Have you ever seen a slaughterhouse? Chances are there's one close to where you live. Or take a road trip and visit a fur farm or a company that sells animals to laboratories. When you do, send us pictures and we'll post them here. Help us to improve this resource. Let us know if you find businesses that have closed, incorrect addresses, or if there's something missing from our lists.
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Featured: The bad and the ugly
Final Nail.com takes a close look at one business or an industry segment from our website.
Slaughterhouse list updated. The directory now includes all slaughterhouses in the United States under federal inspection as of July 3, 2014. We have also started to note when inspectors with the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service report a serious violation of the Humane Slaughter Act. Enforcement actions are rare not because the abuse of animals during the slaughter process is an aberration, but instead is because enforcement of the law is inadequate and inconsistent.
The new Wildlife Farm Database (wildlifefarmdatabase.com) is a directory of thousands of captive wildlife operations: game breeders, deer farms, urine farms (where urine is collected to make trapping lures), cruel "penning" operations and more. The website is a great place for activists to start researching exploitive businesses.
Fur is green?! The Washington State Department of Ecology has fined Dale Marr, the owner of a fur farm in Deming, Washington $48,000 for discharging water contaminated with mink manure directly into nearby creeks, threatening protected species of salmon and trout. The same farm was fined for similar violations in 1999.
The annual "Fur Free Friday" protest may have lost its excitement in most American cities, but according to a fur industry study, 30+ years of anti-fur campaigning has left a lasting impression.
In early 2012, a fur industry trade group commissioned a survey to determine American's knowledge and attitudes about fur. The results are encouraging and a reminder of the power of the animal rights movement to shape public opinion:
- Only one-in-five Americans (and 14% of women) think that trapping is conducted humanely.
- Only one-quarter of Americans (19% of women) believe that mink and other animals on fur farms are raised humanely.
- One-third of women (33%) cite "concerns about animals" as their reason for not wearing fur.
The opinion poll was followed with a focus group conducted in New York City in March 2012. The group discussion revealed, "discomfort about wearing fur related to industry practices." When presented with images of fur garments, focus group members reacted with feelings of warmth and luxury, but the images also suggested "animal death and cruelty." It was clear that animal rights messages about fur, "have become part of society's collective consciousness."
"A Communications Plan for the North American Fur Industry," a summary (intended for an internal audience) of the opinion poll and focus group results can be downloaded here.
The challenge facing the fur industry is to make fur relevant to today's fashions and to overcome the stigma attached to fur. If the animal rights movement wants to keep public opinion on its side, anti-fur campaigning cannot be limited to a once-a-year event.
To our knowledge there are no fur farms still in operation in the State of Maine. But there is a mink farm a short drive from the town of Houlton, Maine across the U.S./Canada border in Green Road, New Brunswick. Check out the new FinalNail.com directory of fur farms, laboratory animal suppliers and slaughterhouses in Canada.
In early April a young calf somehow escaped from a Paterson, New Jersey slaughterhouse. After evading police on the city streets for more than an hour, he was recaptured. But this story has a happy ending. The calf was not returned to the slaughterhouse; instead his owner was convinced to release him and he is now safe at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.
The Paterson slaughterhouse was not named in news reports, but it was most likely Ena Meat Packing, which bills itself as "the largest Halal meat slaughterhouse in the United States." The company also owns a nearby chicken slaughterhouse.
"Class B dealers" obtain dogs and cats from animal shelters, auctions and other random sources, and then sell them to research facilities. The National Institutes of Health has announced that beginning in October 2012, NIH funds cannot be used to buy cats from Class B dealers. A similar policy prohibiting NIH-supported researchers from obtaining dogs from Class B dealers will take effect no later than 2015.
The announcement may spell the end of the seven Class B dealers still operating: LBL Kennels (Reelsville, IN), D & M Resources (Stanwood, MI), Hodgins Kennels (Howell, MI), R & R Research (Howard City, MI), Kenneth Schroeder (Wells, MN), Robert Perry (Mount Sterling, OH) and Whale Branch Animal Services (Seabrook, SC).
Before you purchase the new issue of Comics Buyer's Guide, Writer's Digest or Popular Woodworking, you may want to think about where your money is going. Cincinnati-based F+W Media is the publisher of these and many other special-interest magazines. The company is also responsible for Trapper & Predator Caller, which for over 35 years has provided instruction on how to trap and kill animals. With F+W Media publications, we recommend browsing not buying at the newsstand.
You may not expect to find a by-product of the cruel fur industry in the shoe department at Walmart or Target, but leather care products made out of mink oil are common at large retail stores. (Less common but equally problematic are skin care products made from mink oil.) As its name suggests, mink oil comes from animals killed in fur farms (the oil is made from fat found under the skin of mink). Mink oil products are definitely on Final Nail's "do not buy" list!
For November, we focus on Marshall BioResources (commonly known as Marshall Farms), an international company based in New York that breeds thousands of dogs, ferrets and pigs for use in research laboratories each year. The company is currently the target of protests by activists in Italy and the UK who are fighting to close beagle breeding facilities operated by Marshall in those countries.
Unless you're a vivisector, you'll likely never purchase an animal from Marshall BioResources, but you may be unknowingly supporting this disgusting company when you visit PetSmart, Petco or similar retailers. A sister company called Marshall Pet Products is the largest breeder of ferrets for the pet trade in the U.S. The company also sells food, litter, collars, harnesses, toys, shampoo and other products for ferrets. In addition, Marshall Pet Products sells products under other brands-- including odor control products under the name "GoodBye Odor," skin and coat care products under the "Earth's Balance" name, treats and other products for rabbits under the name "Peter's" and treats for horses under the name "Orchard Sweets."
Don't support Marshall Farms! Adopt, don't buy ferrets from pet stores. If you see the Marshall Pet Products logo on a product when shopping, try to find an alternative. You may also want to ask the store not to stock Marshall products.
Information wanted. You can help
Final Nail.com needs your help investigating the status of farms, and to fill in the blanks about other businesses listed on our website.
Check back for new questions.
Update! In early 2013 we were contacted by the owners of a property in Joliet, Illinois (southwest of Chicago) that had been a fox farm. "The foxes that were here are gone and will not be returning," the property owners wrote, adding "They did not belong to us." We took them at their word, but as the saying goes, "Trust, but verify." Recently, activists visited the property and confirmed that the cages are empty, although they have not yet been dismantled.
We have expanded our directory of animal industries to Canada's 13 provinces and territories. The updated directory includes addresses and other information about approx. 200 mink and fox farms, 110 federally registered slaughterhouses, and laboratory animal suppliers. The new listings should be considered a first draft. We know that there are many fur farms in Canada yet to be located. Can you help us complete the directory? Please contact us if you know of fur farms or laboratory animal suppliers in Canada that are not yet on our list.
We're excited about the relaunch of the Coalition Against Fur Farms, an organization that fought against the fur industry in the 1990s. Among the first posts on its new website is a list of farms in Missouri that have state permits to breed bobcats, wolves and fox. Volunteers are needed to investigate these farms, some of which may be previously unknown fur farms.
Updates! We've heard from activists in Maryland that the Parsons Mink Ranch (see below) is closed. The remaining sheds on the property are used for storage, and the cages are empty and rusted. We're happy to add Maryland to the list of states without fur farms. In recent months, we've also heard from visitors to Myrtle's Rabbitry (see below). Some buildings have been torn down, but it's too soon to conclude that this longtime vivisection supplier is gone for good.
We're fairly certain that Lesley Elmore's mink farm outside the small town of Mansfield, Arkansas is closed, but there's a chance that sheds on the property still contain animals. Can you help us add Arkansas to the fur-farm-free list?
Myrtle's Rabbitry, in Thompson's Station, Tennessee (outside Nashville) is one of the largest suppliers of rabbits to research and testing labs in the United States. Thousands of rabbits are caged inside large barns at the property. In June 2011, Covance Research Products announced that it had purchased Myrtle's "breeders and stock." Can you help us determine if Myrtle's Rabbitry is still in operation?
The Saint Joe River Valley in northern Idaho is beautiful, but near the shores of Round Lake is an ugly company that specializes in supplying "non-traditional" animals to research laboratories. Northeastern Wildlife (4825 E. Holiday Road, Harrison, ID 83833), boasts on its website that it has sent thousands of woodchucks to their deaths in labs worldwide. The company sells both captive-born and wild-caught woodchucks, as well as wild-caught opossums and other animals (Northeastern Wildlife also provides contract research services). We're curious what a woodchuck farm looks like. If you live in eastern Washington/northern Idaho, we encourage you to consider a trip to the town of Harrison. If you do, please send us pictures of what you discover!
There are several states, like Georgia or Massachusetts, that at one time had very large mink farms, but now (as far as we know) have none. Can you help us determine if New Hampshire and Maryland can be added to the fur-farm-free list? Both states reportedly only have one mink farm-- the Parsons Mink Ranch in Salisbury, Maryland and Richard Gauthier's mink and fox farm in Lyndeborough, New Hampshire. Do you live near these farms? We need your help to determine whether or not they are still in business.
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