The Goat Chronicles – July 5, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Goat War in review

My husband and I have lived for 35 years in the Bloomfield subdivision of Arcata. Our backyard abuts the “Gilardoni” pasture, which was the site of the recent Cypress Grove goat controversy. I was dismayed by the personal attacks and trivialization of our neighborhood’s concerns in Kevin Hoover’s June 22, 2011 editorial.

Kevin criticizes neighborhood organizers for using the term “Emmi” rather than “Cypress Grove.” However, it is Emmi, an international conglomerate, who owns Cypress Grove. Despite our admiration for Mary Keehn’s entrepreneurial success and the deliciousness of her cheese, we had no reason to expect that Emmi would care about the welfare of our Bloomfield neighborhood.

The confrontational environment at Cypress Grove’s June 13 neighborhood meeting, which Kevin hyperbolizes as “barbarity,” was due to a couple of factors. First, the goat plan, which would have had an unknown but probably enormous impact on our neighborhood, had been developed in secrecy. The neighbors learned about it through a grapevine of rumors as escrow was about to close. Inevitably some misinformation circulated. When, in response to public outcry, Cypress Grove finally held a meeting to brief the neighbors, it had already lost their trust.

Secondly, the neighbors were forced into confrontation at the June 13 meeting by inadequate county zoning regulations and a lack of democratic process. The pasture’s “general agriculture” designation, allowing almost any kind of agricultural activity, is inappropriate next door to a residential neighborhood. County Planner Steven Werner had already informed Cypress Grove that it was unlikely any use permit would be required. That would mean no environmental review and no public hearings before this large-scale project was approved. At the June 13 meeting, Cypress Grove admitted that it would seek to avoid the use permit.

It is my hope that some good will come from the “goat war” we have all endured. The agricultural element of our county’s general plan must be amended to assure that agriculture in the rural/urban interface is compatible with adjacent residential neighborhoods.

Sincerely,

Frances Ferguson

Arcata

Inaccurate and impossible

Kathleen Marshall’s Letter to the Editor “Recyling and Goats” (Eye, June 22) contains some misinformation.

Kathleen’s letter incorrectly states that a portion of Cypress Grove Chevre’s products are sourced from Denmark. Midnight Moon and Lambchopper are made in the Netherlands.

Kathleen also states that the standards of the third-party auditor Animal Welfare Approved (a division of the Animal Welfare Institute) are more rigorous than those of the Humane Society of the United States. The Humane Society does not have a farm animal auditing program that I am aware of and the published HSUS recommendation is for consumers to “reduce, refine and replace” their animal product consumption. Kathleen may have been confusing the HSUS with Humane Farm Animal Care, a third-party auditor endorsed by the ASPCA.

I would also like to point out that Animal Welfare Approved only certifies family farms. Recommending that a corporation follow standards designed for small family farms is asking for the impossible.

Ian Ray

Arcata

 

A sad and sorry affair

In reference to the goat issue in the Arcata Bottom area. I would like to respond by saying, what is wrong with people who listen to misinformation?

Cypress Grove Chevre would have been a great and honest neighbor. Plus a good addition to the community and learning experience to the school children.

I am saddened by the response of a few narrow-minded people that would threaten and be misled by others, and you know who you are. I applaud those who support bringing good business to the community.

Jobs would have been created, and you can be assured that Cypress Grove Chevre would have been a plus to the neighborhood.

I’m sorry Cypress Grove Chevre. Wish you would have tried harder. Remember it IS ag land.

Marla Daniels

Anderson

 

Short, brutish & thoughtless

We want to go on the record thanking you for your painfully excellent piece summing up the short, brutish and nasty public life of the proposed Cypress Grove Goat Dairy in Arcata.

Your analysis should be required reading for Arcata city staff, council and committee members. County level too.

One starts to wonder if an intervention style, anti-bullying program (as in the schools) should be offered to Arcata planners and citizens, prior to going forward with proposed new projects? The lack of spine shown from elected and professional leaders boggles the mind.

Especially appreciated your paragraph giving voice to the possibilities:

“…Better yet, they might have said, ‘This is an interesting project that could bring employment to Arcata and Humboldt, boost the local dairy industry and give Arcata more worldwide recognition for something other than marijuana. Plus it could bring the Arcata Bottoms’ agricultural legacy to life in an eco-smart 21st century way. Let’s find out if we can make it work for everyone.’”

We remember hearing about this possibility from Mary Keehn herself, many years ago. The dairy was a dream put off to the future until she could first get the factory built (at the old Creamline Dairy site) and up and running in Arcata, no small feat.

She and her company will do it, and they will do an amazing job of it, somewhere else… but Arcata, what were you thinking?

Chris and Gene Callahan

Arcata

Ag land is for agriculture

In reference to your piece, “Winning Dirty – The Goatbusters Defeated A Nightmare Of Their Own Imagining,” thank you for a very thorough review of a very sad story.

There’s an old saying: “You can’t save farmland without farmers.”

If we want to have Arcata surrounded by open farmland, with all the accompanying environmental and economic benefits, we have to let farmers do what farmers need to do to have viable businesses.

A little history: Back in the 1970s when I was serving on the Arcata City Council, this land was home to the Gilardoni family’s Creamline Dairy, which produced and processed, on site, local cream-top milk in returnable glass bottles, sold out of their little store in the barn on Q street. The cows that produced the milk were grass-fed on this site.

In support of this unique convergence of community economic and environmental benefits in the heart of Arcata, I and my fellow Arcata City Councilmembers and community members fought to have this land preserved as Ag land rather than having it annexed to the City and developed as a residential expansion of the Greenview neighborhood.

In other words, were it not for the intensive use and processing of dairy products, this land would have been converted to residential infill long ago.

Sadly, due to a variety of factors, the owners of Creamline Dairy eventually closed the dairy, but the land has remained zoned for agricultural uses.

Many of us were thrilled when Mary Keehn decided to move Cypress Grove to the site and hopeful that the land could be returned to its past agricultural productivity, and thus strengthen the long-term prospect for keeping the land open and reaping the economic benefit of value added local agricultural production.

It is truly a sad day when a business of Cypress Grove’s local history and demonstrated dedication to our local community proposes to strengthen that commitment but the proposals gets shouted down with no real debate or opportunity from input from the rest of the community.

By the way, lest anyone think I don’t care about someone else’s neighborhood, I and my family live in Windsong, and frequently when I walk outside my door in the morning I can smell the cow manure from the large herd of dairy cows just to the west of our homes.

I (and I assume most of my neighbors) consider this a natural side effect of the privilege of living on the edge of the Arcata Bottoms, next to land that is permanently (we can hope) designated for agricultural use.

Wesley Chesbro

Arcata City Councilmember, 1974-1980

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38 Responses to “The Goat Chronicles – July 5, 2011”

  1. We were unable to access the original letter Mr. Ray mentions, but with respect to the proposed dairy, Animal Welfare Approved has no knowledge of or relationship with the company mentioned. However from the figures presented there does not appear to be sufficient pasture access to meet our standards.

    Animal Welfare Approved certifies working, independent farms. We have farms of all shapes and sizes, but all adhere to our rigorous standards of pasture- or range-based management, which the World Society for the Protection of Animals has called the “most stringent” of any third party certifier. According to recent figures from the United States Department of Agriculture, 98 per cent of farms in the US are family farms. Ownership by a corporation, family or individual doesn’t inform the consumer about animal husbandry practices. For information on how animals are raised one needs to look for a credible third party certification such as Animal Welfare Approved.

    For more information, standards and a list of certified farms and products visit http://www.AnimalWelfareApproved.org.

    #32853
  2. tyrone

    Andrew: I went to the standards for Animal Welfare Approves standards for Dairy Goats on the site suggested above and I can find no reference to the amount of pasture per animal. In fact, no figures are present in the standards at all. Please direct to the part where you reference.

    #32860
  3. Ian Ray

    Andrew Gunther, my comment in the Arcata Eye about family farms was based on the AWA statement “Our program is exclusively for family farmers and cooperatives of family farmers” on the Animal Welfare Approved website. I was not implying that ownership has any effect on animal welfare practices.

    Opponents of the goat dairy project repeatedly invoked the Animal Welfare Approved standards without holding any of the existing animal feeding operations in the immediate area to those standards. Furthermore, I think the only reason Animal Welfare Approved standards in particular were mentioned was the proposed goat dairy project not being able to meet them.

    I do have one concern with the Animal Welfare Approved guidelines themselves: “3.0.10.1 Homeopathic, herbal or other non-antibiotic alternative treatments are preferred.”

    3.0.10.1 appears similar to a guideline published by the National Organic Standards Board, Livestock Committee: “§ 205.238 (b) (1) Phytotherapeutic (i.e. herbal or botanical substances), homeopathic or similar products are encouraged to be used in preference to chemical allopathic veterinary drugs, provided that their therapeutic effect, for the condition which the treatment is intended, is improving.”

    What concerns me is the lack of evidence for farm animal infections improving after being treated with homeopathic remedies. I counted at least four DVMs as auditors on the Animal Welfare Approved website. Was the phytotherapy recommendation developed independently or borrowed from the National Organic Standards Board?

    #32863
  4. “3.0.10.1 Homeopathic, herbal or other non-antibiotic alternative treatments are preferred.”

    Homeopathy? Seriously? If this outfit is advocating use of magic water over medicine, they have no credibility.

    Next.

    #32865
  5. Matt Horns

    “The pasture’s “general agriculture” designation, allowing almost any kind of agricultural activity, is inappropriate next door to a residential neighborhood.”

    This is a preposterous statement. What do you think is appropriate next to residences? More residences?

    People who don’t want to live next to ag land can live somewhere else. People who eat food must tolerate agriculture where it is most productive, which is in the Arcata Bottoms.

    #32866
  6. Tyrone, please see sections 7.0 and 7.1 which state that:

    7.0.5 The amount of outdoor area must be such that the health of the animals and browse and pasture quality is maintained.
    7.0.6 Animals must have access to browse and pasture areas that are well drained and clean.
    7.0.7 A browse and pasture management plan must be in place that addresses the specific farm site. It must ensure that:
    7.0.7.1 The nutritional requirements of the animals can be adequately met through browsing, grazing and appropriate supplementation.
    7.0.7.2 Not allocated.
    7.0.7.3 The composition of the browse areas and pastures does not create health problems for the animals.
    7.0.7.4 Ruminants are able to browse and graze fresh, clean pasture that has not become polluted with manure.
    7.0.7.5 Browse and pasture areas are not subject to erosion by the activities of the animals.
    7.0.7.6 Browse and pasture areas are not degraded by overgrazing and other management techniques.
    7.0.7.7 Appropriate paddock size and browsing and grazing frequency is assured.
    7.0.7.8 The location of water, shelter, and feeding areas is addressed.
    7.0.7.9 Non-point pollution and other local environmental standards are being met.
    7.0.7.10 Pasture areas on which animals have been out-wintered or that are otherwise worn out or denuded are restored.

    Also:

    7.1.1 The activity of the animals must not cause more than 20% of the pasture area they are kept on to be denuded.

    The standard referenced directly above is the critical measure in this situation. Stocking rates vary according to region, climate and pasture or range quality. Please contact the technical team directly at info@animalwelfareapproved.org with any further standards questions. Thank you.

    #32873
  7. Animal Welfare Approved
    1007 Queen Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    info@animalwelfareapproved.org

    Hello,

    Your organization recently weighed in on a local controversy regarding a proposed dairy goat facility in our area.

    Since you project an image of authority and animal compassion, I don’t understand these two contradictory quotations from your website:

    “Animal Welfare Approved has the most rigorous standards for farm animal welfare currently in use by any United States organization.”

    “3.0.10.1 Homeopathic, herbal or other non-antibiotic alternative treatments are preferred.”

    Endorsement of homeopathy, a non-efficacious “treatment” for which there is no scientific foundation, would doom any animals so treated to continued affliction and possibly suffering.

    Homeopathy is just magic water, aka quackery. There no standards for this, much less any that are “rigorous.”

    Would you like to reconcile the contradiction between these two quoted statements? If so, please include citations from scientific/medical literature to support any endorsement of the use of homeopathic substances on animals.

    Kevin Hoover
    Editor & Publisher
    The Arcata Eye
    editor@arcataeye.com
    http://www.arcataeye.com
    (707) 826-7000

    #32875
  8. On Jul 6, 2011, at 12:24 PM, Andrew Gunther wrote:

    Dear Kevin the challenge here is that we have been drawn into a conversation we didn’t ask to be.

    We recommend Alternative as we recognize the devastation caused to human health by overuse of Antibiotics however in the standard.

    We say this:

    3.0.10 Any sick or injured animals on the farm must be treated immediately to minimize pain and distress. This must include veterinary treatment if required.
    3.0.10.1 Homeopathic, herbal or other non-antibiotic alternative treatments are preferred.
    3.0.10.2 If alternative treatments are not suitable or not effective or if a veterinarian has recommended antibiotic treatment, this must be administered.
    3.0.10.3 Withholding treatment in order to preserve an animal’s eligibility for market is prohibited.
    Note: Finding untreated injured or ill animals may be grounds for removal from the program.
    3.0.11 Animals treated with an antibiotic must not be slaughtered or used to produce milk for the Animal Welfare Approved program before a period of time has passed that is at least twice the licensed withdrawal period of the antibiotic used.

    I hope I have added clarity.

    I am in New York please feel free to further this conversation

    202-XXX-XXXX

    Andrew

    *********

    Andrew,

    Thank you for your reply. I agree that antibiotics are overused and improperly used.

    Are you saying that magic water is an alternative to medicine? Turning to quackery won’t help animals, humans or relieve antibiotic abuse.

    I would like to know the scientific basis/rigorous standards that compel your organization’s recommendation of homeopathy.

    Kevin

    #32876
  9. On Jul 6, 2011, at 12:36 PM, Andrew Gunther wrote:

    Happily I don’t know exactly what you mean by Magic water?

    I will provide you evidence to prove the science of our position although I will not be at my desk until Friday. AWA does not nor will not support any remedies conventional/alternative that do not work.

    A

    *****************

    Andrew,

    Homeopathic “treatments” are substances which have been diluted over and over with massive volumes of water until there isn’t even a molecule left of the original substance. It is just water.

    Under homeopathic theory, the water “remembers the vibrations” of the original substance.

    Yes, I know it sounds silly and pre-scientific. That’s because it is.

    Thus it concerns me that your organization, which appears credible in other respects, is touting this nonsensical quackery. Especially when, in all apparent sincerity, you extoll your rigorous standards.

    In my opinion, advocating non-efficacious medical treatments based on magic undermines your organization’s credibility.

    Maybe someone just slipped that in without more responsible people noticing?

    Kevin

    #32878
  10. Here is Kathy Marshall’s June 22 letter to the editor, the second half of which comments on matters goat:

    Recycling and goats

    Thanks for your coverage of HWMA’s plan to outsource recycling. First I’d like to say that I am disappointed in the county’s and City of Eureka’s decisions to contract independently with RWS. Their decisions mean that they are not even willing to go with ACRC’s offer of no-cost recycling for the upcoming year and give the HWMA time to sort through the issues and come up with a plan to keep both jobs and recycling local. One year should be enough time for the HWMA to research, negotiate and come up with a cohesive plan to buy out the ACRC and to devise an integrated waste management strategy.
    Eureka and County representatives have acted from a sense of alarm rather than from a sense of service, duty, reason and planned strategy. I consider their decision a lapse in their responsibility to consider more than the bottom line. Their responsibility should also include looking at the long-range goal of keeping our community as independent and vibrant as possible.

    I would also like to address Alex Stillman’s comment that we have created a mess. Alex, this situation may be your definition of a mess; but, it should be your, and everyone’s, definition of an opportunity.

    I would also like to express my thanks to Cypress Grove for choosing to find an alternate location, not in the middle of a residential neighborhood, for their proposed ‘goat dairy’. But I have to say that their choice in this particular instance should not be the end of the issue. The fact of the matter is that housing a large number of goats, cheek by jowl, in a barn with only access to the outside is equivalent to the same treatment supposed free-range chickens get. While that may be tolerated and seen as an humane and acceptable way to maintain goat dairy animals in Europe, it is not appropriate in the United States. European land is extremely limited. Many European countries, (such as Denmark where a portion of Cypress Grove products are made because of the ready availability of goats’ milk there), do not have the pasture capacity that Humboldt County or the State of California has. I believe that with the thousands more acres available here, comes the responsibility to create better, hopefully truly humane, environmental circumstances for the animals that create the raw products from which many value-added products, such as cheese, are created. I would ask Cypress Grove to keep these comments in mind as they search for a more suitable location. For truly humane standards they might want to read the standards set by the certification group Animal Welfare Approved. This organization certifies a variety of animal husbandry operations for humane treatment AND land stewardship. Their standards are much more rigorous than those set by the Humane Society.

    I intend to continue to support Cypress Grove for producing excellent products. I appreciate the fact that they created local jobs with benefits and plan to create more.

    Sincerely,
    Kathleen Marshall, RN
    Sunny Brae

    #32879
  11. On Jul 6, 2011, at 12:51 PM, Andrew Gunther wrote:

    Kevin I have chosen to ignore your comment about Quackery and will with your other semantics do the same. I will on Friday produce the documents we believe (Peer Reviewed science) inform our standards.

    Until you have had a chance to review those documents please stop questioning my program. In the meantime you might look at our website particularly the technical pages and definitions. You use one word of the standards rather than the whole to drive your opinion please read the entire standards.

    As a journalist I would hope you would review the information given in the round. Please let me know if your editorial pressures are such you cannot wait.

    A

    ************

    Andrew,

    Thanks. No, there’s no deadline pressure. I can wait till Friday for documentation.

    Quackery is an accurate term for homeopathy. It is a superstition-based practice which supplants efficacious medicine with what also might be termed “snake oil” treatments.

    Yes, homeopathy is one word. It is one word which doesn’t belong in any serious discussion of medicine. Especially from an organization dedicated to rigorous standards.

    I look forward to reviewing the scientific foundation for your recommendation of homeopathy. I presume that will include independent, double-blind and peer-reviewed studies.

    Kevin

    #32881
  12. http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/standards/definitions/

    Homeopathy: A system of healing by using incredibly dilute solutions of substances that in full strength would cause similar symptoms to the disease being treated.

    “A system of healing?” Who, what, when and where was anyone/anything healed by homeopathy? (No testimonials please – serious data only.)

    #32882
  13. Ian Ray

    Serious data
    http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(09)70825-2/fulltext

    “This study is the only randomized, controlled, and double-blinded clinical trial to be conducted with a sufficient number of animals in the field of homeopathy in cattle. We could not confirm the results of other studies indicating a positive effect of the chosen homeopathic treatment protocols.”

    I cannot find studies with similar methodological quality for goats.

    #32883
  14. Shannon

    Homeopathy: A system of healing by using incredibly dilute solutions of substances that in full strength would cause similar symptoms to the disease being treated.

    So what – like a flu-shot, or pertussis vaccine?
    Maybe homeopathy is only useful in “preventative medicine.”

    #32884
  15. Well, maybe Andrew will bring some serious evidence Friday.

    If the AWA can provide evidence of the efficacy of homeopathy, it is going to really shake up the medical and veterinary sciences.

    And that will be fine with me, as I have no loyalty to these establishments. I am fine with rocking their boat or even capsizing it, especially since this historical event will occur on the Arcata Eye’s website.

    Stand by, folks. AWA promises to make some history Friday.

    #32885
  16. “Maybe homeopathy is only useful in “preventative medicine.””

    Maybe. All we need is some evidence of that and we’re good to go.

    #32888
  17. lisa

    The “Gold Standard” for Humane treatment of farm animals actually comes from another organization, “Certified Humane”, a NON Profit organization.
    http://www.certifiedhumane.org/

    #32917
  18. Ian Ray

    There is a comparison available of certification programs
    http://www.certifiedhumane.org/uploads/pdf/Comparison%20Charts/FinalComp.StandardsComparison.pdf

    AWA is also a non-profit organization.

    My opinion is still that AWA copied the NOSB phytotherapy recommendation. AWA uses the word “preferred” while the NOSB uses “in preference”.

    #32920
  19. Ian Ray

    Kevin, have you reviewed the documents?

    #32954
  20. What documents – This?

    http://www.certifiedhumane.org/uploads/pdf/Comparison%20Charts/FinalComp.StandardsComparison.pdf

    If so, no, not in any detail.

    However our friend Andrew just sent me a dizzying array of links re: the AWA’s recommendation of homeopathy. I will post it and my reply.

    #32955
  21. Ian Ray

    Yes, I mean the documents as in “I will on Friday produce the documents we believe (Peer Reviewed science) inform our standards”

    #32956
  22. Dear Kevin

    As promised I want to walk you through the rationale behind our standards. In order to understand you do have to look at the entirety of our standards on animal health and not just take individual words out of context. I hope this satisfies your interest and you feel able to rest assured AWA is the program we say it is. If I may also point out the obvious? I didn’t enter this situation and recognize the emotion around it. But as I am sure you understand must clarify points when they are inaccurate as it relates to the program.

    Our position on animal health can be summarized as follows:

    1. Farmers must manage their animals to reduce health problems and promote health (standard 3.0.1)
    2. If farmers know there is a risk of disease to their animals then appropriate vaccines must be used (standard 3.0.9)
    3. If animals are sick and injured they must be treated (3.0.10)
    4. Antibiotics can be used if they are the most appropriate treatment (3.0.10.2)
    5. Because over reliance of antibiotics has been shown to promote the development of resistant bacteria with subsequent negative consequences for human health; antibiotics must not be used in a sub-therapeutic manner (3.0.16)
    6. Because over reliance of antibiotics has been shown to promote the development of resistant bacteria with subsequent negative consequences for human health; alternative options to the use of antibiotics should by checked out by the farmer. If any of these are known to be suitable or effective their use is preferred to the use of antibiotics.(3.0.10.1)
    7. The use of treatments that are alternatives to antibiotics are “preferred” rather than “required”. The Guide to Understanding Standards – available on our website at http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/standards/guide/ – makes clear that such “preferred” options, or standards which say farmers “should” do something are not standards that must be met before a farm can gain AWA approval. In order to be approved farmers have to meet standards that say they “must” or “must not” do something and these comprise the vast majority of the AWA standards. There are however a few of these “preferred”/”recommended” standards which allow farmers flexibility as to whether or not they comply.

    The reason we have developed our standards in this way is to ensure the best welfare for animals within our program. It is obvious that if management takes account of and promotes health then the need for any treatment – antibiotic or otherwise – is minimized.

    The overuse of antibiotics in agriculture is a well known problem. Following confirmation by the FDA in spring this year that 80% percentage of all antibiotics produced in the US – a whopping 13.1 million kilograms out of a total of 16.4 million kilograms in 2009 – are used for animals; Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has once again stated her intent to introduce a bill to limit their use. Slaughter authored The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act in 2009 aimed at preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics important for human health by limiting their use in agriculture. You might want to look at previous information that I have produced on this topic:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-gunther/e-coli-and-the-misuse-of-_b_876039.html
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-gunther/usda-antibiotics_b_649673.html

    And a small selection of some of the science that informs this position:

    Shoemaker, N.B., H. Vlamkis, K. Hayes and A.A. Sayers, 2001. Evidence for extensive resistance gene transfer among Bacteroides sp. and among other genera in the colon. Applied Environ. Microbiol., 67: 561-568

    S.B. Levy (2002) Active efflux, a common mechanism for biocide and antibiotic resistance Journal of Applied Microbiology, 92 65:71

    Levy, S. 1997. Antibiotic resistance: an ecological imbalance. In: Antibiotic Resistance: Origins, Evolution, Selection and Spread (D.J. Chadwick, ed). Ciba Foundation Symposium 207. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, U.K
    1. Aarestrup, F.M. 1995. Occurrence of glycopeptide resistance among Enterococcus faecium isolates from conventional and ecological poultry farms. Microb. Drug Resist. 1:255.

    Aarestrup, F.M. 2000. Characterization of glycopeptide-resistant Enterococcus faecium (GRE) from broilers and pigs in Denmark: genetic evidence that persistence of GRE in pig herds is associated with co-selection by resistance to macrolides. J. Clin. Microbiol. 38:2774.

    Aarestrup, F.M., A.M. Seyfarth, H.D. Emborg, K. Pedersen, R.S. Hendriksen and F. Bager. 2001. Effect of abolishment of the use of antimicrobial agents for growth promotion on occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in fecal enterococci from food animals in Denmark. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 45:2054
    Having arrived at a point where we knew as a program that we wanted to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics we had to provide our farmers with other options. The first – as noted above – is to support our farmers in the management of their animals to reduce health problems. Technical support via phone, email and visits is available to our farmers. Technical information is also freely available – see: http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/standards/science-and-research/ – perhaps TAFS 14 on Farm Health Planning might be of interest to you?
    Non-antibiotic or alternative treatments encompass a number of options including herbal treatments, homeopathic treatments, acupuncture and others. It is clear that herbs can be used for medicine – indeed many modern drugs are based on herbal remedies – quinine and digitalis are probably the best known example. This USDA link explores this very topic http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/apr98/drug0498.htm
    There are a number of published studies supporting the use of acupuncture as an alternative treatment – see http://www.vetcontact.com/en/art.php?a=1097&t=. In fact there are a number of papers on the efficacy of acupuncture in human health too.
    A wide variety of other sources support the same stance as AWA – see below:
    AVMA statement on complementary treatments – http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/comp_alt_medicine.asp states that “The AVMA recognizes the interest in and use of these modalities [complementary and alternative veterinary medicines] and is open to their consideration”. They go on to state that “Practices and philosophies that are ineffective or unsafe should be discarded.” A stance we would totally agree with. Both the AVMA and AWA are in agreement here. We are open to the possibilities of alternative treatments – but at no time do we require that farmers use anything that would be ineffective or unsafe.
    US Universities – for example the University of Connecticut support similar policies. See http://www.psla.uconn.edu/documents/AHLHSB-Web.pdf for their handbook on alternative treatments
    A large number of qualified veterinary surgeons – many of whom have written books or published papers. For example Hue Karreman’s book Treating Dairy Cows Naturally: Thoughts and Strategies”, Chris Day’s A Guide to the Homeopathic Treatment of Beef & Dairy Cattle,
    The Organic Veterinary Compendium – an online resource for organic farmers. Note this was produced in the UK where antibiotics are not prohibited for use in organic production so the endorsement of some alternative treatments by this site is not a case of the alternative treatments being the only thing available to the producer. See: http://www.organicvet.co.uk/ This website includes statements such as:
    Endometritis in cows – “Intrauterine pessaries (either antibiotic or herbal) are the most common treatment for the condition”;
    Histomaniasis in poultry – “There is some evidence that some essential oils included in the feed can be effective. Herbal products with extracts from cinnamon, garlic, lemon, and rosemary may be effective preventive or curative treatments of Histomonas meleagridis ( Zenner L, Callait MP, Granier C, Chauve C (2003) In vitro effect of essential oils from Cinnamomum aromaticum, Citrus limon and Allium sativum on two intestinal flagellates of poultry, Tetratrichomonas gallinarum and Histomonas meleagridis. Parasite-Journal de la societe Francaise de Parasitologie. 10 (2): 153-157 and Hafez, H.M and Hauck, R (2006) Efficacy of a herbal product against Histomonas meleagridis after experimental infection of turkey poults. Archives of Animal Nutrition, 60 (5), 436 – 4420”
    Mange in pigs – “A herbal miticidal preparation of Neem oil, Karanj oil and Camphor have been shown to be effective in controlling Sarcoptes scabiei in India. Kumar A, Sinha S, Prasad KD (2005) Control of sarcoptes scabiei infestation in pigs by chemical and herbal acaricids. Indian Veterinary Journal 82 (9): 989-990”
    Mastitis – Homeopathy has been used to reduce the severity of symptoms in MMA (Skorska-Wyszynska, E. Gajecki, M. and Przal, F. (1994). Influence of preventive administration of herbal preparation on the distribution of body temperature during the periparturient period and MMA [mastitis metritis agalactia] syndrome. Medycyna Weterynaryjna. 1994. 50: 7) Homeopathic treatments for mastitis in other species are commonly recommended (Hansford, P. (1992) The Herdsman’s Introduction to Homeopathy.Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy, 97 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2QR)

    Endometritis – Homeopathy, particularly use of Carduus compositum has been recommended for the treatment of endometritis (Hansford and Pinkus, 1999; Hemmelchen, 2002).

    And for interest although the compendium recommends antibiotic treatment for IBR in cattle in a clinical case it also recommends homeopathy as well. There is no specific treatment for IBR. During an outbreak, the use of broad-spectrum, long-acting antibiotics can prevent secondary bacterial pneumonia. Additionally, used of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) may help relieve respiratory symptoms and pyrexia. Homeopathy is recommended as a support therapy in affected animals. The choice of remedy is based on symptoms (Macleod, 1981).

    In addition EU legislation supports the same position – COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 889/2008 Article 24 (2) states “Phytotherapeutic, homoepathic products, trace elements and products listed in Annex V, part 3 and in Annex VI, part 1.1. shall be used in preference to chemically-synthesized allopathic veterinary treatment or antibiotics, provided that their therapeutic effect is effective for the species of animal, and the condition for which the treatment is intended.”
    I hope these few examples demonstrate to you that the AWA principles and standards are based on a rational and scientific basis.
    Regards
    Andrew

    *********

    Andrew,

    Thanks.

    I am aware of antibiotic abuse. That’s not an issue.

    What I would like to see is the science behind your recommendation of homeopathy. Now you’re adding acupuncture, another procedure which lacks any scientific foundation.

    Can you please direct me to the scientific basis of AWA’s recommending homeopathy and acupuncture?

    Thanks again,

    Kevin

    #32957
  23. Just posted. He has a lot of stuff in there that seems irrelevant to the question.

    We all know antibiotics are abused; that’s not my issue. Also, herbal treatments can be effective. Again, non-issue.

    What we need is serious science that indicates some efficacy of homeopathic treatments, and now, the acupuncture claims he is adding.

    A preliminary review of the links does not bring up any double-blind studies. The links I saw led to low-content, soft-info websites, some by homeopathic advocates. Maybe there’s something better. I’ve asked for clarification.

    #32958
  24. On Jul 8, 2011, at 2:04 PM, Andrew Gunther wrote:

    Kevin,

    I think I have provided the answers to your questions, reading your questions we may never agree. Sadly I don’t have the time to further debate this subject we have justified our position in full. Please ensure you attach my detailed response in any comments you choose to publish.

    Andrew

    *************

    Andrew,

    I’m not interested in debate either. No time. Debating the efficacy of homeopathy and acupuncture would be like spending time on geocentrism or Obama’s birth certificate.

    All I’m asking for is a scientific study or studies indicating any effectiveness of homeopathic and acupuncture treatments. Links to advocates and self-interested profiteers for these quack treatments are not useful.

    I’m sure you realize that if animals are given pseudo-medical treatments that don’t work, it will prolong their problems and and any pain they may be in. Certainly the AWA wouldn’t want to play any role in that sort of thing.

    So please, what is the scientific basis for the AWA’s advocacy of homeopathy and acupuncture?

    If you don’t have this, I’d strongly recommend that the AWA review its stance on these useless forms of treatment because of the counterproductive consequences listed above.

    Kevin

    #32959
  25. On Jul 8, 2011, at 2:41 PM, andrew@animalwelfareapproved.org wrote:

    What is your agricultural experience?

    **********

    Zero.

    K

    #32962
  26. lisa

    Goat Dairy farmer here.
    Do you know why antibiotics are so widely used? Because they work.
    When you have a sick animal you want to use whatever you can that will make them well. Antibiotics work. Yes, they are overused, but they should not be discounted because of their abuse.

    AWA is only one of a number of “animal welfare” agencies that want you to get their approval ( for a fee, of course) so you can declare that your fame meets the standards of “X Welfare Association”.

    #32964
  27. “AWA is only one of a number of “animal welfare” agencies that want you to get their approval ( for a fee, of course) so you can declare that your fame meets the standards of “X Welfare Association”.”

    Oh…. OK. That explains a lot. They’re one of those. Then I needn’t waste any more time on them.

    Thanks, Lisa.

    #32965
  28. Ian Ray

    The 2009 Journal of Dairy Science study I posted above thoroughly debunks the homeopathic endometritus studies Andrew cites.
    http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(09)70825-2/fulltext

    There is also a 2005 followup study with less rigorous methods than the dairy science journal study which was published in the same vet journal as Hansford and Pinkus, 1998.
    http://www.vetpath.co.uk/voodoo/mastitis.pdf

    This followup study is in the British Veterinary Voodoo Society, a fun read
    http://www.vetpath.co.uk/voodoo/index.html

    “Scientific credibility. Clinical trials are still in their early stages, however we are confident that by performing a sufficient number of small, poorly-controlled investigations we will easily generate enough p<0.05 outcomes to be able to claim with absolute assurance that the method is well proven by properly conducted double-blind research."

    The vigorous mixing (potentization?) of valid and invalid statements in Andrew's letter is a typical defense for the indefensible. It is accurate to say that neem oil and karanj oil are effective biological controls. Immediately following the oil claim is a claim about homeopathy. We are expected to believe that because miticidal oil disrupts the reproductive cycle of scabies, homeopathic nosodes can treat bovine mastitis.

    The AWA should have stated that they plagiarized the phytotherapy recommendation from EU organic legislation and left it at that.

    #32966
  29. Every industry seems to be plagued with irresponsible, parasitic organizations like this. They put on a show of credibility, but do not withstand the slightest probing.

    “Animal Welfare Approved” is all about pretty websites and pseudoscience. They aren’t to be taken seriously.

    If there’s anyone with a conscience at AWA, they ought to consider their role in recommending that animals be treated with magic vibration water rather than medicine.

    #32967
  30. steve

    Kevin,

    It has been great fun to see your replies to Andrew regarding homeopathy. I think you and the other Eye readers will appreciate this article from skeptic.com’s website: “The Immortal Lily The Pink -
    The 100th anniversary of the FDA marks a milestone in medicine before which cranks and charlatans ran amok” (scroll down the page for the article)

    http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-12-12/

    #32968
  31. lisa

    If you look at the list of Certified Humane farms, you will find Summerhill Goat Dairy, a dairy that has an operation very similar to the one CG is going to build.

    #32969
  32. Ian Ray

    Summerville Goat Dairy’s herd is over 1,000 goats. There are photographs of the conditions inside the Summerhill facility on their facebook page. This is the fifth time I’ve seen them plugged during the Goat dairy discussion.

    McKinleyville Central Market carries Summerhill Goat Dairy milk.

    #32970
  33. tra

    My best guess is that homeopathy “works” to some degree in humans simply because of the placebo effect — people believe in it, and their belief and positive attitude may increase their rate of healing or recovery. And that’s fine with me, as long as people aren’t paying huge money for the stuff and aren’t avoiding more effective treatments until it’s too late for those treatments to help.

    I get a bit mmore concerned when I hear about people using homeopathic “remedies” on their children, because the kids don’t have a choice, and may be suffering needlessly, or in a more extreme case their health may be put at serious risk. But again, if it’s not a particularly serious issue, and if the child is old enough to know that they are being given the “medicine” and perhaps to believe that it may help them, then the placebo effect may indeed lead to some reduction in pain and suffering, perhaps even some increase in how fast they heal/recover. So I don’t think it’s a great idea, but probably not a big deal in those cases, just harmlessly foolish. An infant, however, really cannot benefit at all from the placebo effect, because they don’t know they are being “treated” and can’t “believe in” the treatment.

    I think the same would apply to animals — since they don’t know that the homeopathic “medicine” is supposed to help them, they won’t benefit from the placebo effect, and will continue to suffer pain and/or illness just the same as if they didn’t get the treatment at all. My guess is that in these cases it only acts as a guilt-reducing mechanism for the animal’s keeper, who feels like they’ve “done something.” Then, if the animal eventually heals/recovers, the keeper attributes that healing/recovery to the homeopathic “medicine.”

    Bottom line: If someone wants to use homeopathic “remedies” for themselves, and believes these remedies help them, well then I’m not particularly interested in talking them out of it. The connection between having a positive attitude and healing/recovering is pretty well documented, and placebos actually can reduce pain and suffering, at least to some degree. But if someone is going to try this stuff on small children and animals, that’s where I think it’s really a bad idea, with the helpless recipient of the “remedy” likely to suffer needlessly, and possibly have their health seriously impacted.

    #33172
  34. Tom Vanciel

    ANIMAL CRULETY

    If you have a 1000 goats in a dairy explain how those goats are properly kept?

    Numbering goats and training them to be milked in a stall to relieve the milk pressure developing in thier utters because you’ve taken away thier kid?

    Homeophatic treatments are individually based.
    This requires an intimate realtionship with the animal.

    I would rather see each household own a goat to replace lawn mowers and weed eaters.

    It would be great to have a cheese dairy that accepted milk from the community.

    That was the way it used to work before the laws were rewritten after WWII to protect corperations and their markets.

    This was done under the guise of public health which requires the pasturization of milk.

    Pasturization was developed by Luis Pasture to protect the French population from anthrax over 200 years ago.

    Pasturization does kill harmfull pathagens like anthrax but it also kills the benifical.

    pasturized milk will rot and sour, non pasterized milk turns to yogurt or cheese depending upon how you store it.

    Whole living takes a balenced approach.

    micro managable scale.

    If you should take the time to reexamine the motives behind our laws with a eye focussed on corperate influence and protectionisum.

    you will see just how far the retoric of freedom stands from the reality.

    I am glad to see the corperate dairy rejected.

    Now let us organize a true community dariy.

    Co Immunity by sharing and blending healthy milk.

    It helps to know the origins of words.

    Tom

    #33222
  35. Mark Sailors

    Christ, REAL pills are only as effective as placebo…so how could something diluted down to just is “harmonic residue”

    From Newsweek.
    “The Depressing News About Antidepressants
    Studies suggest that the popular drugs are no more effective than a placebo. In fact, they may be worse.”

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/01/28/the-depressing-news-about-antidepressants

    Preparation
    Mortar and pestle used for grinding insoluble solids, including quartz and oyster shells, into homeopathic remedies.

    In producing remedies for diseases, homeopaths use a process called dynamisation or potentisation whereby a substance is diluted with alcohol or distilled water and then vigorously shaken by ten hard strikes against an elastic body in a process called succussion.[55] Hahnemann advocated using substances that produce symptoms like those of the disease being treated, but found that material doses intensified the symptoms and exacerbated the condition, sometimes causing dangerous toxic reactions. He therefore specified that the substances be diluted. Hahnemann believed that the succussion activated the vital energy of the diluted substance[56] and made it stronger. To facilitate succussion, Hahnemann had a saddle-maker construct a special wooden striking board covered in leather on one side and stuffed with horsehair.[57][58] Insoluble solids, such as quartz and oyster shell, are diluted by grinding them with lactose (trituration).
    Dilutions
    Main article: Homeopathic dilutions

    Three logarithmic potency scales are in regular use in homeopathy. Hahnemann created the centesimal or C scale, diluting a substance by a factor of 100 at each stage. The centesimal scale was favored by Hahnemann for most of his life. A 2C dilution requires a substance to be diluted to one part in one hundred, and then some of that diluted solution diluted by a further factor of one hundred. This works out to one part of the original substance in 10,000 parts of the solution.[59] A 6C dilution repeats this process six times, ending up with the original material diluted by a factor of 100−6=10−12 (one part in one trillion or 1/1,000,000,000,000). Higher dilutions follow the same pattern. In homeopathy, a solution that is more dilute is described as having a higher potency, and more dilute substances are considered by homeopaths to be stronger and deeper-acting remedies.[60] The end product is often so diluted that it is indistinguishable from the dilutant (pure water, sugar or alcohol).[10][61][62]

    Hahnemann advocated 30C dilutions for most purposes (that is, dilution by a factor of 1060).[63] In Hahnemann’s time it was reasonable to assume that remedies could be diluted indefinitely, as the concept of the atom or molecule as the smallest possible unit of a chemical substance was just beginning to be recognized. The greatest dilution that is reasonably likely to contain even one molecule of the original substance is 12C.
    This bottle contains arnica montana (wolf’s bane) D6, i.e. the nominal dilution is one part in a million (10-6).

    Some homeopaths developed a decimal scale (D or X), diluting the substance to ten times its original volume each stage. The D or X scale dilution is therefore half that of the same value of the C scale; for example, “12X” is the same level of dilution as “6C”. Hahnemann never used this scale but it was very popular throughout the 19th century and still is in Europe. This potency scale appears to have been introduced in the 1830s by the American homeopath, Constantine Hering.[64] In the last ten years of his life, Hahnemann also developed a quintamillesimal (Q) or LM scale diluting the drug 1 part in 50,000 parts of diluent.[65] A given dilution on the Q scale is roughly 2.35 times its designation on the C scale. For example a remedy described as “20Q” has about the same concentration as a “47C” remedy.[66]
    X Scale, D Scale C Scale Ratio Note
    Ø Ø 1:1 mother tincture[67] (undiluted)
    1X, D1 — 1:10 described as low potency
    2X, D2 1C 1:100 called higher potency than 1X by homeopaths
    6X, D6 3C 10−6
    8X, D8 4C 10−8 allowable concentration of arsenic in U.S. drinking water[68]
    12X, D12 6C 10−12
    24X, D24 12C 10−24 Has a 60% probability of containing one molecule of original material if one mole of the original substance was used.
    60X, D60 30C 10−60 Dilution advocated by Hahnemann for most purposes;[63] patient would need to consume 10 to the 41st power pills (a billion times the mass of the Earth), or 1034 gallons of liquid remedy (10 billion times the volume of the Earth) to consume a single molecule of the original substance[69] Moreover, since even in a 15C solution there would very likely be no molecules of the original substance left, the 30C solution would probably contain no molecules of water that had come into contact with the original substance.
    400X, D400 200C 10−400 Dilution of popular homeopathic flu remedy Oscillococcinum
    Note: the “X scale” is also called “D scale”. 1X = D1, 2X = D2, etc.

    #33224
  36. Mark Sailors

    Last post should read “harmonic residue” be more effective than drinking a glass of water?

    #33225
  37. Ian Ray

    Tom Vanciel, pasteurization does not destroy anthrax spores. Louis Pasteur is credited for developing anthrax vaccine as an anthrax control.

    I would not recommend each household own a single goat. A lone goat will live a stressful life. Goats socialize best with other goats in a herd. When no other goats are available, other sociable herd animals can be used as surrogate goat friends. Dogs are inadequate to pair with goats due to dogs being pack animals with predatory instincts.

    #33227
  38. Ian Ray

    Malaria has demonstrated resistance to homeopathic prophylaxis. Either individualization was not thorough enough, the remedies not succussed correctly, or contracting full-blown malaria actually proves the remedies as the symptoms were sufficiently aggravated.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1708-8305.1996.tb00700.x/pdf

    #33230

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