Friday, May 29, 2009

Think Safe, Work Safe, Play Safe

I, along with my furry sidekick Feathers, attended and presented at the annual Safety Day in Altona.  It is geared towards kids and being safe on the farm mostly - equipment to animals and everything in between.  It got me thinking how much we have to teach people about being safe (yes, that includes our farmers! or sometimes especially our farmers)...and I wanted to share some links about safety and well being on the farm.

Farm Safety Program is a grant for farm families to build safe play areas for thier children or grand children. We have accessed this program and built a great safe place for our son and his friends.  You must check it out...pass it along and share!

Manitoba Farmers With Disabilities is a great organization to help educate farmers and farm families about safety and to help farmers return to their vocation after an accident.  Neil has a great story to share too!

Safe Manitoba is a great group that does a lot to educate Manitoban's (and everyone) about safety. Their farm safety resources are excellent and get the point across. Worth looking at and sharing.

Great resources for your mental health, and some great folks to talk to when you need a trained ear of someone who knows farming and understands the stress that is farming.  Call or email - reach out someone is there for you! Promise...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let's talk turkey...and welfare...

When video comes out like that is linked below, there are no excuses or rationals that can explain away what a viewer sees. Without even a need for context, anyone can tell that something isn't right in this video.  And the Canadian's for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals would like you to lobby for change by the company, to the CFIA and through legislation.  

Noble goals for welfare but as always the question arises - did anyone do anything about the abuses or questionable practices they were seeing while making their video? Did they make a call, which in Manitoba would go directly to a provincial Welfare Vet?  Did they raise a ruckus that day, or the next on the news? Uh, well, no.  The reason?  The more bad stuff you can pack into one report the more of an 'impact' you'll have.  Well, uh, no...not really...because people who can think, and do think, will ask what you did for THOSE ANIMALS on THAT DAY...and the answer would be NOTHING.  

No excuses for anyone either on the (mis)handling side nor on the videoing side - neither were holding the welfare of any animal to a higher standard that day or any before or after it.  The truly sad thing is a report like this will lose credibility with those who could affect change for the very reasons stated above - you didn't do anything when you could make a difference, so why should you be believed right now?

We should speak up for welfare, and many groups do just that on a daily basis for all animals - companion, farmed and research.  We need to speak out for those without a voice regardless of what animal they are - but we should not wait to compile a report or make a political statement or do something that will catch the eye of the media. We need to pick up the phone and make a call to show that we care - right here, right now. 

As much as I hate the anamorphisic attitude that animals are people in animal suits, I have to ask - if it was your child being thrown onto a school bus would you video it and make a report about school bus abuse when they graduate or would you be calling right there, right then?  The latter I would fervently hope and pray...and would you not do the same for any other child, senior or person, pet or creature?  So WHY NOT for a farm animal?  Think about that...and next time you have a chance make the call!

Manitoba's Animal Care Act (There are provincial and federal statutes to Google - get busy!)

Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Animal Transportation Regulations

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week Enders

It was a short work week for us Canucks, and a long weekend ahead for our US friends but from the links below you'll see for some it was a busy week!  More later, have to get to work on some other items for the 'to-do' list!

HSUS Sets Sights On Ohio

Gateway to Animal Welfare - from the U.N. 
(Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

USDA Faces Farmer Concerns in Texas

Nova Scotia and other Canadian Provinces Rank High

Cow Injured in Knife Attack (true!)

NZ Minister Orders Review of Welfare Code for Pigs

TO Chemist Says "Regulate Farm Populations"

Alberta Farmer: Cull Entire Herd, Help Industry