Open Letter to Commissioner Anne Kelly

April 9th, 2018

Dear Commissioner Kelly,

I am appalled that the Canadian government has chosen goat dairy over animal sanctuary as the model for prisoner/animal rehabilitative programming. Since you are tasked with overseeing prison operations, it is my hope that you will carefully consider the rehabilitative implications of the following goat dairy practices, as described by government, education and industry.

Artificial Insemination
   
"Dr. Lou Nuti demonstrates artificial insemination in goats," Dr. Louis Nuti, Prairie View A&M University and Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia, July 2, 2012
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF89Ar83M7g)

[Doe on elevated surface, rear end towards camera. Six men in room: Dr. Nuti instructing while doing the procedure, one man restraining the doe's head, one man holding her tail to one side, two men observing, one videographer.]


...Of course we need the animal elevated and restrained..., but the first step in the whole process is to ensure that the area you enter is clean.... So what we're going to do now is to just basically clean the vulva area so that there's no dirt around it... We examine her inside by means of use of a speculum and a light source.... We usually put a little bit of lubricant on the outside to ease penetration.... We gently push it in [doe tries to pull away and bleats loudly] - it's a little bit uncomfortable for the animal, but she eventually gets used to it. ...

The other thing we do of course is... to locate the opening to the cervix, so that we can penetrate the cervix and deposit the semen within the... uterine body... And what you want to look for is... whether the cervix is open, because if it's open... it allows for easy penetration using the gun to deposit the semen. So I'll load the gun at this time...

So you try to put your pipette tip at the opening... and if it is the actual cervix, you'll hear several little pops as you apply pressure, and those are cervical rings, which indicates that you are in fact in the cervix. [When AI gun penetrates the cervix, the doe struggles and arches her back. The man holding her tail restrains her back leg to prevent her moving.] And as you go through, you want to go through all of them.... Now I've gone through about two or three rings already, and I'll apply a little bit more pressure. There, that was the last pop. So I'm in the cervix right now. I'll pull it back a little bit and then deposit the semen....

Removal of kids
   
"Best Management Practices for Dairy Goat Farmers," compiled and written by Clara Hedrich, with assistance from Dr. Chris Duemler, DVM, and Dan Considine, University of Wisconsin Emerging Agricultural Markets Team with support from The Wisconsin Dairy Goat Association and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, April, 2008, pp. 52-53.
(www.milkproduction.com/Global/PDFs/Bestmanagementpracticesfordairygoatfarmers.pdf)


Normal kids will start trying to stand up immediately and should be on their feet and nursing within a short period of time. For the purpose of disease prevention, kids should not be allowed to nurse directly. Kids should be removed from their dams and fed heat treated colostrum and then pasteurized milk. Milk the doe out as soon as possible after kidding. The first milk is colostrum and should be heat treated and fed back to the kids.... The doe will come into milk production in the next two to three days after kidding.

Disbudding
   
The Goat Mentor, "How to Disbud a Goat Kid," Jan 26, 2012
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnxI5_gi7BI)


[Kid in disbudding box, her head protruding through a hole in the front of the box. Man uses hot disbudding iron while woman restrains kid's rear end.]

Hold the iron on the horn bud for a good 10-12 seconds. One, two, three... [For the full 10-12 seconds, the kid screams loudly. When done, the man soothes the kid by letting her suck his finger.]

We let the head cool off for a couple of moments and then get the other side. Again, hold the iron on this horn bud for a good 10-12 seconds, rotating around the horn bud as you go to be sure it is thoroughly done on all sides [kid screaming].

Then you can either leave the horn bud on and just kind of cap it..., or you can remove the cap, which seems to work a little better. [Applies hot iron with sideways pressure to remove the horn buds, baby screams. The woman then applies oil while the man lets the kid suck his finger.]

Culling
   
"Best Management Practices for Dairy Goat Farmers," (see above) pp. 55, 65-66, 74-75.

To advance the herd production and component levels, only doelings from the above average does should be kept. ...

A major management decision that will need to be made is "How to manage buck kids?"... Buck kids to be slaughtered under two months of age do not need to be castrated. If meat goats are to be kept until an older age castrating can be done at two to four weeks of age.... Before you make a final decision on buck kids explore the available markets in your area. Which option is the most economical?...

The objective of raising the dairy goat kid should be to produce a lactating animal with an adequate body size as inexpensively as possible and in the shortest possible time....

Cull problem goats before breeding. ... Cull does who have a history of producing kids with problems. Cull poor producers and those with personality traits that make them a nuisance in the herd.
   
Devote more time to your higher quality and best producing goats. The return on investment of time and money will be greater and efforts more satisfying than being burdened with work on a large number of lesser quality goats.

Slaughtering
   
H.J. Swatland, Dept. of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph
(www.aps.uoguelph.ca/~swatland/ch1_9.htm).


Animals can be effectively stunned by concussion. Concussion may be induced by a bullet or a bolt that penetrates the cranium, or by the impact of a fast-moving knocker on the surface of the cranium.... The captive bolt pistol resembles a heavy hand gun, but a blank cartridge is used to propel a cylindrical bolt rather than a bullet into the skull.... Meat animals may be stunned by passing an alternating electric current through the brain.... Unconsciousness is induced by a wide range of voltages, from about seventy volts to several hundred volts....

The exsanguination or sticking of meat animals in an abattoir is usually performed by severing the carotid arteries and the jugular vein at the base of the neck.

Butchering

"Ante and Post-mortem Procedures, Dispositions, Monitoring and Controls..." Government of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (www.inspection.gc.ca/food/meat-and-poultry-products/manual-of-procedures/chapter-17/eng/1367723343665/1367723573062)

Mammary gland... Prepuce and Penis Removal... Brisket Opening and Evisceration... Spinal Cord Removal... Carcass Trimming and Washing... Feet, Hide and Horn Removal... Head Removal and Cleaning...

Ovine [sheep] and caprine [goats] are dressed using the same dressing procedures as described for bovines, except that carcass splitting and bung tying are not required. The oesophagus must be ligatured to prevent regurgitation during evisceration. ... Goat carcasses may be scalded and dehaired with the skin left on, in which case the dressing procedure is comparable to the dressing procedure of hogs, except for the head that shall be removed.

***

This litany of exploitation and abuse required by the goat dairy industry makes it a manifestly unsuitable model for rehabilitative programming in Canadian prisons, one which I hope you will be able to prevent.

Franceen Neufeld
Evolve Our Prison Farms