because Jewish law requires the removal of the lymph nodes and sciatic nerve from cattle. Singer says that this is difficult to do efficiently on the hindquarters of cattle, so often only the front portion is sold as kosher. The hindquarters are processed and sold in usual commercial markets.

Donald G. McNeil Jr. reports in "Inquiry Finds Lax Federal Inspections at Kosher Meat Plant" (New York Times, March 10, 2006) on an animal welfare controversy involving the nation's largest kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa. In 2004 an undercover investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) captured video of cattle not being rendered unconscious by throat slitting. However, workers immediately used hooks to pull out the trachea and esophagus of each animal. This practice vastly speeds up the bleeding process. The video shows steers thrashing about for up to three minutes before passing out. According to the article the video's release spurred outrage among Jewish organizations around the world — outrage at PETA for allegedly being "anti-Semitic" and at the processing plant for causing animal suffering. The plant has reportedly altered its slaughtering procedures since the issue became public.

A resulting six-month investigation by the USDA found that its inspectors at the plant knew that the practice was going on but ignored it because they assumed the USDA had no say over ritual slaughter techniques. In addition, the inspectors had accepted free gifts of meat from employees at the slaughter plant. In response, the agency suspended one of the inspectors for two weeks and issued warning letters to two other inspectors. McNeil reports that PETA learned about the USDA investigation only after PETA obtained a copy of the USDA inspector general's report under the Freedom of Information Act.


Facts – Farm Animals

Each day approximately 160 million farm animals throughout the world are transported to a slaughterhouse.
– Farm Animal Rights Movement

The number of pigs reared for food each year in the United Kingdom is 10 million in the United States is 110 million in Europe excluding the United Kingdom is 300 million, and in China is 680 million.
– Compassion in World Farming

An average person living in a developed country who is not a vegetarian or vegan will consume approximately 7,000 animals during his or her lifetime.
– Vegetarian Calculator

Global meat production is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the trains, cars and airplanes in the world combined.
– United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Approximately 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights throughout the world each year.
– Humane Society International

More than nine billion farm animals were slaughtered in the United States last year.
– Humane Society of the United States

Approximately 25 million farm animals are slaughtered each day in the United States.
– Mercy for Animals

Approximately nine percent — more than 850 million — of the animals reared for food in the United States each year never make it to the slaughterhouse because they have already died from stress-induced disease or injury.
– Farm Animal Rights Movement

About nine million cows are being used for milk production in the United States at any given time.
– American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

In the United States, an estimated 2.2 million sheep and lambs and 1.5 million goats are slaughtered for meat every year. Sheep used for meat in the country are typically slaughtered when they are only six to eight months old because consumers prefer lamb.
– Farm Sanctuary

Approximately 450,000 calves are reared for veal in the United States each year.
– Compassion in World Farming

United States farm law requires most animals but not birds to be rendered insensible to pain before being slaughtered.
– Farm Sanctuary

Approximately 260 million male chicks are killed upon hatching in the United States each year — they will not lay eggs or be used for meat and therefore have no economic value.
– Farm Sanctuary

More than 400,000 animals died in fires on factory farms in the United States last year.
– Humane Society of the United States

Approximately 80,000 horses are trucked from the United States to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered for human consumption each year.
– American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

An average of 24 horses die each week on racetracks in the United States.
– CompassionWorks International

Farming and ranching are responsible for 68 percent of all species endangerment in the United States.
– United States Department of Agriculture

More than 330 million rabbits are farmed in tiny, barren cages across Europe each year.
– Compassion in World Farming

More than one billion rabbits are killed for their fur each year.
– People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Eighteen red foxes are killed to make one fox fur coat. Fifty-five minks are killed to make one mink fur coat.
– Compassionate Clothing Coalition

There are approximately 6,000 fur farms in the European Union.
– Four Paws

Approximately three million farm animals die while being transported in Canada every year.
– Canadian Food Inspection Agency

There are more than 17,000 dog-meat farms in South Korea.
– Humane Society of the United States

More than 10,000 bears are being kept on bile farms in China.
– Animals Asia Foundation

Approximately 3,000 silkworms are killed for every pound of silk produced.
– People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Most farm animals reared for meat are slaughtered while still less than one year old.

“Factory farm operators believe that the less Americans know about what goes on behind their closed doors, the better for the industry. That’s because the animals sent through those factories often endure an unimaginable amount of mistreatment and abuse."

- New York Times Editorial Board

There are many stores that sell only clothing not made with fur, leather or other animal products.

Animal Matters | 223 West 38 Street , New York , NY 10018 USA | Phone : 2128199604

Loose farm animals in NYC: A brief history

A bull escaped in Queens on Feb. 21, 2017. It was one of several farm animals to get loose in the city over the years. Photo Credit: Lianna Tarantin

Three goats, two sheep and a cow have all been rescued in the city this month, but they’re just the latest in a string of farm animals breaking loose in the five boroughs.

Animals that are definitely not house pets have been spotted on highways, on sidewalks and even on subway tracks.

Though it’s not always clear exactly where the animals come from, they are often escaping slaughterhouses, police have said.

Here’s a brief history of some of the farm animals running amok in the city.

A goat was found by teenagers near the Bronx Zoo, according to reports. After it was brought to Animal Care Centers of NYC by police, it was transferred to Farm Sanctuary in upstate Watkins Glen, ACC said.

A soaking wet sheep was found tied to a tree in Coney Island Creek Park in Brooklyn, the sanctuary that rescued him said. The animal was taken to Cornell University Nemo Farm Animal Hospital, representatives of Farm Sanctuary said.

The sheep was named Officer Cal, after one of the NYPD officers who rescued him from the park.

A loose calf was caught on the Major Deegan Expressway near Exit 6 in Highbridge, the Bronx, police said. The animal was named after the expressway and taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey. The calf, renamed Kristen, died of kidney failure on March 22, according to the sanctuary.

The same day the calf was rescued from the Major Deegan, a goat was found by construction workers after it escaped a Bronx slaughterhouse, Farm Sanctuary said. The workers brought the animal, later named Alondra, to Animal Care Centers of NYC and it was picked up by Tracey Stewart, Jon Stewart’s wife, who brought her to Farm Sanctuary.

Another goat was found roaming in the Bronx just days before Alondra, according to the Animal Care Centers of NYC. The NYPD caught the animal and it was taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

A lamb, later named Petunia, was spotted running on the eastbound lanes of the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, the NYPD said. The animal was rescued and taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

A pair of goats was caught grazing along N train tracks in Borough Park. The two “very baaaaad boys” were corralled by the MTA and the NYPD. Jon Stewart picked up the animals later and transferred them to Farm Sanctuary.

A brown calf was captured in the fields of Prospect Park Parade Ground after running through the streets of Brooklyn. The calf ran into a 2-year-old girl in a stroller, causing her to fall out and cut her lip, police said at the time.

The animal was taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

A black bull ran nearly two miles away from the slaughterhouse it escaped from in Queens. The animal died after it was corralled by police in the yard of a home in South Jamaica.

A black and white steer escaped a truck that was going to take it to a slaughterhouse in Queens. The NYPD caught the animal near York College in Jamaica, and it was picked up by Jon Stewart and his wife, who took it to Farm Sanctuary.

A black and white cow, named Freddie, escaped from a slaughterhouse in Queens and was caught in a parking garage in Jamaica. It was taken to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

A goat ran away from its home in Queens, the Daily News reported. After almost being hit by a car, it was caught by police and returned to the owner, according to the report.


Method for Gene Transfer in Animals

The most common method for producing transgenic animals is gene transfer by DNA microinjection, which involves the following steps:

DNA containing the desired transgene is identified and cloned (copied tens of thousands of times in bacteria) before insertion into the animal host.

The host animals (cows, pigs, or sheep) are induced to superovulate and their eggs are collected.

The eggs are fertilized in a laboratory dish.

Using a fine, hollow needle, a solution of DNA containing the transgene is injected into the male pronucleus of the fertilized egg (the nucleus of the sperm cell that entered the egg) before it fuses with the female pronucleus.

The transgenic embryos are grown in cell culture and then implanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother, where they complete their development.

Screening is performed to determine which of the offspring have inherited the transgene. The main drawback of DNA microinjection is its low success rate: only between 1 and 4 percent of microinjected eggs result in the live birth of a sheep, goat, or cow containing the transgene, and about 80 to 90 percent of transgenic embryos die during early development. 11


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