We wrote a few weeks ago about how the token farmer HSUS trots out, useful idiot Joe Maxwell, is a giant hypocrite. Maxwell goes around claiming that the most common, science-based farming methods are inhumane, yet here’s a guy whose operation was suspended twice by the USDA in 2009 for inhumane slaughter or treatment.
And it seems like HSUS isn’t having much luck on the hypocrisy front in Colorado, either.
HSUS formed a state agriculture council in Colorado last year to create a façade for the public that the group is not against animal agriculture (despite the fact that HSUS is against animal agriculture). In short, HSUS partnered with a handful of farmers and ranchers, made a big announcement, and then seemed to do little.
This year, HSUS was lobbying in Colorado for a state ban on tail docking, which is the partial removal of a cow’s tail for sanitary purposes. Interestingly, HSUS Colorado council member Mike Callicrate, a rancher and entrepreneur, has developed a product under his “No Bull” brand that is used in tail docking, yet he told the media earlier this year that he doesn’t support the practice. (That’s him at right at an “Occupy Wall Street” event.)
Or maybe he’s just full of, well, “Bull.”
Speaking to the World Dairy Expo a few years back, Callicrate yammered about the benefits of his “Callicrate Bander.” Along with castration, its primary purpose, it’s also useful for antler removal, prolapse removal, and horn removal, he said.
And it’s also good for tail-docking.
“The bander has more benefits for dairy producers than it does for beef producers,” Callicrate said. “In the dairy industry we’ve got tail-docking available to us just as a sanitary thing to keep the farmers cleaner and to provide a cleaner environment for the milk.”
On his website selling the castration device, Callicrate still includes a testimonial from a Wisconsin veterinarian saying that Callicrate’s bander helps tail-docking “[go] on so much easier and quicker.” And until at least April 2012, Callicrate’s website Q&A had this bit:
Why use the Callicrate Bander for tail docking, when an inexpensive rubber ring will work?
The Callicrate Loop provides complete ligation. The rubber rings apply insufficient pressure to achieve proper ligation, resulting in pain and swelling that may be severe. As one dairy veterinarian, Dr. Greg Palmquist, said, “The time saved in applying the Callicrate Loop, pays for the loop. The high tension achieved by using the Callicrate Bander means less swelling with shorter drop time, which alleviates stress on the animals.”
(This has now been scrubbed from the site.)
Well, well. So Callicrate is now publicly against tail docking, and yet he continues to cite tail docking on his site (see here) as a benefit of castration banders. Smells like hypocrisy to us.
And what does HSUS have to say about Callicrate’s “bull”? We won’t hold our breath waiting for an answer.
Since we’re on the topic of castration, it’s worth mentioning that modern farm practices are often misunderstood, thanks to groups like HSUS that take advantage of urban and suburban folks who have no experience with farm animals or animal welfare science (Mike Callicrate, take note). There’s a much more credible Mike—Mike Rowe of the show “Dirty Jobs”—who has taken a serious look at castration. Here’s a video on it, and why he thinks animal rights propaganda can actually be worse for animals. Food for thought.