Starting Sunday, Russia, the top market for US chicken exports, will be banning imports from at least 19 US poultry plants. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the bans in an interview with CNN, citing what he said were ignored warnings about inspections.

“The inspection showed that many companies had not taken measures to remove flaws revealed during previous checks,” Russia’s agricultural regulator said in a news release.

The Russian Government also said the US uses too many antibiotics in chicken-rearing, and cited cases of salmonella found in recent imports.

Russia has imposed several temporary bans on pork and poultry from various US producers in recent years.

Plants affected include at least two owned by Tyson (the nation’s largest chicken producer), two from Sanderson Farms Inc. (the nation’s fourth largest chicken producer), a Jennie-O Turkey plant owned by Hormel Foods Inc., and other companies not named at this time. Read the rest of this entry »

Many people picture cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens as friendly creatures who live happily within the confines of a peaceful family farm, arriving as food for humans only at the end of their sun-drenched lives. That’s what Gene Baur had been told — but when he first visited a stockyard he realized that this rosy depiction couldn’t be more inaccurate.

Amid the stench, noise, and filth, his attention was drawn in particular to one sheep who had been cast aside for dead. But as Baur walked by, the sheep raised her head and looked right at him. She was still alive, and the one thing Baur knew for sure that day was that he had to get her to safety. Hilda, as she was later named, was nursed back to health and soon became the first resident of Farm Sanctuary — an organization dedicated to the rescue, care, and protection of farm animals. Read the rest of this entry »