Friday, August 06, 2004

Your E-Mails are Needed Now
Amendments to New Jersey Humane Standards under Heavy Fire
Activists Campaign for Frivolous Lawsuits and Against Animal Well-Being

In 2003, New Jersey adopted humane standards for farm animals that were supported by the agriculture community. In early 2004, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture proposed amendments to further clarify the standards benefiting animals, farmers and consumers. These amendments, and the original legislation, have come under heavy fire from New York-based Farm Sanctuary and other animal rights activists.

The item is so high on the activist organization’s priority list that it appears as the second clickable item on the former Animal Liberation Front “spokesgroup’s” website. On the page meant to address the standards, Farm Sanctuary rails against veal production, forced molting for layers and using gestation crates for sows, but the fanatical group does not address one specific objection to an amendment.

The extremist organization has targeted these amendments because the clarifications made in the amendments would help farmers avoid frivolous lawsuits. Ironically, the amendments the Farm Sanctuary is fighting against would also benefit animals.

The fanatical group’s actions have raised questions. Does the group value lawsuits more than animal well-being? What state will the group target next? Is Farm Sanctuary violating its tax-exempt status by spending an inordinate amount of its contributions on lobbying?
The Farm Sanctuary campaign has resulted in thousands of letters against the amendments coming from all corners of the USA and all over the world. The Animal Agriculture Alliance has sent an e-mail to the New Jersey State Veterinarian supporting the amendments. The Alliance encourages all its members to write e-mails or letters expressing their support for the amendments to thwart dangerous precedents being set.

The commentary period ends August 6, 2004. A copy of the Alliance’s e-mail to the New Jersey State Veterinarian is attached. Please modify it and e-mail your version to A copy of the Alliance’s July 23, 2004 Action Alert and its e-mail is available in the members section of the Alliance website at To view the proposed rule amendments visit If you have any questions, please contact Philip Lobo at

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Your article struck a nerve.

I farm. I am not totally opposed to DRA. People who have lived in a farm setting for 30 or 40 years, certainly have the right to a vote. When you speak of the dairy farms, you never speak of the numbers of cattle, the environmental impact and if it is corporate farming?

All you have to do is drive through Iowa; three miles out, of a hog unit, you can begin to smell the stinch.

I farm; we had 100 sows, 50 beef cows/calf operation. Small, yes. But, very much "putting the human element back into food"; as you put it. I am not sure what your argument is. People should have a say,what is constructed in their backyard, whether its local people or out of state people, doesn't matter.

With a dairy operation, or hog units, or turkey farms, or whatever, this is an environmental impact. It isn't the same thing, as when someone moves into town, and sets up a grocery store. The "farms" impact the area environmentally; the grocery store is a service, you can either buy there or not buy there. South Dakota is so rural. Every corporate industry would love to use it as a dump site. Nebraska had to fight to retain its land from a proposed dump site. Some years back, a company wanted to move in and mine uranium. We need to have a say in what happens in our neighborhood, it is the land of the free and the brave. South Dakota laws are pretty liberal, compared to some states. Our taxes, no state income tax, no personal property tax, is very inviting, not to mention our low paying labor laws.

There is still plenty of opportunity, with respect to others.

Marilyn Kokesh
Who Produces your Food?

I was severly dismayed at the the action taken by the Brookings County Commision last night were we saw emotion and rhetoric win out oversound science and logic in a special exemption request for a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.

My question is how can ordinary citizens be more knowledgeable onlivestock emmisions, water quality and manure management than the South Dakota Department of Natural Resources and industry professionals? What good are regualtions and ordinances when decisions are made on a whim foremotional and political reasons? I doubt the Brookings police would stop anindividual for going the speed limit and taking extra precatution in asensitive area such as a school zone. Then why would a county commisiondeny a request when all regulations and ordinances are met or exceeded?

South Dakota is an agricultural state. The largest business in thestate far and wide is agriculture. The production of food and fiber. The reason people have time and energy to worry about property values, traffic issues and how much rain constitutes a 100 year event is because we have the safest most abundant food supply in the world. We spend the least amount onfood per capita than any developed nation in the world. If we think we havea crisis depending on foreign nations for our energy needs, take a moment and think what it would be like to be at the mercy of those same countriesfor 65% of our countries nutritional needs.

If we continue to stiffle animal agriculture in the fashion witnessed last night, the 'backyard' where the new dairy is placed will not be yours and will very possibly be outside the United States borders.

Tim Bickett
Winfred SD