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Kathleen Keene, Moorhead, Published August 28 2013

Letter: Hired gun again misses the point

Regarding Rick Berman’s Aug. 12 column, “Animal activists hardly credible”:

Berman’s at it again. Corporate agribusiness’s hired gun is a master of deception, attempting to mislead readers and defend one of the cruelest forms of farmed animal abuse: gestation crates.

Gestation crates imprison pigs in a space so small they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives. Pigs raised in such intensive confinement suffer from sores, lameness, ulcers, painful hoof deformities and extreme stress. Gestation crates are cruel. Period.

Renowned farm animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin states: “Gestation crates for pigs are a real problem. … Basically, you’re asking a sow to live in an airline seat. … I think it’s something that needs to be phased out.”

Grandin is not alone in her view. Retail leaders such as McDonald’s, Costco, Subway, Target, Kroger and more than 40 others have implemented policies to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.

It’s baffling that anyone would defend such a cruel practice. But when you make your money as a mouthpiece for the factory farming industry like Rick Berman does, I guess you’ll defend just about anything.