Maybe There Is A Bigger Issue?

Industrial manure lagoon: like a toxic inland sea.

The Washington Post asks whether the deaths of workers in dairy farm manure pools puts the oversight of dairy farms into question:

Alberto Navarro Munoz had been working on the farm for only two weeks when he encountered one of the most gruesome hazards that a dairy worker can face. His tractor tipped over into a pit of cow manure, submerging the Mexican native under several feet of a “loose thick somewhat liquid-like substance,” according to the police report documenting his death in southern Idaho.

Another immigrant laborer jumped in to try to save Munoz, but told authorities “there was nothing he could do.” Munoz, whose body was later retrieved by the fire department, died of traumatic asphyxiation.

Munoz’s death, which occurred in the nearby town of Shelley last September, was one of two fatal accidents last year involving dairymen who either choked or drowned in pits of cow manure. Another laborer from Mexico died last month after he was crushed by a skid loader, used to move feed and manure.

The deaths have rattled Idaho’s dairy industry as well as local immigrant communities that do the bulk of the work producing nearly 15 billion pounds of milk annually on the industrial-sized farms in the state’s southern prairie. As farms have transitioned from family operations into big businesses involving thousands of cows and massive machinery, new safety concerns have emerged.

Worker safety is always vital. But maybe the existence of manure lagoons vast enough to regularly drown workers should call into question the industrial dairy farm itself. Just a thought.

Dept. Of Bizarre And Aberrant Animal Husbandry: The “UdderSinge”

You just can’t make this stuff up.

The UdderSinge uses a [oxymoron alert!] low temperature flame passed 2-4″ below the udder and belly that removes hair quickly and painlessly. Removing hair aids in creating a healthier cow by reducing the occurrence of mastitis in the cow’s udder.

Mastitis is a painful disease that causes painful swelling and infection in the udder and is potentially fatal for the cow. Removing udder hair decreases somatic cell counts in milk thus making the product safer for the consumer.

Hmm. I wonder how come we don’t see humans using such an ingenious and “painless” device for hair removal on their sensitive parts? I mean, why go to all the trouble and pain of waxing when this baby is available?

(This latest update in bizarre factory farm practices, courtesy of Free From Harm).