There's an unexpected danger to farming........
Yes, something wicked is gaining strength. It is the ignorant and self-righteous people who call themselves "animal lovers", "animal welfare people", "animal rights supporters". Many live in your town, and dangerously they are often your own neighbors. Dangerous that is, if you happen to be a farmer. Small livestock keepers are more and more frequently having their small farms searched and raided, and often their animals seized, because of some neighboring animal lover calls the authorities and claims animal abuse. The problem being..there often is no abuse or neglect occurring.
Too many of these self-proclaimed animal advocates know very little about animals and animal husbandry. They hold on to a fantasy ideal about animal welfare. I have personally dealt with these people for years through my work in veterinary medicine. Amazingly they seldom ever let reality get in the way of their beliefs.
Once again the claim of animal abuse is causing yet another small farmer to run afoul of the authorities. Livestock has been confiscated via flimsy evidence that stretches the term "animal abuse" to the limits of far outer space. And in this case, even an immediate veterinary exam and statement of good health did not stop the seizure. Totally insane Gestapo scenario, as far as I see it. If you're curious about this latest case, you can check the blog post http://fussylittleblog.com/2015/03/17/unexpected-dangers-of-farming/ , check Jon Katz's website at www,bedlamfarm.com , or check what Jenna has posted on her website at www.coldantlerfarm.com.
Every livestock owner believes it won't happen to them. And I you're influential, you produce for Tyson or Perdue, you're one of the big factory farms, then you're most likely right. But if you're a small farm with an animal advocate near by with a bee up it's butt, then you're in danger. Factory farms can get away with incredible cruelty, with whistleblowers now being prosecuted for bringing this cruelty to light. And while I believe true animal abuse needs to be stopped, the attack of small farmers where no abuse actually exists is escalating and getting out of hand.
The insanity of the animal rights movement is just that, insanity. Rational, sane thought is thrown out the window. Impassioned response rules, even though based upon illogical, uneducated, outright wrong information. Example.....a small farm was accused of animal neglect. Cited was the fact that numerous chickens in the flock had little to no feathers on their heads and necks. The flock was close to being confiscated and actually euthanized due to theorized disease (there was no facility able to take the flock) until the farmer was able to convince a judge that the hens were a breed called Turkens. They naturally have nude heads and necks. Luckily the farmer was able to show invoices proving the purchase of the hens. But it cost the farmer hundreds of dollars and days of frustration and worry, all over nothing. So what became of the hens? The farmer slaughtered all the Turkens because he feared future animal rights trouble. I'm sure those hens really appreciated the animal rights movement. Animal lovers directly caused the death of dozens of hens, the very ones they were "saving".
Small homesteaders, like me, have to be aware of these animal advocates and take steps to protect their livestock and lifestyle. While I can never condone animal neglect, abuse, or cruelty, I know that I will not be immune if some animal loving wacko drives by and thinks my horse "looks sad".