Butterball Undercover Video to be Used by Hoke County, NC District Attorney

Over a three week period, animal welfare advocacy group Mercy For Animals, with the help of an inside investigator shot video inside a Butterball facility in Hoke County, NC.

"Butterball is the largest turkey producer in the United States and it is their responsibility to ensure the birds served under its brand name are not tortured and that they're not supporting egregious and illegal cruelty."

On Friday, MFA held news conferences in Raleigh and Charlotte explaining their recently revealed undercover video. Nathan Runkel, Executive Director for Mercy for Animals and says that in addition to documented abuse and lack of veterinary care:

"Our investigation also found extreme filth at this Butterball facility."

The video obtained by MFA is currently being used by the Hoke County District Attorney’s office to determine if animal cruelty charges are warranted.  Read the full story…

Informa Economist Looks at New Farm Bill

The commodity group infighting that surfaced during the drafting of a Farm Bill proposal for the now-defunct “Super Committee” will make it more difficult to write the legislation in regular order. That’s according to veteran ag policy-watcher Jim Wiesemeyer, who looks for many of the features of the draft bill to ultimately find their way into law:

"Billions are going to be cut initially, there will be more later;  direct payments — you already know the regional impacts —  but they are going to be eliminated;  conservation program consolidation — the maximum acres for CRP is crrently 32 million acres,  they will go down to 25 million acres over a period of years;  move to revenue assurance programs subsidized by the government — in return for no direct payments.  That's a step in the right direction for more commodities."

Wiesemeyer, senior vice president of policy and trade issues at Informa Economics, says the most significant policy change in the draft Farm Bill was the re-coupling of government payments to production:

"Going from base acres to planted acres…  Now, from a market it makes sense but it does raise some issues — You're upping the target price and you're going to current plantings.  Now, I don't think it's a question of "if" —  that will eventually bring WTO challenges. 

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