Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dogs Howling in Webster

The woman was hoarding them:

"Squalor in Webster home leads to animal cruelty charges" by Sarah Roberts Globe Correspondent  August 18, 2015

A woman faces 29 counts of animal cruelty after police found more than two-dozen animals living in filth at a house she owns in Webster, officials said.

Beatrice Nielsen, 50, of Auburn was taken into custody Monday evening after police discovered the animals in “deplorable conditions.” Investigators found feces and urine throughout the residence, according to a statement by Webster police.

Nielsen was released in advance of a court hearing Tuesday. Outside of court, she denied the allegations, describing herself as a ‘‘canine specialist’’ with 30 years of experience. She said the charges are the result of a personal grudge.

Police were called to the Cody Street building Monday after a report of a possible dead animal at Nielsen’s building. When Officer Robert Ela arrived there at 5:30 p.m., he detected a “strong odor of possible decay,” the statement said.

After getting in touch with Nielsen, police and animal control officers entered the building.

“The smell was overwhelmingly disgusting, feces everywhere, food, animals trash,” said Lieutenant Michael Shaw. The animals “were very skittish, very afraid, and overall in poor health.”

Some animals were being kept in cages that were too small, said Shaw, who added that Nielsen does not live in the Webster house.


Officers had to wear hazmat suits when they entered the residence due to the unsanitary conditions. A total of 29 living animals were found, including 21 dogs, several cats, and several birds. One dead dog was also in the house, Shaw said. 

Dog fighting ring was discovered?

He described the case as one of the worst of its kind that the Webster Board of Health has ever seen.

A phone call made to the Cody Street address on Tuesday was not returned.

Nielsen could also face building code violations from the town of Webster, according to police. Officials are still investigating the incident.

So she owned the house but didn't live there?


Rough week for Auburn.

"Shark breaching water not typical off Cape Cod, expert says" by Steve Annear Globe Staff  August 18, 2015

Researchers on a boat off Cape Cod were awestruck when they witnessed a great white shark leap from the water in an attempt to sink its teeth into a seal fleeing for its life.

“It’s really a testament to the speed and power that these animals can generate in such a short amount of space and time,” said Greg Skomal, a shark expert with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. “It was able to literally come out of the water. It’s really amazing.”


As the great white closed in, chasing the gray seal toward shore, the water grew shallow. The limited space forced the seal to attempt a daring last-second escape, hurling its body out of the water, Skomal said.

The great white followed suit, gnashing its teeth within inches of its savory snack. The shark failed to capture its prey, and the seal swam off to live another day.

“I don’t think any of us anticipated the shark or the seal coming out of the water,” Skomal said.

Skomal and conservancy members make twice-weekly trips to the waters off Chatham to track great whites. For them, it’s been a busy season of frequent sightings and occasional opportunities to tag specimens.


Skomal said people may have seen videos of great whites clearing the waves in places such as South Africa, but it hasn’t been well documented here.

“It’s not new, but it’s unique here,’’ he said.

Cynthia Wigren, president of the conservancy, was also astonished by Monday’s near-kill.

She said the sight of the shark soaring from the water drew gasps from those on board the boat....

Same when he spit it out.


Related: The Blog That Roared 

I really have to roar back, if only to be polite.


Need to tend to few things on the "farm" first:

"Mass. ballot push would mandate cage-free eggs" by Joshua Miller Globe Staff  August 19, 2015

Top state and national animal welfare groups on Wednesday launched a 2016 ballot initiative that would prohibit Massachusetts businesses from selling some meat and eggs from animals kept in small crates and cages.

The measure would mandate that, starting in 2022, Massachusetts farms and businesses produce and sell only eggs from cage-free hens; pork from pigs not raised in or born of a sow raised in a small crate; and veal from calves not raised in a very tight enclosure.

It's a yes vote here. Sadly, I still consume meat in some forms often for social purposes, but I'm working on it. Good things is I rarely eat eggs or pork, and never have veal.

In my earlier days when I was a Chomskyite apostle and had hard Stalinist leanings I would have used tyranny to force veganism down people's throats. But that lumps local farmers in with the factory farms, and that is unfair. When it comes to farms, local is best.

Those days are long gone; however, Gandhi's admonition regarding the supreme judgement on society being in how it treats its animals.... sort of stuck with me. 

Okay, enough talking with my mouth full.

Advocates, including the Humane Society of the United States, framed the effort — which goes beyond their successful referenda on the issue in other states — as establishing modest standards to protect farm animals from cruelty. But the food industry warned it would raise prices and hurt family farmers, and the National Pork Producers Council called it an effort to advance a “national vegan agenda.”

I see scare tactics as they grab the drumstick from you. 

I'm sure the meat industry can hire enough lobbyists to work on the language.

As for the agenda, it's in my paper. I know it's moving that in some form or fashion.

The back-and-forth offers of a preview of what could be a nasty, expensive, and divisive ballot battle leading up to Election Day 2016, with two sharply divergent storylines and broad alliances both for and against the measure.

Just what we need.

The proposed Massachusetts ballot question is backed by a coalition that includes the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and other groups.

In a sign of the coalition’s potential political juice, a State House press conference Wednesday was organized by Rasky Baerlein, a powerhouse public affairs outfit based in Boston, with experience in state ballot efforts.

While previous ballot measures backed by the Humane Society in other states limited the ways farmers can produce meat and eggs, the Massachusetts measure also targets what products businesses here can sell.

This is getting to be a $ticky $ituation.

A 2002 measure in Florida banned using gestation crates for sows; a 2006 Arizona effort banned gestation crates for sows and veal crates for calves; and an expensive 2008 fight in California outlawed those two techniques as well as small “battery cages” for laying hens. 

But somehow the anti-GMO measure lost (also applies to the altered meats, be it GMO or bionics, etc).

Should the Massachusetts initiative become law, it would “absolutely 100 percent guaranteed” mean higher egg prices for local consumers, said Chad Gregory, president and chief executive of United Egg Producers, which represents companies that account for 95 percent of all the eggs produced in the United States.

“This is taking the affordable, high-quality protein egg away from the family of four that doesn’t make a lot of money,” Gregory said in a telephone interview.

That reminds me (cough), but whatever happened with the bird flu

Seems like the pre$$ flew away from that awfully quick.

But Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, one of the groups that make up the Citizens for Farm Animal Protection coalition, said that was a standard argument “from agribusiness” and said a successful ballot push would “definitely not” result in egg prices spiking for Massachusetts consumers.

Actually, they will pu$h them up out of spite if nothing else. That is the way the "game" is played.

By 2022, he predicted, most of the retail food sector will have already shifted to cage-free eggs, and the law would just press the outliers to join what will then be the mainstream.

Pacelle said he could “absolutely” foresee the coalition spending millions of dollars to back the effort.

“We’ll do what it takes to win,” he said.

Rigged voting software in the machines and scanners?

He also raised the specter of a barrage of television advertisements aimed at voters next year, should the question make the ballot.

“Nothing tells the story like actually seeing these cages and crates and these poor animals who are living there indefinitely,” he said.

It's true, but when indu$try gets involved it seems to lead humans to mistreat other life forms (including each other. I mean, slavery and the South has been a hot topic this summer).

Asked if the egg producers or allied groups might spend money to fight the ballot question, Gregory said that is “definitely an option” and he is soon going to travel to Massachusetts to strategize on how to move forward.

At the State House event, advocates argued the initiative is simply the right thing to do.

“This measure asserts that society will no longer accept the abject suffering of animals as a pathway to profit,” said Matt Bershadker, president and chief executive of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

I agree, and it does follow along with my own personal philosophy of all sentient life forms deserving respect. I sometimes even go above that a elevate the animal to an equal level of intelligence but with a different form of combination, a language I can't understand (while I think they know what we are saying)....


One can read that and wonder where is the outrage at the abject suffering of so many millions, if not billions, at the hands of war-profiteers and the weapons deployed in the name of "peace and security?" 

Somehow there is silence regarding that and the abominable lies that have led to these atrocious wars that are crimes against humanity. But they did make a few rich.

The old cliche is apples and oranges, but isn't that just to divide up the basket?

Carter Luke, president and chief executive of the MSPCA, said the proposed law would simply ensure laying hens, breeding pigs, and veal calves have enough space to stand up, lie down, turn around, and extend their limbs. He called it a “landmark campaign.”

So what, the cell will be widened by a few feet? 

How often do they get out, hour a day in a cement courtyard?

Agricultural interests indicated they see it as a landmark campaign too, but not in a positive way.

Dave Warner, a spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council, said the initiative would result in financial damage to local hog farmers and, potentially, less availability of a “safe and sustainable” source of food.

The effort, he said in a statement, was about the national Humane Society using Massachusetts, a state with little pork production, “to gain momentum for advancing its national vegan agenda regardless of the negative impact it would have had on the health and safety of the animals and the farmers who care for them.”

Btw, the pig poop from the factory farms? Is a problem.

Are more intrusive government inspections the answer? I don't know.

Kay Johnson Smith, president and chief executive of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, an industry group, said in a statement that animal care is a priority and all sectors of the industry have guidelines to improve the lives of animals.

She argued the proposed ballot question is not about animal care, but about “restricting, and ultimately eliminating, the ability of family farmers to raise animals for food” (an accusation the coalition vehemently denies).

Some local groups also expressed opposition.

Jon B. Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, said his group would oppose the measure because it could put state retailers at a disadvantage and would raise prices for consumers.

It's amazing how sometimes we race to the bottom while flouting how we are on the cutting edge and out in front as a state.

Rich Bonanno, president of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation balked at the ballot initiative.

Then the baserunner(s) move up.

“What’s significant about this ballot question is it not only would ban practices in the state of Massachusetts which largely don’t even exist [here] . . .” he said. “What’s significant about it is it bans products produced outside the state using those practices.”

I see a federal court intervention.

Bonanno said his group’s overriding concern about the measure is that it would reduce consumer choice and raise costs.

“While there are a small percentage of people who are willing to pay” a lot more for cage-free eggs, he said, “most people in Massachusetts simply can’t afford them.”

I'm glad indu$try is looking out for our health.

If Attorney General Maura Healey says the proposed question passes constitutional muster, advocates can begin the process of gathering the tens of thousands of signatures needed to make the ballot. If successful, voters will be able to have their say next year.


What does concern me is of the little meat I do eat, it doesn't have the same texture, taste, or "connectivity," for lack of a better word, than the meat I remember eating decades ago when I was slinging food as a cook for some local establishments. That was good meat.

I'll stop barking at the shipping container(?) now.