OSTRICH & EMU UPDATE
UPC Protests: LET EMUS BE FREE!
(illustration by Jazelle Lieske)
"Protesters want no part of emu slaughter
Frederick News-Post (MD), Monday, April 22, 1996
Mount Airy - At a protest in Mount Airy, where an emu farm
is located, Dr. [Karen] Davis and approximately 30 others used
bullhorns, banners and signs to try to build opposition to what
they said is a movement by investors to slaughter emus for food
and other uses because it is profitable. . . ."
Emus Declawed by Toe Removal
Under the guise of consideration for the "safety" of farmed
emus, a report from Western Australia describes the declawing of
emu chicks by removing the end of each toe with a hot debeaking
machine. Animals Today, Feb-April 1996 quoted from the Dept. of
Agriculture Western Australia: "Place the chick's toe on the
lower rest bar and, while holding the thumb as close to the
cutting blade as possible, lower the cutting bar with the foot
pedal. Aim for the middle of the second scale behind the nail.
Avoid sloping the cut in the wrong direction. . . . The chick
will react to the heat of the blade and a degree of skill,
dexterity and speed is required. . . . The small inside toes are
the most difficult to treat. Check that the remaining two toes
are below the rest bar before you operate the foot pedal.
Inexperienced operators should practice manipulating the toes of
the chicks and operating the foot pedal with the blade removed
and the machine turned off before attempting the procedure for
the first time. You may find it easier to commence with the
outside toe of the left foot and treat each toe in order from
left to right."
In the U.S., the "first West Coast, university-based ratite
research program has been established at Oregon State University.
. . . The first goal of the program is to learn how to produce
these birds efficiently. . . . The new ratite research program,
which will focus on emus, is jointly supported by OSU and the
Oregon Emu Association."
The Oregon Scientist 9.1 (Spring 1996)
Protest the ratite (emus, ostriches, and other flightless fowl)
research program at Oregon State University. "Research" means
food deprivation, claw removal, slaughter trials, drugs, electric
shock, gassing, and disease inducement. Contact: Dr. Paul Risser,
President, President's Office, Oregon State University, Kerr
Administration Bldg., Rm A-646, Corvallis OR 97331. ph: 541-737-
2565; fax: 3033; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture you do not want ostriches and
emus defined as livestock or poultry. To date, the USDA has not
classed ratites as livestock or poultry, and no regulations have
been issued. In 1995, the USDA published "Ratite Slaughter
Guidelines," an interim provision. The "Guildelines" describe
removal of the feathers of the living birds before slaughter. For
a copy of the 20-page "Ratite Slaughter Inspection Guidelines"
and to protest the agricultural classification and use of
ostriches, emus, and other flightless fowl, contact Office of
Slaughter Operations Staff, Room 4434 South, USDA Food Safety &
Inspection Service, 14th & Independence Ave. NW, Washington DC
20250 (ph: 201-720-7163).