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By Lisa Yount

ISBN-10: 0816050279

ISBN-13: 9780816050277

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Animal rights groups and other critics of the practice reply, however, that these bacteria can easily pass their resistance genes to other bacteria that cause human illness. Intensive farmers also sometimes give animals hormones or other substances to promote growth and productivity. A 1995 USDA study estimated that more than 90 percent of beef cattle in the United States were given hormones for this purpose. Bovine growth hormone (BGH) is given to 10 percent to 25 percent of dairy cows in the United States to increase milk production.

Even the “lucky” animals that the shelters accept may spend months or years in small, barren cages if they are not adopted quickly. Nonetheless, no-kill shelters have become popular and are increasing in number. More controversially, rather than euthanizing animals considered unadoptable, some shelters sell such animals to laboratories for research or education, or to dealers who, in turn, sell them to laboratories. Supporters of this practice say that since the animals are slated to die anyway, they might as well benefit science first, but because of fears, justified or otherwise, about what might be done to animals in a lab, many shelter organizations and members of the public oppose this practice.

The animal rightists also reported that the calves were deliberately fed iron-poor diets to make them anemic so that their flesh would remain desirably pale. This kind of treatment is still legal in the United States, but veal producers say that calves today are less tightly confined, fed adequate diets, and kept under more sanitary conditions. Pigs have their own version of intensive farming. Like broiler chickens, they are kept in large, warehouselike buildings. Sows, or female pigs, used for breeding (and therefore kept pregnant or nursing almost con- 28 I s s u e s i n A n i m a l We l f a r e a n d A n i m a l R i g h t s stantly) spend most of their adult lives in gestation stalls (when they are pregnant) and farrowing crates (in the weeks around the time they give birth), some of which are so narrow that they cannot turn around.

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Animal Rights by Lisa Yount

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