ARA Group Breaks Into Rabbit Processing Facility

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by rabbitgal, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    The animal rights group East Bay Animal Advocates (www.eastbayanimaladvocates.org) broke into Cloverdale Rabbit Company, a rabbit slaughterhouse in California. They "liberated" five rabbits and got video footage of the place. They're accusing Cloverdale of some pretty nasty things and they're also representing Cloverdale as typical of the whole meat rabbit industry. To see the video footage that EBAA obtained, go to http://www.rabbitproduction.com/

    For those of you who weren't at the "Rabbit Production" chat this past Thursday night, the topic was protecting the rabbit industry from from ARA's. A representative of East Bay Animal Advocates dropped by, and boy was that an interesting chat! We had something like three times as many people as we usually do. To view the chat log, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ProfRabbitMeatOrg/message/717

    Get ready folks, we're the next "industry" being targeted by the ARA movement. :(
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As if we didn't have enough trouble with the "Easter Bunny Syndrome."

    I'm all for making sure that all animals are slaughtered with the least pain and fear. I'm all for standards for housing, hygiene and feeding. But we are animals too - omnivorous animals whose natural diet includes meat. I have no problem with individuals who by choice do not eat or use animal products. That is their business. When they try to impose their beliefs and practices on me, that makes it MY business.

    That being said, meat processing plants need to clean up their act and rehabilitate their image. If they were scrupulous in their practices and open in the face of criticism, it would go a long way to taking the wind out of the sails of animal rights activists.
     

  3. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    What would you have rabbit processors do to "clean up their act"?
    Suggestions, please! We have several rabbit processors (not to
    mention that Tracy might be interested) who attend our Thursday
    chats. I would like to relay your suggestions to them.

    Thanks!

    Linda Welch
     
  4. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Excuse me, Linda, but I did say "meat processing plants" not "rabbit processors". The extreme crowding of animals awaiting slaughter, the chicken industry scandals and the linking of the rabbit industry to the poultry industry due to the classification of rabbits as "poultry" are all part of the problem.

    I agree that "clean up their act" was a tactless way of expressing myself. For that I apologize. I do believe, however, that meat processing companies need to be proactive in demonstrating to the public that their practices are humane and monitored if they wish to avoid being the target of animal rights activists. Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. As it is, people hear or read a little and say "No smoke without fire." It may not be fair, but it is reality.
     
  5. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    This discussion forum is about rabbits so I asked for suggestions
    regarding improvement of the rabbit (AKA rabbit meat) processors.
    This is a serious issue with me. It relates to a profession which I
    love! :)

    Since this is a rabbit forum and the original topic is about rabbits,
    give us an example of what it would take to avoid "extreme crowding
    of animals awaiting slaughter". How do you know that animals
    (rabbits in this case) are extremely crowded? They could be as I've
    never been to a rabbit processing plant. What would it take to
    make you happy with the situation?

    I am also a member of the ARBA Commercial Department Committee
    which is chaired by Pat Lamar. I feel that Pat would be glad to
    provide constructive suggestions and share your concerns
    with processors.

    Can you provide a documented source showing that rabbits
    are classified as poultry? I completed a USDA Farm Survey last fall
    because we have cattle and rabbits. Rabbits are not included with
    poultry. They have a separate category entirely. When the numbers
    are tallied, they are included in "other animals" which doesn't include
    poultry. I have seen this same statement regarding rabbits/poultry
    many, many times. No one has followed up their statements with documentation.

    Thank you and I'm looking forward to hearing specifics.


    Linda Welch
     
  6. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't think you are ever going to have any animal "rights" outfit visit any farm, any slaughterhouse, any place where animals live and die and have them like it. They don't understand what raising animals is about because they are too many generations away from any animal agriculture (as opposed to pets). In their minds, nothing we can do is good enough. To be honest, that's their raison d'etre and they probably don't even WANT things perfect. Much more fun to get angry and righteous about the terrible way animals are being treated. I don't even think they are very rational people.

    Jennifer
     
  7. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sorry, Linda, but I am not getting into an argument here. It seems we are talking at cross-purposes, with you wanting to get specific about the rabbit meat industry and me preferring to view it as part of the larger meat processing industry. I don't play ping pong.

    I stand by my opinion as stated, with the exception of my unfortunate choice of the phrase "clean up their act." For that I have already apologized to you and anyone else it may have offended.
     
  8. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    Good point. With a perfect world, there would be no need to
    collect millions of tax free $$$$ to reform us.

    I'm not offended. I want suggestions....not apologies (not needed).
    Unless critics can offer suggestions, there is little hope of improvement.
     
  9. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I was a very young child in the early 1940's, my dad worked as a mechanic for a meat company/processor. Dad used to take part of his pay in meat, since meat was being rationed during WWII. It was not unusual for us to go with him to the plant to pick up his pay and meat, and I still remember well about being able to join in on a TOUR of the plant!

    What I am saying, here, is that processing plants DID used to be open to the public! Care to guess why they aren't, anymore? The ARA's caused so much trouble that, for their own protection, they had to stop allowing visitors. Just as Jennifer had hinted at, It didn't even matter whether or not they had anything to "hide"... ARA's are predominantly vegetarians/vegans, and no matter how clean and upright an operation is, they will still want it closed because it "murders" animals... and that is their goal... to make us *ALL* stop eating meat. Period!

    Now, consider this: A few short years ago, this very same rabbit processor (e.g., Cloverdale Rabbit Company) trustingly granted an on-site interview to a couple of women who gained this interview under false pretenses. I've met Clyde Marsh (the processor), and he is far from being a dummy! In fact, he is extremely intelligent and knowledgeable on rabbits and his business of processing. Meanwhile, the state of California's state processing program EXCEEDS the requirements of the USDA, and Clyde has been in business for quite a long time. Clyde certainly had nothing to hide. Wouldn't you know, those two women wound up negatively writing about him and his plant in the book "Stories Rabbits Tell"... and I sincerely suspect that the video very likely came from that same interview.

    Sooo.... just how would you say that such an incident can best be avoided, then? Opening the doors to the public because we have "nothing to hide" obviously is NOT the way!

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     
  10. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    There are so many extremist out there and most have no clue. Any normal person would realize that mother nature is much more cruel then most processing facilities. Geese, just watch any animal show which shows a large carnivore taking down their prey. It is not necessarily humane nor pretty!
    My understanding is that rabbits are classified as an exotic animal and not under poultry according to the USDA. I know I have the information somewhere but would have to look for it.
    I know of at least one processor that processes under the food and cosmetic act not under USDA. I am processing for animal consumption so my guidelines are not the same. I have to be registered and have licensing through the Dept of Ag and meet AFCO labeling requirements. Also I have to be registered with the FDA because we ship our pet foods. We have to have certified scales as well. Also have to charge sales tax with in my State.
    We do the rabbit processing on our farm as well as the processing and packaging of our other pet foods. The rabbits are the only ones that are killed her as the other stuff I purchase are from other processing plants or a wholesale supplier. I try to be sure the meats I purchase are all humanely raised and butchered. I have many costumers that are Vegan but do realize that their dogs or cats are carnivores and need a meat based diet. They want to be sure the animal they are purchasing for food has ethically been raised and slaughtered. I believe all animals even those intended for meat consumption do deserve a good life but the facts are that there are other animals that need meat to survive Period. Mother nature knows better then we do. It is the HUGE feed lots that I have a problem with. Most family farms certainly care about their animals or they would not have the family farm!
    As far as an ARA coming onto my farm. I doubt they would get far. I have 3 HUGE dogs and another pup coming in about 4 weeks. The three I have now are 2 Great Danes and a Shepard/wolf/ chow cross and the new pup is also a Great Dane. My dogs have invisible fencing around the property. My greenhouse that holds the rabbits have the invisible fence surrounding it so the dogs have access to all sides but not inside. There is no way in the world that an ARA would get onto this property with out us knowing it. God help the fool that tries. My dogs also have a dog door so they come in and out at will not only do I have a dog door in my house but also one in my shop so if someone were to get into the shop the dogs would find them. :duel:
     
  11. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    Yes. On many USDA Reports, I see that *exotic and other animals"
    are together.

    This is from an older Census but has the same type of coding for
    the Farm Census/Survey I completed last fall. I did not find the 2005
    report on line.

    " Other animals and other animal products sold. This category
    includes all animals and animal products not having specific codes
    on the 2002 report form. Some specific examples are bees,
    honey, rabbits, fur-bearing animals, semen, manure, and
    other animal specialties."

    Poultry had their own code and were not considered other animals.

    Please don't fall for the AR hype about the "rabbits being poultry".
    They have their agenda for doing this and it seems to be working.
     
  12. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, I'm having my "consciousness raised", as we used to say back in the 70s. I have not been in the habit of taking animal rights fanatics too seriously. Maybe they aren't as high profile here in Canada.

    I do see that the rabbit meat industry is more at risk than the beef or chicken industries, because of "cute bunny" thinking, but is there a real threat that ARAs will be able to influence the general public not to eat meat?

    I suspect they will eventually overreach themselves and lose credibility. And I still think the best strategy against them is openness and public education. Perhaps hire some advertising experts and mount a publicity campaign against the ARA hype. The more accurate knowledge people have, the easier to make an informed decision.
     
  13. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's going to take a large over reach, Maggie. The general public tends to view outfits like this as "kooky, but their hearts are in the right place" so they maybe looked at as misguided, not serious crimiinals when they break into a place and so are forgiven easily. They have to make mistakes in the way they are viewed before much will change with them. Like that incident this past year where someone found a dumpster full of dead animals an AR group had "rescued" and then killed.

    Jennifer
     
  14. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they are really doing things like that, Jennifer (and I do believe you) why doesn't someone expose them? Seems to me that they are ripe for discrediting if we work as hard at it as they do. Maybe a "sane" person or two needs to infiltrate their groups much as they infiltrate processing plants etc. Fight fire with fire, so to speak.
     
  15. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    After reading the above post, Just wondering if you were not picking on Maggie J just a bit. Not that I have seen the inside of a plant for rabbits or chickens, but have gotten behind trucks hauling chickens in cages packed full in the middle of the winter with feathers flying everwhere and have seen them on the side of the road where they blew out. Not sure if they would be given much better treatment after they got there if allowed to shipped under these conditions. I know a man that hauls his and others rabbits over a hundred miles and hope that he has a more humane way of hauling.
     
  16. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    So do I. The bad actions of a single person can do a lot to harm
    the rest of us.

    Funding for this endeavor?

    It's done all the time. There are dozens and dozens of websites
    and organizations providing info on Animal Rights organizations.
    The FBI has designated certain groups as "terroists". The
    non-profit status of PeTA was recently reviewed by the IRS.

    I watched an interesting episode of Penn and Teller last night
    dealing with PeTA. No holds barred and VERY enlightening!

    We have a section of our forum at Texas Rabbit Connection
    devoted to Animal Rights/Animal Welfare issues. It could be
    a full time job keeping up with their antics. :bash:

    I don't think so.

    I respectfully disgree with this. Just look at the millions of $$$$
    collected by the Humane Society of the U.S. after Hurricanes
    Katrina and Rita. These groups want to effect change through
    legislation (just as EBAA stated at our chat last week) so how
    do they accomplish this? Contributions to politicians!!!
    They even go so far as to rate politicians who are favorable to
    their goals. There are also "good guys" watching the campaign
    filings to report on these contributions, too.

    I don't have the answers. I know that rabbit hobbyists and meat
    producers need to be mindful of the problems staring us smack dab
    in the eye! :mad: I don't have anything to hide but I am sure
    not opening my farm and my home up to people who have no
    authority and no reason for being there other than to see whether
    I'm doing something they disagree with!
     
  17. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    I also think it would be unwise to invite an ARA into my rabbitry. It's just asking for trouble when you know they are going to find fault with everything you are doing anyway.

    I've said this before elsewhere, but I do think we as breeders and meat producers need to get on the ball and let the public know what raising rabbits for meat is REALLY about. Let's stand up for our hobby (and in some cases) and our industry. Some of you may not like the idea of a large-scale commercial rabbitry, but the conditions there are usually FAR better than those in other ag industries. Most rabbitries are actually small Mom-and-Pop affairs.
     
  18. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    I doubt they are "worried" at all.

    Is there a way to tell what an ARA or AA looks like? (Point made
    below)

    My point is that these people don't follow the same set of rules that you
    and I do. Not only did Cloverdale Rabbit Company grant an on-site
    interview but people were granting phone interviews without checking
    into the credentials of the "interviewer". People, for less than honest
    reasons, have gained access to rabbits (both commercial and hobby)
    under the guise of looking for breeding stock. My suggestion is that
    people take extreme caution when dealing with prospective sales.
    They don't wear tags saying "I'm John Q, Animal Advocate".
     
  19. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    I found this interesting in light of the fact that a friend e-mailed me a list of "byproducts" from cows that get used in so many daily items-- both food and clothing. I have aften said that an ARA person better not be wearing leather shoes or using a lanolin based hand lotion. Now, it seems, dont drive on the roads-- Asphalt has a cattle byproduct in it to help it bind to itself. Our tires and vehicles contain synthetics made from cattle renderings. No markers to make thoise signs, even clothing with synthetic fiobers will contain some cattle by products. so, those true, die hard ARA "terrorists" if they held every word they spoke to heart, would be walking, naked, without signs , to and from their protest sites. think on it-- and laugh :lonergr:
     
  20. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    Terry, that's an excellent point!

    Double standards? Look at this!

    The justification? The insulin is needed so she "can fight for the animals".

    I have a friend who raises research animals(yes, some are rabbits) and
    is involved in research. He has received death threats and goes to
    great lengths to protect his animals and family. Scary? I would
    think so!

    Want to open your home/farm to visitors?

    Below is a typical assessment of Activists. Review the undercover
    videos we all see from AR's. My first thought is usually: "How
    much of this is staged?"

    A couple of sites of interest:

    Very informative site

    From the DogPlace: