let's talk farm animals

Don’t Be Fooled. Science Is Always Politicized

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This is an interesting perspective on science and politics.  There are lots of parallels between the misconceptions and debates around climate change and those around animal welfare - OFAC.

By Ronald L. Doering

In spite of the media treatment of them, there is nothing that is surprising about the now famous Climategate emails. Surprise could only come from a misunderstanding of the relationship between science, policy and politics. Of course the emails reveal that the climate scientists were affected by policy and political considerations. They had to be. Science, policy and politics are inextricably intertwined. What is surprising is how much our public discourse is still dominated by the quaint utopian view that science and policy can be strictly separated.


Posted by FFC on January 22nd, 2010 :: Filed under Activism,Regulations,Research
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Look for snow on cattle’s backs

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At Farm Animal Councils across Canada, we frequently get calls from people driving by farm properties asking questions about the farm animals they see living in the fields. One common theme of questions we receive this time of the year is about animal housing in the winter - specifically, can cattle live outdoors in the winter. This article does a great job of answering that question - OFAC

Chatham Daily News, Friday, January 15

Look for snow on cattle’s backs
Posted 8 hours ago
As the winter season is here in Chatham-Kent, let’s look at cattle being left outside during these cold months. For this article, the words cattle, cows, herd, and livestock all mean the same thing. I would like to thank Mike and Joanne Buis of Buis Beef here in Chatham-Kent for their assistance in writing this article.

Like all mammals, cows are warm-blooded and need to maintain a constant core body temperature. Special management and planning is required for cattle to graze outdoors in the winter. For this to be successful, producers select the proper breed of cattle and create the proper conditions for the winter season.


Posted by FFC on January 18th, 2010 :: Filed under Animal care,Beef cattle,Canada
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Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada

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Posted by AFAC - Promoting the humane handling of horses throughout all their life stages.

Statement of Purpose: The communication of correct information related to the Canadian horse industry to horse owners and the general public.

Visit horsewelfare.ca for information.


Posted by Farm and Food Care on January 8th, 2010 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Horses: Wintering Well

Posted by AFAC - We’ve had a few successive “soft” winters, but this year we’re starting off with what’s looking like one of the old fashioned kind. November has been overcast, blustery, quite cool, and we have nearly two feet (60 cm. plus) of snow on the level in our neck of the woods. Good sleighing - poor trucking!

Recollecting life on the homestead in northeast Saskatchewan in the early 1940’s, I remember bands of horses ranging free in winter, travelling through the yard, and on to the stubble fields or next hay meadow. In the spring, “winter lumberjacks” would become “summer stubble jumpers“, catching up and laying claim to an outfit for seeding, haying, bindering, stook threshing, perhaps hauling wood, before turning the horses loose, and themselves heading back to the winter bush camps. We had our feed stacks fenced in next to the barn, protected and handy for Mom and her wee boys to feed our own stock, horses haltered and housed, handled and hitched every day. Quite a contrast, but those running out and those stabled in all seemed to prosper! I’m recounting this because it seems we are now in an age of “free expression” on standards of equine care. “Those who think they know may be a source of some annoyance to those of you who do!”


Posted by Farm and Food Care on January 8th, 2010 :: Filed under Farm life,Horses,Uncategorized

Animals aren’t 4-legged people

January 6, 2021 - Happy New Year to the readers of this blog. This article was printed in the Toronto Star over the holiday season and we think this columnist got the issue exactly right. Farm animals aren’t pets and they definitely aren’t 4-legged people. And, with only 1 in every 46 Canadians now actively farming, there is a huge disconnect between farmers and consumers. Enjoy the read - OFAC

The annoying tendency to anthropomorphize animals is likely from our lost connection to rural life

by Connie Woodcock, Out There

Toronto Sun, December 20, 2020

When I was a little girl, I fell in love with a series of books about a pig named Freddy and his barnyard friends on the Bean farm in New York State.

I read every one of the 26 books available in my library over and over. I can remember peering at a New York road map in search of fictional Centerboro, the town supposedly nearest Freddy and his friends.

Written between the 1920s and 1950s, the Freddy books disappeared for a while but they were republished a few years ago and there’s even an association called The Friends of Freddy with its own website. I’ve bought several Freddy reprints and reread them still.

I mention this because much as I loved Freddy, Mrs, Wiggins the cow, Hank the horse with rheumatism in his hind leg, and Charles the henpecked rooster, we all grow up and realize there’s no such thing as a talking animal. At least, most of us do.


Posted by FFC on January 6th, 2010 :: Filed under Activism,Canada,Consumers,Education and public awareness,Farm life,Sustainability of the family farm
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