Sunday, March 06, 2005

Automation, chicken shit and sole food

If you are wondering what "industrial chicken farming" is like, go to this site and click on the video for the EZ Catch Chicken Harvester. Here's Boing Boing's teaser:
No science fiction movie has ever had a machine as creepy as the E-Z Catch Harvester, a machine that uses rapidly rotating brushes to catch chickens and convey them into pens. The video clip is a must see.
The link to the video is at the top of the page, under "Life just got Easier." Not for the chickens.

They may still have posthumous revenge. In the UK (not sure if this is true in the US or not; readers?) imports of poultry meat from bird flu infested areas are banned, but not imports of feathers. Professor Hugh Pennington told listeners on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today show that duck, chicken and turkey feathers were still being imported for pillows. He raised the possibility that virally contaminated fecal material might remain on the feathers, bringing bird flu to UK poultry.

Professor Pennington's chicken-shit objections aside, the US Department of Agriculture has issued a warning to eleven states that banned boneless chicken feet were illegally smuggled into the country from Asia (ApP via via MSNBC). Stores in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, have been de-feeted already by on the ball inspectors. Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin also got them from a Connecticut distributor, Food King.

Presumably because they weren't wearing shoes, they passed through US airport screening unmolested.