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News Bribery scandal sparks animal welfare debate

thomas

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This is how poultry should be kept:

poultry01.jpg

A chicken farm in the US (photo credit: Reuters)

And this is how chicken have been kept for decades in Japan:

poultry02.jpg


And here's why:

¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥


If it was up to Japan's poultry industry these miserable conditions would be preserved for decades to come. The bribery scandal involving the former Minister of Agriculture, Takamori Yoshikawa, could stir a renewed debate about animal welfare: "A recent graft scandal involving a former agricultural minister has catapulted the issue of animal welfare into the spotlight, illustrating the great lengths to which the nation’s poultry industry went to preserve its decades-old yet globally criticized practise of confining egg-laying hens in small cages. Ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Takamori Yoshikawa is in hot water amid allegations that he received ¥5 million in undeclared donations from a former head of Akita Foods Co. - a poultry giant based in Hiroshima Prefecture - several times during his stint as farm minister from October 2018 to September 2019. The donations to Yoshikawa coincided with growing international calls for animal welfare that many domestic farmers at the time saw as incompatible with, and even as an existential threat to, Japan’s poultry businesses."

Conventional battery cages often involve multiple hens being packed into a small wire cage, where they are unable to move around or extend their wings. The European Food Safety Authority has stated that these housing systems leave hens susceptible to disease, bone breakage and harmful pecking. The global trend is now increasingly toward abolishing them. The most prominent turning point in recent years was a full-fledged ban on battery cages put in place by the European Union in 2012. With the ban, many farmers in the EU have transitioned to so-called enriched cages that allow space for perches and nesting boxes. In a greater stride toward animal welfare, there has even been a growing shift in and beyond the EU toward fully parting with cages, with more and more farmers opting for free range or barn rearing systems.


The fallout from the scandal continued to grow Tuesday when Koya Nishikawa, also a former farm minister, suddenly resigned as a special Cabinet adviser amid criticism over his own intimate ties with Akita Foods.

 

Uncle Frank

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Years ago we had large chicken farms with the cages here in Maine. The owner was forced to close the farms and move out of state. Even worse than the chicken treatment , he used illegal aliens and had them living in horrible conditions. The things people do for money & power make you wonder about humanity.
 

tomoni

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Hello Thomas:

While the bribery scandal is a separate and concerning item, you first photo is a bit misleading in that it suggest that caged chicken production in the US does not exist, when in fact it has been the norm. There has been a movement to ban cages for all layers raised in the US. However, currently, "the vast majority of egg-laying hens in the United States are confined in battery cages." (Cage-free vs. battery-cage eggs)


I am not sure about broilers (Putting the campaign to help broiler chickens on the front burner) but it tends to show a similar trend, BUT these steps are not in place yet.

From an "trade site" - very interesting perspective for broiler chikens

The current thinking is that consumers won’t accept cage use for raising broilers, but if the bird is only in the cage for five weeks, will consumers care? If five weeks is too long, what about some future date where birds are marketed at 28 days of age?


And a key and interesting point:
There are several major advantages of caging (from a cost performance/production point of view)



Cheers
 

Lothor

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Hello Thomas:

While the bribery scandal is a separate and concerning item, you first photo is a bit misleading in that it suggest that caged chicken production in the US does not exist, when in fact it has been the norm. There has been a movement to ban cages for all layers raised in the US. However, currently, "the vast majority of egg-laying hens in the United States are confined in battery cages." (Cage-free vs. battery-cage eggs)


I am not sure about broilers (Putting the campaign to help broiler chickens on the front burner) but it tends to show a similar trend, BUT these steps are not in place yet.

From an "trade site" - very interesting perspective for broiler chikens

The current thinking is that consumers won’t accept cage use for raising broilers, but if the bird is only in the cage for five weeks, will consumers care? If five weeks is too long, what about some future date where birds are marketed at 28 days of age?


And a key and interesting point:
There are several major advantages of caging (from a cost performance/production point of view)



Cheers
Well, there are obviously advantages of battery hens in terms of performance or they wouldn't have been widely adopted, but I'd like to think that we can move beyond such thinking into animal welfare, and only one of the advantages - reduced disease - addressed that.
 

tomoni

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Hi Lother,

No disagreement there. In fact, I think the ethical production (which is what it is- we should call it what it is IMO- If you are want to eat meat, you should not couch you habits in euphemisms - be it organically raised, and free range... - Remember, they still end up in the pot)

But I digress (FIY- I eat meat)

but better production would raise prices - a good thing- and make more opportunities for other [protein sources, including insects, lab produced food, vegetarian alternatives, etc.)

The state of meat production is appalling in general to which I was addressing my previous post.

Cheerts
 

Lothor

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The state of meat production is appalling in general to which I was addressing my previous post.

Cheers
I'm also hoping that meat through cell growth and increasingly sophisticated meat substitutes will make intensive animal farming a thing of the past very soon. FYI - I gave up meat a year ago, though still eat fish and dairy but would like to cut down on those too.
 
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thomas

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I'm also hoping that meat through cell growth and increasingly sophisticated meat substitutes will make intensive animal farming a thing of the past very soon. FYI - I gave up meat a year ago, though still eat fish and dairy but would like to cut down on those too.

I have always wondered whether people working in or profiting from the meat industry can sleep well at night.

Anyhow, hats off to you, Lothor. Does your family support you on your path to vegetarianism?
 

Lothor

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My wife instinctively feels like a meal isn't a proper meal without dead flesh but she's not grumbled much. These days, working from home, I do almost all my own cooking and my wife cooks meat for her and the boys when she gets in from work. My older son thinks I'm weird. He also doesn't get the not eating meat!
 
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thomas

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Share this with your son:



I love the "In a nutshell" series of videos.
 
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