Mu Shu was just four pounds and four weeks old when she fell off a livestock truck in Kansas and was picked up off the highway and taken home by the owner of Hunter, a yellow Lab.
That was in April, and Hunter would go on to become best friends with the piglet who, before bouncing off the truck, was likely destined for a growing farm and a future as ham.
Stacie Tonn picked the unconscious pig up off U.S. Highway 50, and with help from her veterinarian husband, Shane, their four daughters and Hunter, nursed Mu Shu back to health.
Hunter licked and nudged the injured piglet, and helped her get around when she regained consciousness. Left blinded — only temporarily — by the accident, the piglet would sniff Hunter out and follow him around, curling up with him for naps, according to Kansas.com.
But she still gets together with Hunter, who visits her once or twice a month.
“She still knows the sound of my truck. When I pull up to her pen, she will pop out with excitement. She knows she’s going to get snacks,” Stacie Tonn said.
Walton Rural Life Center serves 167 students, from kindergarten to fourth grade, and students are responsible for feeding Mu Shu and the other animals and maintaining their pens.
“Pigs are our biggest project,” said kindergarten teacher Rhonda Roux. “If she stays healthy, we are thinking of breeding her and having a litter of piglets.”
As for Hunter, he doesn’t seem intimidated in the least by Mu Shu’s girth, or how she so quickly passed him in size since the days he was licking her motionless body.
“She had a lot of bruising and was pretty unresponsive … Neither one of us thought she would live past 48 hours,” Shane Tonn told Kansas.com in an earlier story
You can see a video of Hunter playing with Mu Shu, when she was still a piglet, here.
(Top photo, taken in April, by Mike Hutmacher / Kansas.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, children, dogs, education, farming, friends, highway, hunter, livestock, mu shu, nursed, pets, pig, piglet, road, school, shane tonn, stacie tonn, students, truck, unlikely friends, walton rural life center, yellow lab
But that’s what’s ahead in the UK, where the Food Standards Agency has approved the sale of food from the offspring of cloned animals, including meat and milk.
The policy brings the UK more in line with the U.S., where we’ve also gone from wondering where’s the beef to what’s the beef.
The agency’s decision is in line with government policy in the UK, which supports clone farming and clone food without labels, even though research shows eight in ten shoppers oppose the cloning of farm livestock, the Daily Mail reported.
A little more than a decade into the 21st Century, the day has come when you can have a clone not just in your doghouse, but in your evening meal as well.
Both have come to pass — and operate virtually unregulated in the case of the former – despite polls showing the majority of the public is opposed to cloning, be it for purposes of creating pets or farm animals.
As related in “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend,” pet cloning became a reality alongside the cloning of livestock — in fact, the first successful clonings of several species of farm animals came about in the pursuit to clone a dog.
After Snuppy, the first dog clone, was created in South Korea, dog cloning became a business, producing for customers copies of everything from Tibetan mastiffs to Labrador retrievers, from Pekingese to pit bulls, and loads of beagles destined for lives as laboratory dogs.
In the UK, defenders of the practice of cloning livestock argue that the offspring of clones are the same as farm animals produced through conventional breeding. They claim existing animal cruelty laws are sufficient to deal with any problems or concerns that arise. Both arguments have been made by pet cloning companies as well.
Accidentally oversized animals, while a concern to pet cloners, are not so much an issue on the agricultural side, where creating supersized animals is a goal, and would further boost profits.
The Daily Mail says supporters of the sale of food from clone offspring include Dairy UK, which represents the country’s biggest milk and cheese producers, the Food and Drink Federation, which speaks for manufacturers, and the British Meat Processors Association.
But, as in the U.S., some outlets — Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, the Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose among them — have responded to customer concerns by pledging not to use meat or milk from clone offspring in their products.
The FSA, which had argued that meat and milk from the offspring of clones would have to be studied to ensure it was safe, now concludes that there is “currently no evidence” that food from cloned farm animals and their descendants poses a safety risk.
At least 100 clone offspring cattle are being reared on farms in the UK.
As for concerns about ethics and cruelty to animals, the FSA said that’s not its department. Instead, that falls under the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which has ruled in favor of cloning.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer group Which?, described the FSA decision as “a disappointment for the eight in ten people who don’t want to eat cloned food.”
“It’s vital that the FSA and the Government respect people’s desire to know what they’re eating and control the use of cloning technology in food. As well as an approval process, we want to see a tracking system and clear labelling of these goods on the supermarket shelf.’
Emma Hockridge, head of policy at the Soil Association, which supports organic farming, animal welfare and consumer choice, also has a beef with cloning: “Not only are there insufficient long-term studies into the impacts on human health, cloning is cruel and damaging to animal welfare at all stages of the process,” she said.
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has declared meat and milk from cloned animals safe to eat, admitted that it is probably already in our food supply and has taken no steps to require it to be labeled as such.
In other words, it’s entirely possible that– no matter what your stand is on the issue — you’ve dined on clone.
I’m not sure who knows best, the governments or the people. But sometimes I wonder if our beefed-up brave new world should be a little more chicken.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animal welfare, brave new world, britain, chicken, clone, cloned, clones, cloning, dog inc., dogs, farm animals, farming, fda, food, food and drug administration, food standards agency, fsa, government, health, labels, livestock, meat, milk, pets, policy, science, uk
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have agreed to head up a coalition of groups to address the needs of animals in Haiti following the earthquake that devastated the country.
In addition to the massive humanitarian crisis, there are an estimated 5 million head of livestock in the country (mostly goats), a large stray dog population, an untold number of companion animals, and native wildlife all adversely affected by the earthquake, according to an IFAW press release.
“This is a massive challenge and animal non-profits need to cooperate as much as possible,” said Ian Robinson, IFAW’s Emergency Relief Director. “We’re already concerned about a possible outbreak of rabies, leptospirosis, or another zoonotic disease. We need to set up vaccination and feeding programs as soon as possible. Finally, we need to get acute, critical care to the animals that need it most. There’s a lot to do. More than we can do alone.”
Currently, a team is staging in the Dominican Republic waiting to get into Haiti to begin work. IFAW and WSPA have also begun to stock a mobile clinic with vaccines, antibiotics, bandages, food, and other supplies in anticipation of bringing direct aid to animals.
“We’re not certain exactly what we’ll be doing, when we’ll start, or what challenges we’ll face,” said Robinson. “But we know a few things: we’re prepared, we’ve set up a system to work together with other groups, and, given the scale of this disaster, we know we’ll be there a long time.”
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) saves animals in crisis around the world. Headquartered in the United States, it has representation in 15 countries and 1.2 million supporters around the world.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, disaster, disease, dogs, earthquake, emergency, goats, haiti, ifaw, international fund for animal welfare, livestock, pets, rabies, stray dogs, wildlife, world society for the protection of animals, wspa
A New York dog may have been executed for a crime he didn’t commit.
Suspected in the death of six alpacas at a neighboring farm in Forestburgh, Nubis, a Belgian malinois, was shot by an employee at the farm — five days after the alpacas were found dead.
Now, a report issued by an animal control officer says there’s no evidence connecting Nubis to the alpaca attack.
The dog belonged to Ben Wechsler, neighbor of Stuart Salenger, who owns the farm. The two men have a history of not getting along, according to the Times Herald-Record.
Animal Control Officer Arnold Burger said the likely culprits in the slaying of Salenger’s animals were coyotes, not dogs, and that photographs provided by Salenger are insufficient evidence to confirm the dog was shot in the alpaca pen. The photos show the dog’s body in two locations, he said. Salenger said his farm workers removed the dog from the pen because the body was bothering his animals.
(Photo courtesy of Peter K. Bertine, Jr.)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alpaca, animal control, animals, arnold burger, attack, belgian malinois, ben wechsler, dog, executed, farm, forestburgh, innocent, killed, livestock, new york, nubis, pets, shot, stuart salenger
SPCA investigators in Philadelphia found the remains of dozens of animals when they responded to a report of a dogs living inside a house in unsanitary conditions.
The animals, found inside a house on North Front Street, had apparently been sacrificed in religious rituals.
“The whole house was covered in feathers from chickens that had been sacrificed,” said George Bengal, director of law enforcement of the Pennsyvlania SPCA. There were also skeletons of what were possibly other farm animals, and what appeared to be skeletons of dogs, cats and possibly primates, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
Bengal said a blood-spattered altar had been set up in the house. Candles were burning and music was playing when investigators arrived. Two dogs were found alive, according to Bengal.
On Sunday, Pennsylvania SPCA officers used a warrant to search the property after receiving a tip that two emaciated dogs were being kept at the house.
They found, and removed, the dogs, but only after confronting an elaborate altar and the bones of possibly several hundred animals that had been killed, apparently as part of Santeria – a combination of African religions and Catholicism that originated among slaves in the Caribbean, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported today.
The officers also found what appeared to be the remains of small monkeys.
Bengal said the man who lived at the house and is suspected of performing many of the killings is believed to be in Mexico. His wife , who may still be in the city, is being sought for questioning.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: altar, animal, bones, candles, chickens, dogs, farm animals, george bengal, house, livestock, philadelphia, remains, sacrifice, sacrificed, santeria, spca
Anne Arundel County Police shot and killed three pit bulls Monday night after the dogs were reported to be attacking livestock.
The dogs were among five that were reported to have been injuring goats and sheep in a fenced area on the 1600 block of Bay Head Road in Annapolis, WBAL-TV reported. Three dogs were still attacking livestock when police arrived Monday night.
“Fearing for their safety and the safety of the remaining livestock, officers located and shot three pit bulls,” police said in a press release.
None of the dogs had collars, microchips or other forms of identification.
In total, five sheep were killed, including two that had to be euthanized due to the extent of their injuries and a third that was shot by police to end its suffering. Four goats were injured during the attack.
Police said the dogs were owned by Richard Watts, 51. He was issued six citations — three for animals running at large and three for public safety threats.
“This was a very tragic incident as several animals died as a result of this attack,” said County Executive John R. Leopold. “I urge all pet owners to keep their pets on leashes and properly secure them from running loose and becoming a threat to public safety.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: annapolis, anne arundel county, attacked, citations, cited, dogs, goats, killed, livestock, maryland, owner, pit bulls, pitbulls, police, richard watts, sheep, shot
Another book has come out that makes the case for eating our dogs.
On the heels of “Time to Eat the Dog,” by New Zealand professors Brenda and Robert Vale, who admit their title is mostly a shock tactic and who don’t actually propose consuming our pets, comes Jonathan Safran Foer with “Eating Animals,” who says eating our dogs would be no more barbaric than our consumption of pigs, cattle, chickens, etc.
For Foer, interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday, the idea of consuming dogs makes even more sense, on some levels, than eating animals raised to be food.
“For the ecologically-minded,” he writes, “it’s time to admit that dog is realistic food for realistic environmentalists.” That last part sounds almost like an advertising slogan, doesn’t it?
Foer’s book was also excerpted in the Wall Street Journal last week, so it’s probably OK if we cut off and chew on a little piece of it here:
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: books, books on dogs, brenda vale, cattle, chicken, consumption, dog, dogs, eating animals, eating dogs, environmental. ecology, factory, farming, foer, humans, jonathan safran foer, livestock, meat, pigs, robert vale, time to eat the dog, vegetarian, vegetarianism
Roaming dogs and cats could be considered “invasive species” under the wording of a bill now being considered by the Texas legislature
The bill, SB 691, is intended to control, prevent and eradicate “invasive species” that threaten the economy, the environment or human health. But the language of the bill is so vague that dogs and cats could fall under it, leading to them being impounded or killed, according to the Texas Humane Legislation Network.
While the bill makes clear that livestock are exempted, it does not exempt dogs and cats.
The bill is now before the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs. THLN is urging citizens to contact committee members, requesting that dogs and cats be exempted from the law. To learn how to do that keep reading. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek April 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, alert, bill, cats, dogs, eradicate, invasive species, law, legislature, livestock, rural affairs, sb 691, senate committee, texas, texas humane legislation network, wording
The otherwise dog-friendly state of Washington is working to remove two embarassingly unfriendly laws from its books, both of which require wandering dogs to be shot.
The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday that could repeal both, the Associated Press reported.
“I thought it was a joke. I didn’t realize that this was in statute,” said Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, sponsor of the measure to repeal the old laws. “It’s very outdated … they need to go.”
One of the laws in question gives dog owners 48 hours to kill their dog if it is found killing another animal. The other law requires sheriffs to kill any dog running at large without a metal dog tag, between the months of August and February.
The measure now moves to the House for consideration. The laws have been on the books since the early 1900s when the health and welfare of livestock was of greater concern to state residents.
My amazing eight days in Seoul — which I’ll tell you a thing or two about in the days ahead – are over, and I’m almost home.
One more flight to go, from San Francisco to Baltimore, and that’s not for another few hours, giving me time to sit in the airport and reflect on things such as why we humans transport ourselves much like we transport our livestock.
Why is it those in charge of moving us non-grade A/non-first-class humans from one place to another feel we must be cramped and sweaty, packed in like these pick-up truck pigs I snapped a picture of in Yongin, about 40 miles south of Seoul.
Sure, we humans get beverage service, and perhaps headsets to listen to music, and reclining seats, but other than that — and the fact that we’re not slaughtered when we reach our destination — the experiences have some parallels. And if we were to look at subways, there’d be even more.
Subways are cheap and fast and, as crowded as those in Seoul could get, I never found myself resentful about feeling like part of the herd. With airline travel, because of the hefty cost and all the extra hassles, I’m more likely to oink about it.
I wonder if it might send a message if we all took to mooing and squealing as we trudged through the line on our way through the airport security chute. Or should we just be thankful that they don’t use cattle prods to speed us along?
Granted, the average economy airline seat offers more room than these pigs get — but not much more, especially if the passenger in front of you has his seat fully reclined.
Fortunately, I slept through most of my last 10 airplane-seat hours — and I hope to do the same for most of the upcoming six. It’s not exactly quality sleep, what with some stranger’s elbow in your side, but it makes the time go by, and allows you to recover from the treatment you’ve just received from the security wranglers.
I think that’s why, even when one sleeps for the entire journey, one is still exhausted upon arriving home — the stress and cramped conditions of air travel. Still, I’m grateful for this much:
When I get to my final destination I might be toast. But at least I won’t be bacon.