AWI Quarterly

Dog/Human Bond Goes Way Back

A recent archeological discovery supports the notion that humans have considered dogs part of the family - in life and in death - for a very long time. The respectful manner in which a Husky-like dog was buried 7,000 years ago in Siberia strongly suggests he was valued not just as a useful animal to have around, but as a true member of the clan.

Dog skeletons have previously been unearthed from much earlier human burial sites. The unique aspect of this discovery, however, is that the dog was apparently laid to rest with mortuary rites similar to those given the humans. Among other things, he was laid carefully in the grave on his right side, and buried with important objects, such as a long spoon made of antler. Professor Robert Losey of the University of Alberta, who led a study of the site, says the evidence of a carefully orchestrated burial given to the dog (not just involving the dog in a human burial) indicates that “… the people burying this particular dog saw it as a thinking, social being, perhaps on par with humans in many ways.”

Table of Contents

ANIMALS IN AGRICULTURE <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

26.. Organic Standards Evolving

26.. Smithfield Fouls

26.. Tyson Foods' Chicken: Raised with Antibiotics



14.. Adoption Can be an Option for Animals After Their Use in Research



2.... Whales Rally on the Mall

5.... Controversial San Clemente Dam to Go

5.... Stingrays Demonstrate Their Cognitive Abilities

5.... Whale Meat Served in CA

11.. Whaling to be Thrown a Lifeline by IWC

28.. Trainer's Death Revives Cetacean Captivity Debate



4.... Territory Expands for California Condors

4.... New Mexico Town Opposes Cruel Traps

6.... Wildlife Crossings

13.. The Cruel Practice of Coyote and Fox "Penning"

18.. Wildlife Segregated by the U.S. Border Policy

22.. Science Sacrificed at CITES

25.. AWI Honors Wildlife Protection Heroes



10.. Aid for Prosecutors of Animal Abuse

10.. Senate Bill to Protect Whales

12.. Lawsuit Filed to Protect Marine Life

12.. Wind Energy Project Modified for Bats



27.. Animal Welfare at the Oscars

27.. Elephants on Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity

27.. The Book of Honu: Enjoying and Learning about Hawai‘i’s Sea Turtles

Board Members Pass the Torch

Marjorie Cooke, an esteemed member of the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) Board of Directors since 1974, has stepped down from her post. AWI wishes to thank Mrs. Cooke for her dedicated service to both AWI and the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL). The sister of the late John Kullberg, a well-known activist and former director of SAPL, she is a longtime animal advocate herself and worked closely with Christine Stevens. Roger Fouts, Ph.D. has stepped down from the board as well, but will fortunately serve on AWI’s Scientific Committee. AWI would also like to welcome its newest board members, Barbara Buchanan of Vikor Barrier Corp.; Penny Eastman of Mayer, Brown and Maw; and Mary Lee Jensvold of Central Washington University’s Chimpanzee and Human CommunicationInstitute.

Protecting Wildlife at any Cost

On June 4, the Animal Welfare Institute selected eight outstanding honorees (listed below) to receive its Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards. The prestigious award is given to those who engage in exemplary law enforcement actions to protect species of wildlife listed in the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It is named after the late chief of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Law Enforcement—a trailblazer who pioneered highly effective undercover investigations and "sting" operations. At this year’s Conference of the Parties, certificates of appreciation were personally presented to recipients or their representatives by CITES Secretariat Willem Wijnstekers.

Mr. Paul Cerniglia, US Fish and Wildlife Service Supervisory Wildlife Inspector

Mr. Yvan Lafleur, Canadian Wildlife Service (retired)

Mr. Emmanuel Muyengi, United Republic of Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Wildlife Division Officer (awarded posthumously)

Mr. Paulin Ngobobo, Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature
Chief Warden

Mr. Samson Parsimei Ole Sisina, Kenya Wildlife Service Ranger/Driver (awarded posthumously)

Mr. John T. Webb, US Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division Attorney

Last Great Ape Organization, Cameroon, Africa

Rajasthan Police Department, India

Smithfield Stalls

Imprisoning more than one million breeding sows in the U.S., gestation crates used by Smithfield Farms are severe forms of punishment designed with one goal in mind: increased profit.

In 2007, AWI identified Smithfield’s announcement to phase out gestation crates as a hollow public relations stunt, validated by the company itself in July when it maintained, "Due to…operating losses…we have delayed capital expenditures for the program such that we no longer expect to complete the phase-out within 10 years… ." Despite annual revenue exceeding $12 billion, Smithfield has shelved the $300 million project which has significant animal welfare implications.

Designed to minimize labor and feed costs, gestation crates cause physical and psychological disorders, are conducive to disease and can ultimately result in unhealthy food for humans. They are individual, long, narrow, barren crates atop hard slats in which sows endure the majority of their abbreviated, joyless lives. They thwart sows’ intellect and social nature. On a factory farm, a breeding sow is impregnated, confined in a gestation crate for her nearly four-month pregnancy, transferred to an equally barren crate to deliver her piglets, re-impregnated and returned to the gestation crate. If not pregnant or nursing young through the bars of their crates, sows are slaughtered.

Compassionate consumers don’t buy Smithfield’s public relations pretense or their products. The company confusingly has more than 50 brand names some of which market turkey and peanuts. To boycott them, visit:

Report Mistreatment of Experimental Animals was created by AWI to serve as a secure and confidential source for the reporting of any specific concerns about the well-being of animals used for experimentation, testing, and/or teaching. is open to all persons wishing to notify us about any laboratory animal welfare problem, whether it involves one animal or many animals; whether the concern is for animals in one laboratory cage, animals used by one principal investigator or animals throughout an institution; and whether or not there has been a violation of any law or guideline.

The objective of is to assist individuals in helping laboratory animals who are suffering unnecessarily or are simply in need of better treatment. Reports can be anonymous, and the website is guaranteed to ensure the highest level of privacy, confidentiality, and security. We will follow-up on each report by taking whatever action we can to improve the situation for the laboratory animals involved. This may include, but is not limited to, personally inspecting the animals, filing complaints with the appropriate oversight agency, and reporting to the media and/or Congress.

Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, Professor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0334 USA


January 26, 2004

Gregory Symmes
Associate Executive Director
Division on Earth and Life Studies
National Research Council

Dear Dr. Symmes:

Below is my review of the report titled Review of the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park. I will try to follow your guidelines and I hope that you find my comments useful. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Can you please acknowledge receipt of this document? Thank you.


Marc Bekoff

P. S. For your information, I am a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a recipient of their Exemplar Award for major lifetime contributions to the study of animal behavior. If you need it, more detailed information can be found on my homepage at and at

Review of the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park

I received the Review of the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park on January 23, 2004. As I understand it, I am to judge whether the arguments, findings, and conclusions of this report are supported by the text and determine whether the report is accurate, complete, and even-handed. I will also identify issues that are of major concern. The title is appropriate, and I have no editorial comments.

General and major comments and concerns

The Review of the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park is a comprehensive, well-written, and well-organized report. The specific case studies are very helpful for assessing how poorly the zoo is run and for highlighting the pitiful and shameful lack of documentation of pertinent information and the utter failure across administrative levels to implement procedures that could have helped to improve the well-being of animals who were ill as well as the well-being of other individuals. I congratulate the stellar group of scholars who obviously worked very hard on the project at hand and who then wrote this report. Even objective or dispassionate readers will be able to see that there is a long history of many major problems at the National Zoo, and that the numerous infractions of various federal and other guidelines, statutes, and laws (and common sense) constitute serious and egregious violations. The review is balanced and fair. Sensitive issues are given proper care and in many ways the authors of this review "bent over backwards" to be nice and accommodating to the zoo. I agree with the committee's summary that "Many issues remain unresolved at the National Zoo." (p. 59) Indeed, this is gross understatement.

The charge to the committee is clearly described in this report and in my view, the conclusions that are reached are supported by evidence, analysis, and argument. The authors do not go beyond their charge or expertise. The recommendations that are offered are realistic and strict (as they should be) and unwavering compliance should be enforced at all levels. That the existence of zoos is "inevitable" at least in the foreseeable future does not mean that we should lower our standards or accept the deplorable situation at this institution. Blatant disregard for the lives of the animals should never trump our responsibility to provide the best possible lives for those non-consenting beings who are held captive. I fully realize that it is very difficult to run a zoo and to maintain the highest of ethical standards, but difficult does mean impossible and the National Zoo (and all zoos) should be expected to put the animals first and not run a shoddy operation. Surely, administrators must oversee the entire operation and "run a tight ship." And there must be coordination and communication among all levels. Everyone has to talk to one another because it is clear that the proper operation of a zoo (like all businesses) requires ongoing dialogue and frank but cordial exchanges in which everyone is given a chance to express their views and each individual's views are listened to.

There are many major concerns about the operation of the National Zoo, and the clear organization and structure of this review makes it easy to highlight them. Frankly, I do not see many "strengths" to the way in which the National Zoo is run -- the numerous and blatant "weaknesses" overshadow any positive aspects. There is a shameful and regrettable lack of concern for the animal's well-being by some but not all of the people who are responsible for overseeing the zoo's operation from day to day. It is difficult to see how the goals of providing support for conservation, education, and science are met when there is such rampant disregard for the health and nutrition of the zoo's inhabitants, the beings whose lives and well-being underpin the goals of the zoo and are the very reason that this and other zoos exist in the first place.

I agree with the committee's recognition (p. 3) that "the decline of the state of the National Zoo had accrued over many years." I also find it extremely disconcerting that there are so many violations despite a sharp decrease in the zoo's animal populations (p. 22). I would have expected much better care for fewer residents. And, it is also disquieting that these infractions/abuses are occurring given that the veterinarians who work at the National Zoo are board-certified by the AVMA.

Some major concerns include (but are not limited to): (1) the lack of documentation for the preventative medicine program and the lack of compliance in numerous instances in providing annual exams, vaccinations, tuberculosis tests, and infectious disease testing; (2) shortcomings in the animal nutrition program despite a "history of world-class nutrition research" (p. 51) that have "undoubtedly lead to animal deaths at the National Zoo" (p. 6); (3) the disregard for adherence to guidelines in research supported by the PHS (and also other research supported in other ways) stipulated by the PHS itself, the Federal Animal Welfare Act, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), IACUCs, and the zoo's own policies and procedures for animal health and welfare (p. 8); (4) failure to comply with guidelines for euthanasia; (5) violation of quarantine procedures and protocols; (6) failure to keep adequate animal husbandry and management records; (7) poor pest control; (8) poor compliance with the zoo's own policies (p. 63); (9) poor record keeping; and (10) the lack of accessibility to records.

One of the most egregious violations is the alteration of veterinary records weeks and years after the event (p. 9). Another is the failure to keep "official records" of complaints (p. 60). Yet another is the inexcusable death of two red pandas after they were exposed to rodenticide. Where was the safety manager? I select this example from among many others merely to make the point that individual's lives are at stake and that because of a failure to comply with even the most elementary guidelines and common sense, numerous individuals needlessly suffer interminable psychological and physical pain and death.

AZA Accreditation

A major concern is that the zoo's AZA accreditation will be approved once again in March 2004. I recommend against this. I favor withholding accreditation until the many wrongs are righted. There is a lack of a strategic plan, as highlighted in this review (pp. 89, 91). There has been enough time for the people running the zoo to get things in order and I fear that giving them accreditation will mean that things will change far too slowly if at all. It is time to play "hard ball" because the situation as described in the Review of the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park is deplorable, inexcusable, and an embarrassment to humankind. It is an insult to the people who support the zoo and trust that those who work at the zoo (perhaps especially administrators) will work hard to maintain the highest of standards. Most importantly, it is an affront to the animals who depend on the goodwill of those who are responsible for their well-being and lives. The fact that there still is no strategic plan for the National Zoo "despite the recommendations of previous AZA accreditation reports" (p. 11, my emphasis) in and of itself justifies withholding further accreditation until the zoo gets things in order. Obviously, good intentions and promises to do so have not been sufficient to make suitable changes.

Other substantial issues or concerns

I found myself wondering how and why the high profile situation at the zoo got to be as bad as it is. How and why did conditions deteriorate despite (1) close scrutiny by organizations and individuals who are supposed to be responsible for overseeing zoos and (2) repeated and deep expressions of concern by the public that were carried in high profile media? Why wasn't there better communication and interaction among all levels of the zoo's administration and the people who are responsible for people who interact with the animals first hand,, each and every day, those who do the hand-on work? What has morale been like at the zoo? Has morale declined as the zoo declined? Did anyone at the zoo speak out about the conditions before they snowballed into such a horrific and inexcusable state? What happened to those who did speak out? Were they listened to or dismissed? Was there open communication even about difficult or contentious issues?

To sum up, it is worth emphasizing that the review committee recognized (p. 63, my emphasis) "a lack of evidence that the administration has embraced its role in providing for animal care and management, compounded by a lack of responsibility and accountability at all levels." This summary says it all. There are far too many unresolved questions and issues and a lack of accountability throughout all administrative levels. Pondering the questions that I and the review committee have raised, along with the review committee's summary, is extremely troubling. The future at the National Zoo must not mirror their decline, even in the slightest.


Once again, I congratulate the review committee for writing a fair and balanced report. While I knew that conditions at the National Zoo were bad and continuing to decline, I had no idea that things were as bad as they are. I was alarmed by the extent of the problems that have compromised the well-being of individual animals and have needlessly caused much pain, suffering, and death. There is culpability across all levels. Shame on the individuals responsible for knowingly compromising the lives of animals at this zoo. Shame on them also for mindfully forfeiting public trust.

The National Zoo defines its mission (p. 88) as "exhibiting and protecting biodiversity by joining public education and recreation with research in conservation biology and reproductive sciences." They surely are a long way from realizing that goal and strict and uncompromising measures must be taken to ensure that they "clean up their act" immediately. Stern enforcement of recommendations must commence at once regardless of the zoo's status with the AZA. The entire National Zoo must be kept under the closest scrutiny by organizations and individuals who will enforce recommendations without compromise (and without fear of retribution if necessary). There should be serious consequences for failure to comply with recommendations by oversight committees, and one way to begin is to withhold AZA accreditation. The well-being of all animals must come first.

Animals are not a 'resource'

Ben White

"The briefest of encounters can still touch our hearts. 
Reminders of our mortality, our limited heartbeats,
can steel our resolution to make each one of them count;
to add a small liquid drop of love to a parched world."
Peter Alsop


Ben White put up a fight
To try to save the whales
Cause Ben White knows
You can't buy life
Life – Life – Life
No, Life is not for sale.

Ben White, he saw the light
Didn't want the redwoods cut
Cause Ben White knows
You can't buy life
Life – Life – Life
And your redwood deck is dead wood
And you know it in your gut.

Ben White, he got it right
Said "Animals feel pain!"
And Ben White knows
You can't buy life
Life – Life – Life
When we close our hearts
We loose more than we gain.

Ben White felt sick one night
When the cancer filled his shoes
And Ben White knows
That's how life goes
He loved Life – Life – Life
Cause every living thing on Earth
Is a precious life to loose
Life – Life – Life
It's not for people just to use.

Life – Life – Life
Life – Life – Life
Thanks Ben White,
Life – Life – Life


Written by Peter Alsop
©2005, Moose School Music (BMI)

Smithfield's Ludendorff Offensive

In 1918, Imperial Germany was running out of time. It was being slowly strangled by the allied blockade. Its Austrian ally, bled white by the terrible battles in the east, was crumbling internally. Every week thousands more American troops arrived in France to reinforce the battered French and British armies, meaning that allied strength was increasing even as German strength declined.

The German high command decided on one last, massive offensive to either defeat the allies outright or force them to conclude a peace favorable to Germany. This last great offensive of the First World War-- which ultimately failed and led to the disintegration of the German army from within its enlisted ranks-- is remembered as the "Ludendorff Offensive" after the man who conceived and commanded it.

Early in 2002, Smithfield Foods, running out of time to establish "vertical integration" in Poland before Poland accedes to the European Union, opened an offensive long in preparation and backed massively by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and other international banks. The breadth of the attack, involving simultaneous moves in the Polish Sejm, the government ministries and in gminas (counties) across Poland revealed startling corporate penetration of the Socialist-Peasant Party coalition that took power in October, 2001.

For all the alacrity with which captive officials and parliamentarians have rushed to the company's bidding, the Smithfield offensive contains an element of desperation. With his Animex subsidiary continually losing money, E.U. accession approaching, populist politicians Andrzej Lepper and Law and Justice head Lech Kasczynski (both Smithfield enemies) outstripping Prime Minister Miller in the polls, this is CEO Joe Luter's last chance to install Smithfield-as he has promised to do-as "Europe's number one pork producer".  What is underway is Smithfield's Ludendorff Offensive in Poland.

Defeat In The Sejm

Late in 2000, Smithfield achieved a cryptic coup in the Polish Sejm by passing the "Fertilizer Act", redefining liquid animal manure--previously subject to regulation as "sewage" under water pollution statutes-- as "natural fertilizer" exempt from regulation. The Act sanctions surface spraying of waste as "appropriate means of application" and sets up legal barriers against challenging, or prohibiting, liquid manure because of odor. Provisions that might have halted hog factories and mega-dairies on environmental grounds were thus erased. There was no opposition to the bill; it was "slipped through" so stealthily that Polish NGOs were not even aware of it until 2002!

The attempt to eliminate a second potential barrier to populating Poland with American style hog factories, however, did not go unnoticed. An effort by the Solidarity government to gut the Polish Animal Welfare Act was vetoed by President Kwasniewski early in 2001. However, a new drive to strip the Act-this time by the Socialist (SLD) government of Prime Minister Leszek Miller-- began in February, 2002. It reached an ignominious conclusion with Kwasniewski's last minute decision on August 14, 2002 to sign a weakened bill into law.

The most remarkable thing about the struggle over the Animal Welfare Act, however, was not that it was ultimately weakened-how fatally remains to be seen-but how close the government, with the massed power of banks and corporations behind it, came to losing. The bill consumed a dozen hearings over six months and triggered acrimonious and protracted debates in the chambers of the 460 member Sejm and 100 member Senat. Miller's government was savaged in the press on the issue and humiliated by the Senat's rejection of its bill. In the end, Miller was forced to impose harsh party discipline on his restive deputies to override the Senat. It was a victory whose costs have yet to be fully paid.

The industry draft eructed from Ministry of Agriculture in February, was couched as an "urgent measure" to integrate Polish law with EU regulations. It was accepted without debate by the Cabinet and sent on an "expedited" basis to the powerful Sejm Commission on European Integration chaired by former Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy.

Marek Kryda, working under an AWI grant, and I analyzed the draft-which proved far less consistent with E.U. regulations than the original Act--- and set to work drafting and translating amendments. Among these were two that-had they passed-- could have stopped Smithfield in its tracks. One required that animals raised in buildings must have adequate natural bedding (eg; straw), enough-in the case of mammals-to permit composting. This would have made it flatly impossible to use liquid manure systems. A second amendment mandated natural lighting in buildings housing animals-with exceptions for infants and chicks requiring heat lamps-- be consistent with diurnal rhythms: no rearing in the dark or under constant artificial light.

At the initial hearing before Oleksy's commission in April there were only four NGO witnesses: Marek Kryda, Liza Kodym who heads the Polish Animal Welfare League, Poznan activist Jurek Dusczynski (who participated in AWI's October 2000 tour of the Midwest) and 80 year old Jenna Polyturzycka, the woman chiefly responsible for the original (1997) Act. However the appearance of a front page article on the Animal Welfare Act in Gazeta Wyborska, Poland's largest daily, that quoted Kryda extensively, and the ferocious opposition of deputies from Samoobrona and Law and Justice transformed what was expected to be a routine exercise into a political brawl. Oleksy,( who looks remarkably like Nikita Kruschev ) was forced to appoint a subcommittee.

The issue reached the Sejm Chamber on July 6. After a fierce five hour debate, mostly over the bedding and natural lighting amendments, the bill was returned to Oleksy's committee for additional hearings. From all reports, supporters swept the debate and a vote on the 6th would have gone our way. But by the time the bill made its way to the Chamber for final voting on July 19 our position had deteriorated. The bedding amendment was defeated by a vote of 203-167 ;The amendment on natural lighting failed 201-169 .

Ironically, the erosion of support occured- in part-because of Marek and Liza's early lobbying success. The intense press and media coverage attracted unwelcome attention.! Hunting interests entered the arena with a bizarre amendment allowing hunters to shoot "dangerous" dogs and cats more than 200 yards from an occupied dwelling. The Polish humane movement erupted in highly public controversy over a scheme-apparently involving conflict of interest-- to implant identifying computer chips in dogs and cats. These issues brought noisy debates that pushed humane treatment of farm animals out of the spotlight. Worse was the involvement of the international banks that now own 80% of Poland's banking sector. Halina Nowina- Konopka, a League of Polish Families deputy from a banking family who adopted natural lighting as her special cause, was under no illusions. "Dear" she told Liza before the vote, "we can't win. The banks realize that there are hundreds of millions of euros at stake. They won't let us."

Our defeat was not, however, a rout. We were able to hold on to Article 13 of the Act requiring that any "new technology" impacting Animal Welfare must be investigated and approved and a provision banning importation of animals or animal products "raised in a manner inconsistent with the Animal Welfare Act". Surprisingly, an amendment I first drafted on a napkin that authorizes the Ministry of Transportation to halt, inspect and-if necessary-impound trucks transporting livestock and mandates construction of unloading and holding facilities, passed. If implemented, this measure could practically shut down international traffic in Polish horses.

The vote in the Senat, where 70 of the 100 senators are listed as SLD, was considered pro-forma. However, Marek and Jurek Dusczynski, lobbying hard, found unexpectedly strong support. The Senat voted to reject the bill en toto and returned it to the Sejm with a letter saying that it was "too flawed to consider". Stung, Miller and Co. exercised themselves as never before to discipline SLD members and gain opposition support to override the Senate. In the end only one opposition party, Law and Justice (45 MPs) voted solidly against the government and only a single courageous SLD deputy, Izabella Sierakowska, defied the Miller machine to vote "No".

The bill that went to the President, saddled with the "hunters right to shoot pets" amendment and provisions that fly in the face of EU regulations it supposedly "approximates", was ripe for veto. In the end, a veto and an early test of strength between Miller and Kwasniewski, rivals for future leadership of SLD, did not occur. The sorry state of the new Act, however, suggests that Smithfield's victory is on shaky ground. E.U. is likely -indeed almost certain--to find it inadequate; there may be legal and even constitutional challenges. The battle over the Animal Welfare Act may be just beginning.

Struggle In The Countryside

Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Polish Constitution of 1997 specifies and guarantees the rights of local government. The sixteen voivodships (states) are considered part of the federal government; state legislatures (with limited powers) are elected but the governors are appointed by the Prime Minister. However, the powers of the gminas (counties) and the cities and towns are separate and inviolate; there is no constitutional way for federal government or the voivodships to force gminas to accept hog factories; local government has the constitutional right to say "No!". This means that by sweeping away federal barriers to hog factories (if it really has) Smithfield has only broken the first line of resistance.

Many of the 7,000 copies of "The Trojan Pig" (note Spring 2000 Quarterly) that AWI delivered to Samoobrona were passed on to local officials across Poland in the hope that this would prevent Smithfield hog factories from being approved. Luter's initial drive to "replicate Smithfield's American success" received a chilly reception at both federal and local level. However, early in 2001 it became evident that Smithfield, lurking behind Polish proxies, had seeped around our defenses. A company calling itself "Prima Farms" managed to secure permits for a hog farm near the town of Czplinek, between Poznan and the Baltic coast and by late summer hog factories-patterned to the American mode-were in operation. With the advent of a new, more "compliant" government in October and the installation of company operatives in key posts within the Agriculture Ministry, Smithfield caste aside the pretence that "Prima" is an independent company. Plans for immense hog factory complexes came, one after another, into focus: 300,000 hogs to be housed at the former Soviet Army base at Borne-Solinowo west of Czplinek; 300,000 hogs to be housed at Rekoniewice near Poznan; from 300,000 to half a million hogs to be raised near Goldap in northeastern Poland. The reason why Adam Tanski, head of the State Farm Property Agency under the previous government, had been retained in office became clear. Tanski, whom we once considered a friend, has "gone over" to Smithfield; an estimated thirty former state farms-up to 50,000 hectares according to an article in have been handed over to Smithfield's Animex and Prima subsidiaries.

Two battles are now at boiling point. Near the town of Rekoniewice in western Poland about 50 kilometers southwest of the city of Poznan, Animex obtained permits to build a large sheep farm. Instead of sheep, however, the new buildings were designed to imprison hogs- vast numbers of hogs-in the standard Smithfield way. If there was a "fix", however, it did not stay fixed. Last spring when Smithfield began stocking its "sheep barns" with "lean generation" hogs imported from the U.S., Andrzej Lepper, Samoobrona Party Secretary Renia Beger (who was our guest in October, 2000) and Jurek Dusczynski organized a protest rally. On May 27, the local authorities reacted by ordering Animex to remove the hogs forthwith from Rekoniewice. The company then hauled the animals to a farm Animex had acquired eight years earlier near Wieckowice at the outskirts of Poznan.

The permits issued for the 900 hectare Wieckowice farm authorize 500 pigs and 600 cows. In August, 2001, Animex inquired about (but apparently did not file) documents needed to raise the number of animals to 9600 and began retrofitting the farm's massive buildings to accommodate hogs.  Estimates of how many thousand hogs were already illegally housed at Wieckowice by May 27, 2002 vary. In any case, addition of those from Rekoniewice brought the total number to 17,000. The poor animals, jammed into hastily prepared storage buildings, barely tended by the farm's skeleton crew, died by the hundreds. Their carcasses, in a scene all too familiar in the United States, were heaped in dumpsters awaiting transport to a rendering plant and the nauseating stench of rotting hogs permeated the town of Wieckowice. Even with the windows closed at the school children vomited; vast swarms of flies settled over the town.

Goaded beyond endurance, the townspeople gathered at the company gate on June 9th railing at unresponsive Animex managers and threatening to "free the pigs" if nothing was done. The carcasses were finally hauled off but the reek of hog feces-amply nauseous in its own right-remains. On August 21 a hearing was held in Wieckowice on Animex's hastily filed application for a permit to dispose of ("apply") liquid manure. The company, not having installed a system of pipes that underlie "sprayfields" for liquid hog feces in the U.S. nor acquired tank trucks with Chisel plows to "inject" it, proposed to spread it along the roads. The assurances of Animex spokesmen that liquid manure is odorless were not, one paper reported, "well received"

.The situation at Wieckowice is ripe for activism. However, local authorities have displayed none of the courage animating their counterparts at Rekoniewice. The deep complicity of the Miller government in Smithfield's attempted takeover of Polish pork production was reflected in press coverage of the raucous August 21 hearing. Privately owned newspapers told it as it was. But public media, increasingly controlled and straitened by the government took an insipid "company line". A BBC team Marek conducted to the site on August 16 penned graphic descriptions but even BBC was at pains not to identify the "foreign multi-national" involved.

A larger and even more critical battle with Smithfield is underway in northeastern Poland, in former East Prussia near the border with Russia's Kalingrad enclave. Operating as Prima Farms the company has applied for permits to construct facilities to house hundreds of thousands of hogs-by some accounts over half a million-on six former state farms it controls near the border town of Goldap.(population about 16,000). Investigating onsite, Marek Kryda found the properties grouped in a tight semi-circle around the town, averaging only about five kilometers distant. With millions of gallons of hog feces in open cesspools on three sides of their homes only a north wind could provide Goldap residents respite from the malodorous stench; absent this there would be no escape.

The grotesque effrontery of trying to confine hundreds of thousands of hogs here does not end-indeed hardly begins-with an assault on Goldap's air. The area is part of the Green Lungs of Poland, containing Europe's last fully intact aquatic ecosystem. Much of the land is low lying and marshy; fecal effluent from spraying would-as in North Carolina-almost certainly reach water, draining either into the Goldap river (which flows north into Russia thereby introducing an international dimension) or into local lakes. There is no chance, if large scale spraying occurs, to avoid eutrophication of pristine lakes and the contamination of an historic river.

This area's unspoiled natural beauty; the fact that it is home to scores of birds and mammals (including bison and wolves) extinct in western Europe, its proximity to the famous Romincka forest, site of Reichmarshal Herman Goering's baronial hunting lodge, makes it a prime destination for European tourists. Tourism-founded on clean air and unsullied nature-is the areas' most viable economic activity. Liquid manure from hundreds of thousands of imprisoned hogs would bring all of this to an end.. Already 40 miles south, near Elk, Smithfield farms containing only a few thousand hogs have left local tourist homes without clients.

Add to this the fate of the hogs themselves-never, in their terrible prisons, to smell the earth or see the sky-and the impact on peasant agriculture. At Wieckowice, it was learned that the company-aside from guards and white collar types-had only five workers for 17,000 hogs. This many animals, raised traditionally, would support at least fifty families.

On June 17, at the insistence of the Olsztyne Voivodship legislature and amid a swarm of rumors that officials were being bribed, the City of Goldap convened a hearing. It was opened by the Mayor, who lent credence to the rumors by saying that he had no authority to reject properly made out applications and then hastily departed. Company officials took the floor, rhapsodizing over the "eco-friendly" nature of the "Smithfield system"; characterizing effluent spraying as a modern version of organic agriculture. A farm in-of all places-- Yorkshire was cited as the exemplar of this enlightened new agriculture.

At this juncture a white haired man made his way through the packed meeting room to the lectern. It was Wijtold Malevicz who participated in our September, 1999 tour . "Have you people been to the North Carolina to observe the real 'Smithfield system'?" He asked. "I have!" he continued and spared no detail in describing what he had seen, heard and smelled. Malevicz was followed by a succession of angry witnesses, among them the Chief Veterinarian of the Olsztyne Voivodship, Dr. Maslowski. Maslowski, debunking the cheery company accounts, reported appalling conditions and prodigious death loss at Smithfield/Prima's two functioning farms in the voivodship. At Bychowo where the company admits having only 6,000 hogs (although the real number is evidently much higher) Maslowski said that 1,761 hogs had died in the previous seven months. By the end of the day, public witnesses from every walk of life had attacked the project; not one had supported it.

Public opinion notwithstanding, "Prima" is proceeding as though the issuance of permits (no decision is expected until after the October 26, municipal elections) is a sure thing. Huge pits have been dug for sewage ponds, construction and retrofitting continues at the company farms.

Exhibiting its parent's seemingly perdurable contempt for laws and regulations Prima was found to have illegally dumped asbestos roofing stripped from farm buildings into a swamp. In the meantime heavy handed federal interference continues; local officials report intense badgering from Tanski and the Agriculture Ministry to abet the project.

"Returning from Goldap through the North Warmia district in the evening was a marvelous experience" Marek wrote. "Nature is incredible there; in every village are a few storks nests; all around are forests and meadows. They are such nice villages even though they are not wealthy. The people live in close contact with nature."

Why, one asks, can't decent, honest humans living in balance with nature be left alone? What Procrustean mania drives these bandit CEO's, these tyrant bureaucrats, these corrupted politicians to impose their ruinous imprimatur on all of nature and society?

Ask as we will, the corporate offensive against Poland's peasant farmers, with Smithfield-today at least-at its spear point, rages apace.

Trapper Ordered to Pay Damages for Killing Dogs

Bubba and Savannah were shot and killed after being caught in steel-jaw leghold traps. Kim Borgen

A token measure of justice was recently granted to Marcela Egea, the owner of two English mastiffs who fell victim to a pair of steel-jaw leghold traps in February of last year. As we reported in the spring 2005 AWI Quarterly, trapper Michael Kartman shot the dogs near Egea’s home in Belton, Mo. when he found them caught in the jaws of his traps. In March 2006, a judge in an Associate Court ordered Kartman to pay $2,400 in civil damages to Egea for the loss of her animals. In Missouri, dogs are considered "personal property," and only their fair market value is recoverable.

Despite only having to pay what most would agree to be a small price for the lives he took, Kartman has appealed the original decision to the higher Circuit Court, where he is entitled to have a complete retrial. The case has been referred to a new judge and the parties are awaiting a trial date. We are optimistic that the judge will be sympathetic to Egea’s case, and that she will have the opportunity to press for punitive damages.

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