Monday, November 9, 2015

Flawed CAFO Chicken

The Chicken Mafia promote and use flawed CAFO (Cincentrated Animal Feeding Facilities) as the one and only system for raising chickens.

For example, CAFO methods require or strongly recommend "All In, All Out" methods.  This means than the chicken barns are cleaned, scrubbed, washed, and sanitized so as to remove all microbes from the barn.  The empty barn is then filled with day old chicks.  People coming in are required to wear sterile boot covers and coveralls, some CAFO farms mandate that workers wear surgical masks, ensuring minimal or no chance of introducing microbes (both helpful and pathogenic) to the chicks.  The chicks in this "sterile" environment are raised to full age, then all of the birds are harvested and taken to slaughter.  All the birds move together as one flock.

This concept prohibits the separation of a flock into separate sub-flocks, prohibiting the harvesting of part flocks at separate timing.

The "All in-All Out" concept proposes that biosecurity is optimized under the following scenarios:
  • Preventing new chicks from introducing infections to an existing flock;
  • Existing older flocks likely have disease pathogens, for which the older birds have developed immunity or adequate defenses.  These potential diseases from older birds are prevented from being passed to new day-old chicks who have little or no immunity.
  • Catching a flock introduces pre-used cages into a "sterile" barn; cages that may be disease laden.  Many sub-contractor persons who have just finished catching a flock at another farm and may be carrying pathogens are introduced into a "sterile" barn.  For those birds caught and immediately slaughtered, there is insufficient time for those caught birds to become ill from the catching process, but the stress does taint the resulting meat.  There is also extreme stress to the birds not caught (they see and hear the screams and flapping of the birds that are caught).  They are also exposed to the crates and the catching crew, and have time for those exposures to start incubation.  When stressed, most digestive and other hormonal systems are dramatically changed and disrupted.  Prior medical conditions and pathogens that had been dormant or in remission suddenly come alive with a vengeance (eg. you tend to develop a cold sore on your lip after being emotionally stressed, lack of sleep, or other illness, even though we usually have adaptive immunity and the virus usually lays dormant within our bodies). The catching process significantly exposes the remaining uncaught birds, and they are left to deal with the consequences, often deadly.
If you drink of the CAFO Kool-Aid offered by the Chicken Mafia, all of the above might seem reasonable at first blush.  However, as you dig deeper, the dysfunction and wrong-headed assumptions in the Chicken Mafia's CAFO fairy tale become more and more evident.

Alternatives to CAFO Dysfunction

The alternative viewpoints against "All-In All Out" are as follows:

Chicken eggs are sterile, free from disease, bacteria, or viruses by definition.  If that wasn't true, the eggs would rot and turn bad long before they hatch during a 30 day incubation at warm and moist conditions.

When the fertile & sterile egg eventually hatches, the chick is also free from any microbes.

A "biome" is defined as the complex family of digestive system microbes that live on the feather or skin of the chicken, and/or inside the gut of every member of the flock.  There are more cells within the biome than the cells that make up the chicken (eg. feathers, brain, kidney, skin, etc.).  If it was majority rule, the biome would win, and the chicken would lose.

In natural chicken life, chickens normally eat chicken poo; their own, their parent's poo, or that of siblings or neighbours.  This especially occurs is CAFO chicken factory barns, as the chickens live on top of the poo for their entire life.  You may feel that is gross, but that is the life of chickens, and exists for good reasons.  It's not only chickens.  Dogs will naturally eat horse manure, and sometimes chicken manure.  Pigs will eat chicken manure, or cow dung.  On feedlots of today, 25% to 75% of a steer's diet is chicken manure or litter (manure and wood shavings scraped from a chicken coop).

On the first pass through the digestive system, only about 33% of the nutrients from the food have been extracted by a chicken's digestive system.  The first pass frees up and makes more nutrients bioavailable.  Re-eating chicken manure ensures a flock extracts maximum value from the available food.

When a chicken eats chicken poo, this also inoculates every bird's digestive systems, helping share and re-invigorate their digestive systems (ie. thing probiotic, similar to eating yogurt with an active bacterial culture),keeping all members of the flock "normalized".  If anybody is exposed to a new microbe, they are all soon exposed to it, so they all develop a shared biome of gut bacteria.

By chicks living under the wing of Mom, they are exposed to the biome on Mom's feathers.

By a chick eating a little of Mom's poo soon after birth (a natural and "planned" occurrence), the chick's digestive system is welcomed to the flock, sharing in the wealth of microbes that the flock has developed over the years.

Flocks with bad or inefficient digestive biomes tend to die off, and are replaced by other flocks with better biomes. Darwin's Law of Natural Selection.

When fertilized eggs are snatched from Mom, and incubated in "sterile" environments, there is no biome available to these chicks.  When the day-old chicks are placed in "sterile" barns, they are again denied a natural biome.

The more perfect the hatchery and the CAFO system enforces their biohazard prevention protocols, the more severe and longer in duration is the chick's denial of their biome birthright.
Figure 1: Image from the movie based upon the life of
David Vetter, the "Boy In A Bubble".  David suffered
from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID),  and had
no viable alternative to his bubble.  Unfortunately, CAFO
chicken farmers choose this type of "biohazard bubble
technology", a questionable approach when many
better alternatives exist for biohazard risks.

Do you remember David Vetter (1971-1984), better known as the "Boy In The Bubble".  David had a congenital disease (SCID) where he had to be protected from every microbe, or die; for David had no immune system.

Why does CAFO chicken technology try to raise millions of chickens inside a biohazard bubble suit?

Would it not be better for all chicks to be allowed to spend some time with their parents, enabling them to receive their birthright biome system from their parents and relatives?

Alternatively, that birthright biome could be cultivated and standardized in the same way that yeast is developed and grown for the bread, beer, yogurt, cheese, and other fermented foods, which is then fed to the chicks soon after they hatch.

Another alternative is the free range or pastured poultry system where the biome is naturally accepted, and shared from one generation to the next by shunning the misguided and dysfunctional systems proposed by CAFO chicken factories.

Dr. Martin Blaser wrote the book Missing Microbes which discusses the growing evidence that modern food and medicine have destroyed the human biome for millions of people, causing or contributing to the growing epidemics of auto-immune diseases (eg. such as Addison's Celiac, Dermatomyositis, Graves', Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Multiple sclerosis, Myasthenia gravis, Pernicious anemia, Reactive arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren syndrome, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Type I diabetes, etc.), obesity, asthma, cancer, allergies, and possibly many others.

Dr. Blaser discusses the questionable practice of agricultural antibiotic use, and the terrible consequences for humans.  It isn't difficult to extrapolate from biome deprived human diseases in his book, to the CAFO chickens who suffer similar fates in CAFO factory barns.

The biome depletion theory (a.k.a. The Hygiene Hypothesis) for humans has been around since 1989 formally, but has been anecdotally discussed for decades before that.  The Hygiene Hypothesis has been independently studied and judged to be statistically credible based on known evidence of allergies and morbidity in humans.  It is suggested a similar effect can be demonstrated in chickens. 

I am not suggesting that farmers should be lazy and leave their animals ankle deep in manure.  If the pads on the chicken's feet are ulcerated from standing in manure all day, that is not what I'm suggesting, and is unacceptable conditions that should not occur.

For example, Merck Vererinary Manual states:

 "True age-immunity does not occur, but older birds are usually more resistant than young birds because of earlier exposure to infection."
"A species-specific immunity develops after natural infection, the degree of which largely depends on the extent of infection and the number of reinfections. Protective immunity is primarily a T-cell response."
However, if CAFO "Bubble Boy" biohazardous isolation techniques are done in a half baked, slipshod, lackadaisical manner, it might achieve acceptable results; as this would approach what I am suggesting is natural.  The more a farmer perfects and is in full compliance with CAFO "Bubble Boy" biohazardous techniques, the greater the risk to humans, and the greater the risk of catastrophic death rates to the chickens if there is one slip-up by the farmer.  Hence we see HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) that kills one third of the US layers flock across hundreds of CAFO farms.

Doesn't seem like CAFO "Bubble Boy" biohazardous isolation techniques can work too well in the real world.

While the chickens are raised inside their biohazard isolation bubble, they must be fed massive doses of antibiotics on a regular basis to help ensure the profits of the CAFO farmer and better "seal" the biohazard isolation bubble around the chicken factories.  Those antibiotics often create Superbugs, and infect people, often fatally; for the retail customers cannot and will not live in a bubble.  Sooner or later, consumers pay the price for this CAFO Craziness.

Dr. Mercola seems to agree, recommending against CAFO chicken.

Why does CAFO chicken factories insist this flawed approach must be used and further perfected?

Like Canada's Supply Management system, CAFO chicken factories are based on flawed, dysfunctional, and dangerous technologies.

Most small flock farms do not attempt to put chicks into biohazard bubbles.  Our chicks get the biome inheritance of their ancestors.  Small flocks live clean and healthy lives.  There is rarely a need to medicate any individual.  There is never a need for massive, continuous dosing with antibiotics.  There is no need for a sterile biohazard bubble around free range or pastured poultry.

Friday, November 6, 2015

HPAI Ban Impact on Broiler Chicken

Canada can, and should learn some lessons from the 2015 HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) infection in the North American poultry industry.  Will we?  That remains a big, important question without a good answer.

What is the impact, on US and Canada, from HPAI and the resulting bans on US chicken by CFIA?

Numerous reports show a devastating impact on the US poultry industry.  One third of US egg layers were lost to HPAI, by either disease or culling to stop the spread of the disease.  Meatingplace reports that 5 major broiler chick hatcheries are breaking eggs (ie. destroying their eggs) rather than hatching them for a market that no longer exists.

At the height of the HPAI outbreak, 57% of US broiler production was banned from Canada due to HPAI.
As of Sept. 1st, 2015 CFIA updated its ban on all chicken associated with 8 remaining US States, removing California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington as being clear of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza).  Today, 34.6% of the US broiler production remains banned from Canada.

It's not just Canada that has banned US chicken.

The export market for US broiler chickens has disappeared due to HPAI bans on US chicken exports. reports that 20% of the prior US broiler chicken export market has disappeared, mainly due to HPAI.  Global Meat News reports that this loss is worth $390 million per year.  Ouch!

Businesss Insider reports that total bans of US chicken (whether the State was HPAI infected or not) have been imposed by China, South Korea and Angola, whose markets were valued at nearly $700 million last year.  Double Ouch!

All it takes is one HPAI biohazardous-ignorant idiot to cause a total ban for the entire nation.  Triple Ouch!

Canada is part of that ban on US chicken.  Table 1 shows 2014 data for the US broiler industry, and the impact of the ongoing Canadian ban.

Table 1:  Broiler chicken production and processing by US States
under HPAI ban by CFIA.  Banned US States (red coloured)
represent 34.6% of US broiler production, 6.2% of US broiler chicken
processing, for a total impact of 9.1% of the US broiler industry.  The States
newly released from the CFIA ban (green coloured) had 23% of the US chicken
production and 4% of the US chicken processing, for a total of 27% of the
total US broiler chicken industry.  HPAI affected States (currently banned and
previously banned) had 57% of US broiler production, 10% of the broiler
processing, for a total of 36% of the total US broiler $ economic impact.  How
will the US broiler industry respond to this ongoing broiler ban by CFIA?
In Table 1, banned US States (red coloured) represent 34.6% of US broiler production, 6.2% of US broiler chicken processing, for a total impact of 9.1% of the US broiler industry total economic impact.  The States newly released from the CFIA ban (green coloured) had 23% of the US chicken production and 4% of the US chicken processing, for a total of 27% of the total US broiler chicken industry.  HPAI affected States (currently banned and previously banned) had 57% of US broiler production, 10% of the broiler processing, for a total of 36% of the total US broiler $ economic impact.

The CFIA ban includes eggs, live birds, meat, feathers, and all non-cooked or non-commercially sterilized chicken products that originate or are processed in the banned US States.  That's pretty comprehensive.  How will the US broiler industry respond to this ongoing US ban by CFIA?

Figure 1:   Map showing the CFIA ban on US chicken due to HPAI.  Green States have been removed
from ban as of 2015-09-01 as they are now HPAI-free.  The red States are still banned as of 2015-09-01.
 The infected States can't ship to non-infected States, and can't export out of the US, so they are left with the consumers and processors within their own State as their only available customers.  The non-banned States can export to Canada, but it's likely a longer way to the Canadian market (likely at a higher cost), but an opportunity to establish a relationship with Canadian customers who lost access to their normal chicken supplier due to the HPAI import ban.

NRDC reports that ten large companies, referred to as "Integrators" (eg. Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrim, etc.), produce more than 90 percent of the USA poultry.  The individual farmers enter into a contract with one Integrator to supply them full grown chickens ready for slaughter.  The Integrator supplies to each farmer the day old chicks, feed, medicine, and expertise; and audits the farmer's performance to ensure it meets the Integrator's contractual requirements.

This Blog previously reported that 85% of all HPAI infections in the USA occurred at CAFO chicken factories, in spite of the vast majority of chicken flocks being small non-CAFO producers (ie. Small Flockers).  I also previously reported that there are strong reasons to believe that CAFO chicken farmers are shooting themselves in the foot, causing or contributing to their HPAI infections due to poor biohazardous protocols by CAFO chicken factories.

Therefore I suggest the following lessons for Canada's Chicken Mafia:

  1. Biohazardous risks have severe economic impacts that go way beyond just the few who become infected.  Everybody suffers, even the nation as a whole.

  2. Canada's CAFO-based Chicken Mafia is its own worst enemy.  CAFO chicken factory technology is significantly flawed for biohazardous risks, and many other reasons.  CAFO needs to be abandoned, or dramatically improved.

  3. Since Canada's Chicken Mafia is content to rape the Canadian public on an ongoing basis, and mostly ignores world export opportunities, the impact of HPAI infections today is mostly limited to the farms that become HPAI infected.  If Canada, through TPP or otherwise, starts to export considerable quantities of chicken, the risk exposure for Provinces (or all of Canada) dramatically increases due to the resulting export ban for an entire region, Province, or Canada-wide.

  4. .Biohazard risks (ie. HPAI infections and all similar incidents) cause an entire industry to be no better than its weakest link.  That means Canadian governments (both Federal and Provincial) and the Chicken Mafia SM bureaucracy need to focus their efforts first and foremost on the weakest links, identifying them, helping them improve, or mitigating their threats to the entire industry by weeding them out of the industry.
  5. Spent chicken importers who cheat on the SM system (ie. pretend it's spent fowl when they're really broilers, to save the 285% import duties) don't play by the rules, they are motivated by the almighty dollar.  If they are willing to mis-label chicken as spent fowl, they are likely willing to mis-label as to the State of origin or processing; thereby bypassing CFIA's HPAI ban. If a producer is in a banned area, they may be willing to take a significant price cut if someone is able to spirit away his banned chicken in the middle of the night; thereby adding additional economic incentive to the Chicken Cheater.  This cheating puts everybody at risk, but Canada's Chicken Mafia and their friends are not concerned about the risk, as the profits are too great, and their personal risk exposure is significantly compensated by the Federal Government, the Chicken Mafia, and/or others.  We can therefore expect to see some significant movements and possibly some significant "incidents" on spent fowl and IREP (Import for Re-Export) chicken while this CFIA ban is in place for US chicken from these 8 remaining States.
Please leave your comments on my five points of learning, and any additional learning points that you think are important.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

CFO's Stonewalling of Artisanal Chicken Answers

Artisanal Chicken:   It's been more than two months since we asked some respectful yet tough questions on of Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO"), and still no answers.

I previously posted about our questions to CFO on their new Artisanal Chicken program (see Blog posting
For more info on CFO's Artisanal Chicken, see here, here, here, and here.
Time is running out.  If Small Flockers don't get CFO's answers, they will soon be forced to make a decision about joining Artisanal Chicken while kept in an information vacuum by CFO.
If we assume that CFO is suddenly and inexplicably acting in the best interest of Small Flockers, why would CFO ignore these valid and reasonable questions, stonewalling, and refusing to answer?  At best, CFO might be too busy on more pressing issues for the Artisanal Chicken launch.  In this is true, how long does it take for CFO to say "CFO received your questions, and will fully answer as soon as possible, but no later than what applicants will need to make an informed decision to join Artisanal Chicken without delay".  If that is the case, why didn't CFO respond in that way in a timely manner?  If the questions inadvertently fell through cracks in CFO's bureaucracy, why didn't CFO respond and fix the oversight when I reminded them at the one month delay point?  I can think of no other method to explain and justify these slim possibilities.  I therefore suggest these and all other assumptions that view CFO's actions (and inactions) through rose coloured glasses are ridiculous and unlikely possibility, and therefore I reject all of these from further consideration.
We are therefore left with the distinct possibility that CFO's Artisanal Chicken is designed to enhance and defend CFO's self serving and dysfunctional position. 

Most Small Flockers must make capital purchases in excess of $5,000 to be ready for Artisanal Chicken.  Should they proceed, hoping and blindly trusting in CFO, that none of the risks materialize?  An un-necessarily risky approach for a Small Flocker.  Alternatively do we shun the Artisanal Chicken opportunity until CFO decides, or is forced, to answer all reasonable questions?

If somebody is a traditional Small Flocker, and considering becoming an Artisanal Chicken Farmer, they need to make an informed decision about the risks and benefits associated with this big decision.

If you decide to go forward, and later learn some critical, hidden consequence, the retreat back to Small Flocker (now Family Food) will be fraught with costs, traps, consequences.  CFO could even decide to arbitrarily bar re-entry into Small Flocker status (now Family Food).  There is no limit to CFO's powers, nor their desire to monopolize the chicken market.

CFO may have designed Artisanal Chicken as a honey pot to attract CFO's enemies and advocates for Small Flockers' rights & freedoms (us and others like us) within the Small Flocker's rank and file.

Stonewalling may indicate that if it isn't CFO's plot to kill off CFO's critics, then it is likely that CFO launched Artisanal Chicken because CFO had their arm twisted by Ontario's Farm Products Marketing Commission, who may have been silently and secretly ordered by Ontario's Ministry of Agriculture, who may have been pushed by Ontario's Cabinet.

It is doubtful that CFO launched Artisanal Chicken on their own volition because they suddenly realized the previous unfairness they caused to Small Flockers and the Ontario public.

Has CFO acted like a petulant teenager who is forced to do some task by their parents?  Will that misguided teenager purposely misinterpret, and do the task in a way that nefariously interprets the parent's instructions; Is CFO's Artisanal Chicken program designed like a teenager's passive aggressive attack against the parent's imposition of a family duty on the teenager?  When the Artisanal Chicken program is eventually exposed for the dead end, dysfunctional trap will CFO say "We were against this Artisanal Chicken idea, we warned them this would occur, so don't blame CFO now that these risks have arrived on your doorstep."

Never forget that this Artisanal Chicken program is likely designed to help CFO's condition, not that of consumers, nor the life of Small Flockers.  It is likely designed to divide & conquer, to douse the flames on the greatest critics of CFO and Supply Management ("SM") in general.  By separating critics into two smaller groups, CFO divides the critical voices, separates the critics on a few key issues, and this can do nothing but strengthen the position of CFO.

Why would CFO want to answer questions that expose their diabolic plan?  It is far better to delay, stonewall, and ignore any questions that might tip your hand and expose CFO's self serving agenda.

And that is what CFO has done.

Until proven otherwise, I suggest all Small Flockers, and all those Artisanal Chicken applicants be wary of CFO's other shoe that will be suddenly dropped at the most dangerous time for the Small Flocker who trusted in the good faith, competence, and purpose of CFO.

My latest email to CFO again requesting answers to critical questions about CFO's Artisanal Chicken program.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Protect the Guilty, or the Innocent?

The Municipality of Abbotsford BC bought chicken manure, then used that manure to attack the homeless persons in their city.  After the public outrage occurred, the City refuses to disclose the identity of the supplier who sold them the manure.  Is this refusal designed to protect the guilty, or the innocent?

I previously posted about this dysfunctional, disgraceful, and disgusting use of chicken manure (see here and here).

4 BC Cities Alleged to Attack the Homeless with Weaponized Chicken Manure

Previously, I reported that 3 different cities had used the disgusting and disrespectful chicken manure against the homeless.  Today, I learned from CBC News that Port Moody was also involved in this terrible scheme.  It is amazing how quickly a bad idea can spread like an epidemic.

Life Cycle Responsibility

CBC News also reports:
In one email, dated June 3, Eric Fong, a City of Abbotsford forestry official, refers to an agreement between officials from Abbotsford's bylaws and roads departments "to spread the chicken manure around [a] tree to deter homeless encampments being set up under it."

He emailed the city's acting director of parks services, James Arden, for approval to go ahead with "the manure dump" the following morning.

Arden approved the request within minutes, noting: "I am glad that we were able to get the product for free and avoid cutting down a healthy trees [sic] to see if that resolves the issue," he added."
One interpretation is that the city received the chicken manure for free, and tried to construct a smoke screen that the use of the chicken manure to get rid of the homeless was better than cutting down the "Honey Tree".

CAFO chicken farms usually have way too much chicken manure, more than they can possibly use as fertilizer on their crop fields.  That sad evidence of unsustainability of CAFO chicken factories has prompted many CAFO chicken farmers to pay cities to landfill the excess manure, often causing toxic concentrated runoff that pollutes groundwater and surface waters.  Does this explain why a CAFO SM chicken farmer "gifted" the manure to the city (whether for horticulture use, or as a weapon against the homeless), glad to get rid of it, thereby saving money for the landfilling of this excess manure?

I suggest that whether the city received it for free, or paid for it, this doesn't absolve the chicken farmer of any responsibility.  I also suggest that wherever the farmer's chicken manure goes, or how it gets there, the farmer has a duty, responsibility, and stewardship as originator and trustee to ensure that manure is used properly, cradle to grave, source to final use, the manure's entire life cycle.

For an example of life cycle stewardship, the Responsible Care Codes of Chemistry Industry Association of Canada state:
"Under the Stewardship Code, companies must regularly review the value, impact and safety of the products that they make, and the services and technologies that they use. They must also work with their business partners – suppliers, distributors and customers – to ensure the stewardship and security of their products over their entire life cycle."
As a specific case example, cancer causing PCB oils will burn and produce heat (as well as toxic smoke).  A chemical company pays some poor person to haul away PCB oils, knowing that these toxic wastes will likely be used as a cheap source of fuel for these poor people's home furnace, thereby placing that poor family and all those downwind at significant risk.  Is that chemical company acting in a socially acceptable manner?

Does it matter if the chemical company writes on the Bill of Sale:
 "Buyer assumes all responsibility for meeting all environmental laws and the safe disposal of these PCB oils hereby sold."
I suggest that the poor person doesn't care what is written on the bill of sale, they just want the oil as an affordable source of heat; even better when the chemical company pays them to take it away.  The poor person just doesn't want to freeze to death in the cold winter, and needs some pocket money too.  The poor person solves two problems all at once.

I suggest the same answer for PCB oil sales to the poor should apply to chicken manure that is likely to be weaponized and used against the homeless.

Source of the Chicken Manure

Yesterday, I found an interview of Mr. George Murray ("GM"), Abbotsford's City Manager.  In that June 10, 2013 interview with the online newspaper Abbotsford Today ("AT"), the  following Q & A occurred:

AT: From what company did the City purchase the chicken feces used to chase the homeless from in front of the Salvation Army?

GM: The City uses chicken manure for horticulture work and went to a local supplier that we have used in the past. I don’t believe it would be fair to the company to name them as they merely provided us product and did not participate in the decision or actions of the City.
Was the "local supplier" a chicken farmer operating under BC's Supply Management rules & regulations, or some intermediary organization (eg. a garden supply, nursery, horticultural store, or someone else)?

George Martin claims that the supplier didn't participate in the city's decision, but did the supplier know what the City intended to do with that chicken manure they bought?

To clarify the morals of this situation, let's consider a hypothetical example.

If someone comes into a sporting goods store wanting to buy a hunting knife, and that customer happens to mention their plan to use that newly purchased knife to stab & kill somebody, what does society expect that shop keeper to do?

Is it any different for a knife or chicken manure, either one usable as a weapon?

If it was you or one of your loved ones who were subsequently attacked by this newly purchased knife, would you be upset with the store that sold your attacker the knife?  Would you have grounds to seek damages against the store clerk and the store that sold the attacker the knife?

It is unlikely that the chicken manure used against the homeless had been purchased weeks or months before.  Chicken manure naturally starts to compost as soon as it leaves the back end of the chicken.  After a few weeks or month, aged chicken manure doesn't stink as bad as when it's fresh.  Therefore the city wouldn't be interested in aged chicken manure.  The city's evil plan required the maximum levels of stink and gross-out capabilities.  That's the role of fresh chicken manure.  By definition, fresh chicken manure is biohazardous.

If the supplier had been a long term supplier of fresh chicken manure for city flower gardens, and it was Abbotsford who routinely composted that manure before use on the city's flowers, then this is a different scenario.  In that case, the city may have secretly planned to buy an extra load to attack the homeless, and diverted that fresh load, bypassing the usual composting, sending it directly to the homeless encampment so as to maximize the effect of this biohazardous weapon.  In that case, assuming the supplier had no way of knowing the evil that the city intended, I don't think the supplier is to blame.

However, if the supplier of the chicken manure knew, or ought to have known what the city intended to do, then there is a conspiracy.  In that case, when George Martin refuses to name the supplier of the chicken manure, he is protecting a con-conspirator.

Why would George Martin protect a co-conspirator?  Perhaps the co-conspirator knows too much, and if the city rats him out, the co-conspirator has no further reason to remain silent, and might tell all the gruesome details to the authorities.  In that case, it could become much worse for George Martin, and/or the city.  Perhaps George Martin decided (or was pushed) to fall on his sword so as to protect all the other guilty parties.

Is it more probable that the chicken manure supplier is an innocent party, or a co-conspirator.  I believe  it is more likely the supplier is a co-conspirator.

Anyone using chicken manure will soon learn that fresh manure is very "hot", meaning it will burn the plants, killing them due to the highly concentrated nutrients present in fresh manure.  Chicken manure must be composted for 1 to 6 months before it can be used as a horticultural fertilizer.  Alternatively, fresh chicken manure can be roto-tilled into a flower bed and it can compost in the bed for 1 to 6 months before the flower beds are planted.

If the city was buying chicken manure for horticultural purposes, somebody (eg. either the city, or the supplier) was composting the manure before it could be used as a fertilizer.  As it composts, the level of stink drops significantly, making it better as a fertilizer, but worse for the city's new found nefarious purposes.

Therefore, if the city was looking for a disgusting and stinky weapon for use against the homeless, the city wanted extremely fresh manure, not composted.

If the city had been buying composted manure for years, then suddenly showed up wanting the freshest, most stinky manure possible, wouldn't you be curious as to why the sudden change?  If the supplier asked, the city might have told the supplier "Don't ask, you don't want to know".  Perhaps the city told the supplier all about the city's evil plan, and they all had an evil laugh about it together.  Whether the supplier knew, or turned a blind eye so they wouldn't know the details, either way, there seems to be culpability there.

However, if the city was secretive about their evil plans, and the supplier truly didn't know, and the supplier had no reasonable means to know, then perhaps the identity of that supplier should be protected.  In that case, it would be prudent and proper for someone other than the guilty city from making that determination and decision.

So who should be investigating the involvement of the supplier of the chicken manure?

I notifed BC's Fraser Health, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Agriculture about my concerns about biohazardous chicken manure being used as a weapon against the homeless.

On 2015/10/27 (just 2 days after my first contact), Rebecca Middleton of Fraser Health informed me:
 "If you have concerns that chicken manure is being used outside of common agricultural practice, the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment should be alerted. They will be able to address your concerns best."
 My response:
Thank-you for your prompt response.
My purpose is to ensure that this (and all similar risks) never happen again.

I have already contacted BC's Ag and Environment ministries, and await their reply.  My concern is that all three of you may point to the other as the one who is responsible, thereby ensuring that nobody is responsible to investigate.

There seems to be reasonable & probable grounds for believing the chicken manure used was infectious and biohazardous (see link to Blog, previously provided).  Does Fraser Health have other evidence that contradicts this prima facie evidence?  If so, please disclose it.

Assuming Fraser Health does not have other evidence to the contrary, could you please explain why Fraser Health is unwilling or unable to investigate the use of a weaponized infectious material against humans?
On 2015-11-12, I received the following response from Public Health Agency of Canada:
"Although we appreciate being made aware of this matter, it does not come under our purview. The Agency is a federal government department responsible for promoting and protecting the health of Canadians at the national level. We suggest that you contact Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at this link:"
To me, it seems the homeless are Canadians, and the weaponized chicken manure put their health at risk.  If someone is threatened by a biohazardous substance used as a weapon, I assume that is something that falls under the purview of an agency charged with the responsibility of protecting the health of Canadians.  Since this disgraceful conduct has happened not once, not twice, not three times, but a full four incidents that were separate and apart, that seems to be more than a fluke.

Does weaponized chicken manure have to be used a few thousand times, or a dozen people die before some governmental agency adds it to their priority list?

Around in a circle we go, everybody pointing at the next as the one to contact about this disgraceful use of chicken manure as a weapon.  Nobody sticks up their hand, nobody says we are responsible to ensure these terrible incidents never happen again.  Unfortunately, everybody looks the other way.

Hopefully we will soon receive the responses of the other bureaucracies.

Solving Homelessness

Rather than attacking the homeless with weaponized chicken manure, why can't municipalities sole the homelessness problem?

Medicine Hat, Alberta was the first Canadian city to do just that.

What about the extreme cost of giving every homeless person a place to stay?  How could a city afford to do that?

A homeless person causes about $100,000 per year in additional costs to society (police, shelter, food banks, health care, dysfunctional behaviours associated with living on the streets such as drugs, crime, etc.).  Once a homeless person has a place of their own, the costs to society drop to just $20,000 per year, one fifth the cost of living on the street.

Save the chicken manure for use as fertilizer, and save $80,000 per year per homeless person.

What a deal!

Unfortunately, there is significant stigma attached to homeless persons.  Recently a charity pretended they were going to install a new shelter in Leaside (a suburb of Toronto, on Eglington Ave E, NE of the downtown, one of the oldest and most popular suburbs).  Hidden cameras and messages left at the hotline showed how upset the neighbourhood became.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Rats Run For Cover

BC Farm Industry Review Board (BCFIRB) doesn't want to get involved in the messy subject of weaponized chicken manure, such as was done in 3 British Columbia ("BC") cities (Abbotsford, Surrey, and Port Coquitlam).

I previously posted about biohazardous chicken manure used as a weapon against the homeless in British Columbia (see Abuse of BC Homeless Persons via Chicken Manure ).

I emailed 9 questions to the various organizations running and supervising the BC chicken Supply Management ("SM") system in BC.

So far, I have heard back from BC Farm Industry Review Board (BCFIRB), who disavow any knowledge or responsibility or authority for weaponized chicken manure that appears to have originated from one or more BC chicken farm operating under the Supply Management System:

Dear Mr. Black:

I reply on behalf of the BC Farm Industry Review Board (BCFIRB), which also is the provincial agency responsible for the supervision of the BC Chicken Marketing Board.

Let it be clear – although on-farm manure management and disposal is an important part of a poultry operation for a number of reasons, manure itself is not a regulated product under the Natural Products Marketing (BC) Act and the BC Chicken Marketing Scheme, 1961. Consequently, neither the Chicken Board or BCFIRB can assume responsibility for actions of individuals outside the scope of their authority. Regardless of how the boards might regard such actions or conduct.

I suggest it would be more appropriate to raise any concerns you may have directly with the authorities involved in the incidents.

Yours truly,

Jim Collins
Executive Director
BC Farm Industry Review Board
Figure 1: The Chain of Command for
BC's Supply Management System
for Chicken, showing BCFIRB's jaded and
self-serving opinion on who has
responsibility & authority (or lack
thereof) for the weaponized chicken
manure used against the homeless
in 3 BC cities.

My Analysis

 To be sure we're all on the same page, Figure 1 to the right is a diagram of the Chain of Command in BC's Chicken Supply Management system as I understand it.  BC's Ministry of Agriculture is the Big Boss, and every SM chicken farmer is the pawn who must obey all those above him.

OK so far?

Per the email response from BCFIRB shown above, BCFIRB gives themselves and the BC Chicken Marketing Board an absolute discharge from any responsibility, and heaps all the blame on some unknown SM chicken farmer.

No doubt these two SM angels will also stonewall, obscure, hide, and foot drag any attempt to identify or censure the SM chicken farmer(s) that supplied the biohazardous chicken manure for this disgraceful attack on the homeless.  If they happen to know or suspect who did it, they will likely refuse to disclose this information, as it will be classified as "Top Secret" under the SM confidentiality system.

I wonder if the BC Ministry of Agriculture, and the Honourable Norm Letnick support the position of BCFIRB that BCFIRB gives themselves and the BC Chicken Marketing Board angel wings of purity that protect them from the weaponized chicken manure.

Perhaps all of us should ask Minister Letnick if he supports BCFIRB's position, and perhaps he claims a pair of angel wings for himself and his Ministry too.  We'll only know if we ask.

Time for You to take Action

Here is the suggested email, and the link:  Pre-formated Email to BC Ag Minister Letnick

Feel free to customize this to fit your exact thoughts & feelings:
Dear Minister Letnick:  In a 2015/10/22 email to SFPFC, BCFIRB states that they themselves and the BC Chicken Marketing Board have neither responsibility nor authority (ie. prevention, prohibition, auditing, investigating, censuring, etc.) for preventing the weaponization of chicken manure that allegedly originated on BC Supply Management chicken farm(s), and was subsequently used against the homeless in 3 cities of BC.

Do you and your Ministry support this position of BCFIRB?  If you agree with BCFIRB, who does have responsibility and authority ? 

My Suggested Answer

I had hoped (and still do) that BCFIRB had responded better.  I responded in part, as follows:

I therefore conclude that there is a need in the most general sense to require that all those under BCFIRB's supervision must:
  1. Define and document the stated & implied needs and expectation of all upstream and downstream stakeholders in the SM supply chain, up to and including the ultimate retail customer.
  2. Do what's legal, moral, effective, and right; consistently meeting those needs & expectations agreed upon between the various parties within the SM supply chain.
  3. Understand, define, document, communicate, and serve the social license granted to SM;
  4. Understand, define, document, communicate, and serve the greater good of the general public.
  5. Design all policies, principles, procedures, rules, priorities, actions, budgeting, resource allocation, key performance measurements, inspections, audits, and reporting systems so that they can accurately determine the effectiveness and consistency of meeting these 4 primary mandates
  6. Report on all 7 of these primary mandates to all stakeholders on a regular, comprehensive, timely, open, transparent, and accountable manner.
  7. Every person has a personal duty to:  a) identify any risks, conflicts of interest, bad faith, or non-compliance to these 7 principles; and   b) report any known or reasonably suspected matters; and   c) If they are so authorized and capable, take immediate corrective action to resolve the risk or non-compliance; otherwise bring the matter to the attention of that person's immediate supervisor as well as those that are directly responsible for the matter.

I would suggest that these 7 principles can be enacted as mandatory requirements for BCFIRB and all those under your supervision.  It immediately prohibits, (and hopefully soon thereafter terminates) any sharp dealing, plausible deniability, bad faith, conflict of interest, turning a blind eye, going with the flow, and other dysfunctional behaviours.

To test this proposal out, pick some jobs at random points in the SM supply chain (eg. janitor, CEO, MPP, DVM, clerk, truck driver, retail meat counter clerk, etc.).  Assume that they just learned about the plan to spray homeless people in BC with fresh chicken manure from a BC farm operating under SM.  Assuming that this person has been properly trained and made responsible under these 7 principles, what should we expect to occur next?  Now try it again with some other crazy scheme that would equally rupture SM's social contract when the public eventually learns the gory details.

Does BCFIRB sense that the entire Supply Management ("SM") system, including BCFIRB, operates under a social license from the people (ie. all Canadians)?  If SM were to mutate into a greater & greater parasite upon society, how long will SM's social license continue?  Provincial and Federal governments under the Canadian constitution have their powers limited by, and a duty imposed upon them to do what is in the best interest (ie. greater good) of the citizens.  I respectfully suggest that since virtually all of SM's powers and responsibilities (including those of BCFIRB) are derived from these governments, then those duties and restrictions necessarily travel with the powers delegated to BCFIRB, and all other branches of SM.

Well readers, what do you think?  Is it better for Canada and Canadians that the entire SM system is blind & deaf, and SM farmers can do as they please, including the selling of biohazardous chicken manure for use as a weapon against homeless persons?

Do you see some value (or problems) in what I propose?  Either way, please comment below, and send your emails in to Minister Letnick (see link above).

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Abuse of BC Homeless Persons via Chicken Manure

Weaponized Chicken Manure:   Farmers who raise chickens under a Supply Management ("SM") license appear to have supplied biohazardous chicken manure to at least 3 municipalities in BC to use as a weapon against the homeless.  Did the SM system adequately regulate and supervise the SM farmer(s) that aided &/or abetted this despicable and disgraceful act?
Figure 1:  A large farm tractor hauling a load of chicken
manure. In Abbotsford's case, the chicken manure was
manually shoveled out of a municipal dump truck on top
of the homeless and their meager possesions.
(Photo: Abbotsford Today )

Chicken manure was used by municipal employees (in Surrey BC in Aug. 2009, again in Abbotsford BC in June 2013), and Port Coquitlam shortly after Abbotsford) to contaminate municipal lands, residential tents, and personal property used by homeless persons for encampments.  The manure was also used as a weapon to force homeless people to vacate the manure treated area of municipal property.

The story "This Stinks" was originally reported by James Breckenridge on an online newspaper Abbotsford Today on April 6, 2013.  I first learned of this incident on Oct. 21, 2015 via CBC Radio As It Happens   coverage of the BC Supreme Court ruling (Chief Justice Hinkson,
Abbotsford (City) v. Shantz, Case: 2015 BCSC 1909, Dockets S156820 and S159480), against the Abbotsford BC municipality, calling the city's actions "disgraceful".

CBC News also reported that BC's Supreme Court upheld the complaints by homeless persons that their Charter rights had been violated by chicken manure, bear spray, confiscation &/or destruction of the meager possessions of the homeless, and other disgusting and callous behaviours by municipal employees and/or police.
Figure 2:  Residents at the homeless protest camp in Jubilee
Park in 2014 refused to leave, despite threats of an injunction
from the City of Abbotsford, BC. (Photo: CBC)

CBC Radio states that local police may have facilitated, acquiesced, or originated the idea of using chicken manure as a weapon against the homeless.  The Abbotsford Chief of Police was quoted at a public meeting in the Winter of 2012-2013 saying: "My policy is displace and disperse … we only respond to complaints from citizens…we don’t seek the homeless out…”; in other words, run the homeless out of town.  It is unknown if these were bona fide substantiated complaints, or maybe automatic (or self-generated) complaints.

While no By-law was passed by the Municipal Councils to authorize these misguided actions, that doesn't guarantee that one or more Councillor, Mayor, Municipal Clerk, or other senior municipal manager didn't know of this planned action in advance, tacitly approved it, or acquiesced to the plan.

Subsequent to the initial report on the chicken manure incident, the scandal spread much further (see here, here, and here).  Eventually, Abbotsford Today reported in June 2013 that the city's manager of bylaw enforcement, the general manager of finance, and general manager of economic development all left the city's employment rather abruptly, shortly after the chicken manure attack upon the homeless.

There is now a video short that you can watch privately for $3.00 or you can screen it for your local community group.  There is also a Facebook group on this issue.

Abbotsford BC:  A City of Contrasts

As of June 2015, Abbotsford Today reports:
Homelessness: This issue won’t go away. The City of Abbotsford has spent $1 million of your money fighting the homeless in court, and they continue to lose nearly every battle. It is estimated that they will spend at least another $1 million only to lose the entire war. There has been no progress whatsoever on this issue. The only real beneficiary has been the City of Abbotsford’s law firm. So where do we go from here? Watch for this column coming soon.
What terrible fate or fear has fallen upon the people of Abbotsford, Surrey, and possibly many others that those who "have-a-little" feel a need to persecute the "have-nots"?

Is this a misguided attempt by the "have-a-little" people to clear the proverbial airport runway of poverty so that the "have-a-little" gain some free space to crash land into poverty as they are shot out of the sky by the 0.1%'ers?

Contrast the weaponized chicken manure with the report by Statistics Canada that as of 2011, Abbotsford had the most generous per capita charitable donations of any Canadian city for 9 straight years.

No doubt, Abbotsford BC is a city of contrasts.

I have previously posted about the precipitous drop in the savings rate of Canadians from 30% in 1980, reaching virtually zero in 2013 (see Blog posting "Why do we need cheaper food?").  In BC, the savings rate is currently -7%, meaning that the average household must use their credit card, bank line of credit, or re-mortgaging of their house so as to afford 7% of their monthly household expenses.  No wonder Food Banks in BC reported a 24.7% increase in Food Bank usage between 2008 and 2014, which is a doubling & re-doubling of Food Bank usage every 18.6 years.  In Abbotsford, there are 7 Food Banks to serve about 134,000 people.

In 2012, Globe & Mail reported:
"The Fraser Valley city of 137,000 went from recording 11 murders — most gang-related — in 2009 to none in 2011 after four deaths in 2010, Constable Ian MacDonald said.
Based on the Statistics Canada figures for communities with a population of more than 100,000, Abbotsford was on top [worst city for murders] on a per-capita basis in 2009."
In 2005, the Abbotsford–Mission metropolitan area had the highest property crime rate and the second highest violent crime rate for cities with a population of 100,000 to 500,000 in Canada.

With the Southern city limits of Abbotsford being the Canada-US border, Abbotsford is prime real estate for cross-border traffic with the USA.  BC Business magazine estimated that the BC marijuana industry "contributed" $7.5-billion GDP in 2008 with a labor force of over 250,000 workers.  BC's marijuana industry is #2 in the BC economy (Construction is #1, Forestry is #3).  With Canadian housing teetering on the brink of a crash, the housing wealth effect will likely soon evaporate.  The construction industry in BC (and across Canada) will soon likely shrivel like a man on a New Years Day Polar Bear plunge into an iced over lake.  That may soon leave marijuana as the #1 industry in BC.

Abbotsford, and many other similar communities may soon become even more stressed.

What comes after weaponized chicken manure?

Weaponized Chicken Manure

We believe that all chicken farmers, both quota and non-quota, must ensure that weaponized chicken manure (and all similar incidents) must be prohibited and prevented from re-occurring ever again.
Scientists have studied the negative impact on people from manure, and they can be severe.  The impact isn't limited to upper middle class suburbs that are encroaching upon farmland.  The study found: 
  • Bacteria, fungi, moulds, and bioactive substances like endotoxins and glucans were present in the dust (particulate matter) from manure;
  • "Odour annoyance is a strong negative predictor of QoL [Quality of Life] among nearby residents. Sixty-one percent of the respondents complained about unpleasant odours and 91% of these accused livestock as source of these odours."
Did this manure also contain dead bird mortalities or poultry processing waste, which could be even a greater biohazard risk?

It was reported that the chicken manure was extremely odorous when it was spread on the land, as well as next to, on top of, and inside tents used by the homeless to sleep in.

Chicken manure is only highly odorous when it is fresh, prior to it being composted.  Prior to composting, chicken manure contains, or should be assumed to contain, active pathogens (bacteria, viruses, and other biohazardous materials) that can readily contaminate articles or persons.  Chickens are known to carry or transmit 60 major diseases, some of which humans can be afflicted by.  Just one of those diseases is HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or "Bird Flu").  Thousands of people have died from contracting Bird Flu during the last decade, which was in BC's Fraser Valley as recently as Spring 2015.

If the chicken manure had a mild or minimal odor, it was likely properly composted prior to the mis-use of the manure by the municipalities.  If composted, the manure would have been denatured (ie. pathogens that had previously existed had been mostly or totally killed) via the high temperatures that naturally occur during proper composting techniques.

With very stinky chicken manure used by the municipality, I therefore conclude that a significant biohazardous risk was created when the chicken manure was used as a weapon against the homeless.

Crime, Terrorism, or Just a Bad Idea?

Figure 3:   Farmer David Cannon spreads manure upon the
walls and sidewalk outside a UK bank in 2000, after a
10 year dispute.  The farmer was fined and sentenced to
60 days in jail (suspended provided he stays out of trouble).
Should the bad acting BC municipalities  and the enabling
chicken farmer(s) face similar sanctions?
In the UK, a farmer assaulted urban bank branches using farm manure in Year 2000.  He was fined and sentenced to 60 days in jail (suspended sentence). Should the bad acting BC municipalities and the enabling chicken farmer(s) face similar sanctions?

Is there sufficient grounds for the RCMP to investigate this as a criminal act or indictable offense, and possibly lay charges?

For an example of the potential hazards and to minimize the risks from manures, look at the regulation for importing manure into Canada that could be infectious or biohazardous, we have the Federal  Health of Animals Regulations, C.R.C., c. 296
41.1.  A person may import into Canada an animal by-product, manure or a thing containing an animal by product or manure, other than one described in section 45, 46, 47, 47.1, 49, 50, 51, 51.2 or 53, if:
. . .
 (c) the by-product, manure or thing has been collected, treated, prepared, processed, stored and handled in a manner that would prevent the introduction into Canada of any reportable disease, any disease referred to in Schedule VII and any serious epizootic disease to which the species from which the by-product, manure or thing was derived is susceptible and that can be transmitted by the by¬product, manure or thing, and the person produces a certificate signed by an official of the government of the country of origin that

(i) attests that the by-product, manure or thing has been collected, treated, prepared, processed, stored and handled in that manner, and

(ii) shows the details of how it was collected, treat-ed, prepared, processed, stored and handled. 

BC's Environmental Management Act has an Agricultural Waste Control Regulation that controls the proper use of manures, but this regulation likely doesn't prohibit the crazy actions of these out of control municipalities.

It appears the chicken manure used meets the definition of a noxious substance.  There appears to be reasonable & probable grounds to believe the spreading of the chicken manure was an intentional act meant to aggrieve or annoy one or more of the homeless persons who were living in that area.  Section 245 of Canada's Criminal Code states:
Administering noxious thing
245. Every one who administers or causes to be administered to any person or causes any person to take poison or any other destructive or noxious thing is guilty of an indictable offence and liable
(a) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years, if he intends thereby to endanger the life of or to cause bodily harm to that person; or
(b) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, if he intends thereby to aggrieve or annoy that person.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 229.

The chicken manures used in BC seem to meet the definition of a active biological agent.  The Canadian Federal law Biological  and  Toxin  Weapons  Convention Implementation Act (Part 23) states on page 96:
6.(1) No person shall develop, produce, retain, stockpile, otherwise acquire or possess, use or transfer(a) any microbial or other biological agent, or any toxin, for any purpose other than prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; or

(b) any weapon, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such an agent or toxin for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.
Something tells me the chicken manure wasn't used for "peaceful purposes" against the homeless.  Section 14.(1) says that if someone contravenes Section 6, they are guilty of an indictable offense and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or to both.

Criminal Mischief is defined by Section 430:
430. (1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully
(a) destroys or damages property;
(b) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;
(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or
(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
Sections (a) and (b) seem to fit the prima facie evidence.  Case law has found that mischief can be done even to property such as refuse or garbage, so damaging or destroying the meager possessions of the homeless can still justify a charge of mischief.

I also looked at whether this could be considered an act or terrorism.  It doesn't appear the use of chicken manure against homeless people sufficiently meets the definition of terrorism under Section 431.2.(2) of the Criminal Code (see page 508).  However, if it was a Muslim-Canadian who had spread the chicken manure for the intentional harassment of the homeless, the previous PC government would likely have taken a different interpretation than what I have concluded here. 

BC's Chicken Mafia Aiding & Abetting Weaponizing of Chicken Manure ?

It is unlikely that the municipal employees normally have ready access to significant quantities of fresh, non-composted chicken manure.  Therefore the city employees had to obtain that fresh chicken manure from one or more chicken farmers, likely within or proximate to these misguided municipalities.

Therefore, I conclude that one or more Canadian chicken farmers likely enabled these civil rights violations by these wayward municipalities.

I have no way of knowing if the culpable chicken farmer(s) were small flockers or quota-based CAFO farmer(s).  However, assuming that the municipality needed large quantities of manure, it is unlikely that it came from a small flock poultry farmer.  I therefore assume the guilty farmer(s) was/were quota-based chicken farmer(s) who conspired and enabled these despicable actions by municipal employees.

I hope that rules, policies, regulations, or laws of  BC Chicken Marketing BoardBC Chicken Growers’ Association, BC Farm Industry Review Board, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, and B.C. Ministry of Health
are sufficient to ensure that manure (and all similar farm products) are never again mis-used as weapons against people, homeless or not.

Under BC Poultry Biosecurity Guide, BC's quota-based poultry farms:
  • Must have a documented manure management strategy (Section 4.4);
  • Recognize that manure can be a high-risk source of disease transmission (Section 4.4);
  • Must have a manure management strategy that, at a minimum, document how the manure was utilized and/or who transported it from the farm (Section 4.4); and
  • Should not spread raw (ie. not composted) manure on fields (Section 4.4); and
  • Require a mandatory written log book, and must log the name of company or individual transporting manure off the farm and, where known, the receiver (Section 4.7.1).
I doubt that anybody's Manure Management Strategy will neither document nor authorize the selling or gifting of chicken manure to a municipality or other third party for use as a weapon against homeless people.  If it isn't documented and yet was done by a BC quota-based chicken farm, then that is a non-compliance that can be investigated, the farmer(s) that facilitated this attack on the homeless can be identified, and those farmer(s) can be suitably sanctioned by the Chicken Mafia authorities in BC.

Has that Chicken Mafia investigation of weaponized chicken manure been done? If not, why not?

Could the chicken manure (recklessly spread on municipal lands as a weapon used against the homeless) be explained as an "accidental" spill?  Under the BC Spill Reporting Regulation, manure spills greater than 200 kg or 200 litres must be reported immediately to the Provincial Emergency Program.  Did this occur?

A 6 year study of manure issues by BC's Ministry of Environment has finally resulted in a Sept. 2015 announcement that changes are required to tighten controls on manure.  Perhaps this issue needs to be added too.

When I reviewed Small Flocker's policies and Principles, I was not comfortable that our Small Flocker principles were adequate to prevent this issue on our side of the farm fence.  Therefore, today I added the following to our Principles as the new #10:
10.  All farmers shall plan and reasonably ensure that all raw materials, on- and off-farm processes, products, by-products, wastes, and emissions are done in a lawful, moral, reasonable, sustainable, and socially acceptable manner for the entire life cycle of the materials and/or processes involved.
Does the BC Chicken Mafia have a similar policy?  Shouldn't Chicken Farmers of Canada take actions so we have a Canada-wide, consistent policy on the mis-use and abuse of people by chicken manure or other chicken offal?

Do any of these regulatory bodies need a policy?  If yes, they are welcome to use Small Flocker's new policy (see #10 above), if they wish, but I doubt they see the need.  I also doubt any of them will take action to do their job.  In that case, should the BC Farm Industry Review Board, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, or the B.C. Ministry of Health force the Chicken Mafia to protect the homeless or the public in general from this type of assault in the future?

If not, we can eventually expect the same type of bad behaviour (by or enabled by a CAFO chicken farmer) some time in the future.

Chicken Mafia Answers to Serious Questions?

I have sent this Blog posting to the above BC authorities, and put some questions to them about this issue.

Any bets on whether I receive a reasonable & timely response?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Milked & Feathered

On the debut of the TPP trade treaty, economists showed that SUpply Management is a regressive system that hurts the poor, making food less affordable.

Supply Management is an old sick cow, and a chicken at death's door with
Bird Flu.  Money is leaking out the back end, driving up costs to unaffordable
prices.  Canadians can no longer afford this broken down, corrupt system
Image: The Manitban
"Milked and Feathered: The Regressive Welfare Effects of Canada’s Supply Management Regime"studied the costs and discovered what everybody already knew:  Supply Management price gouges the Canadian public, especially the poor.

The economists at University of Manitoba determined that the poorest pay $339 more per year because of SM.  For the richest, it cost $554 per year.

After covering the high expenses of housing and food, there isn't much left for the poor.

People have been living hand to mouth for some time now.  The pressure cooker is on the stove, the burner is on high, the pressure is rising.  How much longer can Canadians continue before they explode?  Perhaps the new Liberal government will give them hope to hold on a little longer.

Something must change, and it needs to change soon.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sustainable Chicken Farming for Canada

Many talk about sustainable development, and/or agriculture, but don't dig too deeply into what they mean by that.  If you ask what they mean by that platitude, or ask for an example, the whole discussions goes off the rails.

Some think that "Sustainable Growth" can be achieved.  The leading astrophysicists believe the universe continues to expand ever since the Big Bang.  If you assume that when continuous growth forces us beyond Planet Earth and into the ever expanding universe, then I guess growth can continue for a very long time.

However, if you assume that to be sustainable, growth must be sustainable while limited to just the available resources on Earth, and Earth's ability to absorb, treat, handle, recycle, and repair its environment and resources, then there is no such thing as continuous and unlimited growth.

Growth in populations tend to move exponentially, like an explosion.  For example, if we assume that house flies can lay ~6 batches of 25-100 egg (a geometric mean of 50 eggs), with an average generation time from egg to adult of 7 to 10 days and each female can lay up to 500 eggs in total.  If we assume all eggs hatch and each generation reproduce similarly between April to August (5 month duration), Hodge (1911) stated 191,010,000,000,000,000,000 flies ( 191 Quintillian, or 1.91 x 1018 ) would have been created. Allowing 1/8 of a cubic inch to a fly, this number would cover the earth (land and ocean surfaces) 47 feet deep in flies.

It appears humans are attempting to give flies a run for their money, for we now have 7 Billion humans and growing.  As long as population growth is occurring, sustainability is impossible without relying upon the strip mining of an expanding universe.

The World Bank has previously funded hundreds of projects that had questionable economics, improbable environmental acceptability, rarely considered the social impacts, had numerous unintended negative consequences,  often hurting the majority to benefit the few special interest groups.  For many decades, aid from foreign governments and NGO's has been hurting Africa more than helping (see Wall Street Journal article).

Figure 1:  One definition of "Sustainable Development" is the nexus of Economics, Environment, and Social factors
To solve these important issues, and to more consistently achieve Sustainable Development, I suggest the simple model shown in Figure 1 above.

If a project sufficiently meets  the economic and environmental issues, but creates social inequity (or doesn't improve current inequities), the project may be viable, but isn't sustainable.  If a project is good for the environment, and maintains or improves social issues, then the project may be bearable but isn't sustainable if it is uneconomical.  Only when a project adequately meets all issues (economic, environment, and social) can it be considered sustainable.

I suggest that agriculture in general, and poultry raising in particular, must be sustainable to adequately serve farmers and their food customers, and all those directly and indirectly involved (eg. feed mills, abattoirs, equipment suppliers, farming communities, etc.).

If this sustainability model is accepted, does CAFO or Small Flock systems best serve sustainable poultry farming?

Certainly, CAFO systems have significant problems with environmental issues on the farm, and for the neighbours around the farm.  CAFO poultry farms are weak, fragile, and highly susceptible to infections from wildlife, heat, and cold.  They are out of sync with the environment.

CAFO poultry farms are excellent for the Supply Management farmer, but everybody else has to pay the high price for that highly concentrated benefit.  Food affordability and locally produced food are big issues.  The Chicken Mafia think that they can rape and pillage Canadians as long as they plunk down a few free chickens donated to the local Food Bank. Unfortunate for the Chicken Mafia, more and more people realize that food banks wouldn't be so busy if the Chicken Mafia stopped their tyranny, and served Canadians.

Canada's CAFO Chicken Mafia system under SM has slowed degraded and become mediocre on the economics side.  For example, chicken FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio) is 25% worse now than the world leaders, in spite of Canada being one of the world leaders in poultry in the 1950's.

Canada's SM chicken farmers are 2,700 strong in Canada.  However, there are about 66,000 small flock chicken farmers who had their income, rights, and freedoms stripped away so that small minority of SM chicken farmers could benefit.  I therefore suggest this is a significant social inequity.  Therefore, this alone means Supply Management is not sustainable.

Supply Management must be significantly improved, or abolished.

Small Flockers must prepare themselves to ensure we don't make the same mistakes as the Chicken Mafia.  Small Flockers must be sustainable.  We need the policies to ensure Small Flockers understand, support, adopt, and flourish under sustainability.

In the comments section below, please provide your comparisons and contrasts on sustainability between CAFO Chicken Mafia vs. Small Flockers.