Tag Archives | Pigs

Infertility in Pigs Traced to Plastics. A Warning for Humans?

Oink oink! (2258903102)More Unacceptable Levels news: A scientist has connected infertility in pigs to compounds in plastic bags, warns National Geographic:

strange catastrophe struck Spain’s pig farmers in the spring of 2010. On 41 farms across the country—each home to between 800 and 3,000 pigs—many sows suddenly ceased bearing young.

On some farms, all the sows stopped reproducing. On others, those that did become pregnant produced smaller litters.

When investigators examined the sows and the semen that had been used to artificially inseminate them—it had been collected from different boar studs and refrigerated—they couldn’t find anything wrong. The sperm cells weren’t misshapen. None of the sows were diseased. No microbes or fungal toxins were detected in their feed or water.

Only one factor was common to all the farms and studs: The plastic bags used for semen storage all came from the same place.

Investigating those bags has led Cristina Nerín, an analytical chemist at the University of Zaragoza who studies packaging materials, to publish new research that traces the pigs’ infertility to chemical compounds in the plastics.

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British Man Wearing Pig Mask Arrested For Impersonating A Police Officer

PIC: Manchester Evening News (C)

PIC: Manchester Evening News (C)

Really? I think he should sue (eeeeeeeeeee!).

Greater Manchester Police arrested a man who put on a pig mask, toy helmet and reflective jacket in order to perform “comical parodies” about the behavior of law enforcement officials.

New Moston man Steven Peers was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer after he put on the costume to call attention to how GMP officers conducted themselves during anti-fracking protests.

The 46-year-old was arrested after being stopped by an officer outside a police station.

“My reaction to being arrested was total disbelief. I was wearing a toy hat and a pig mask and was arrested for impersonating a police officer. It’s ridiculous,” Peers told the Manchester Evening News. “If they want to take it to court they will be a laughingstock because there is no substance to it whatsoever.”

via Steven Peers wears pig mask and is arrested for impersonating a police officer – UPI.com.… Read the rest

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Glow-In-The-Dark Pigs Birthed Using Jellyfish DNA

Introducing what is sure to be this year's must-have rave accessory. Via The Verge:
Scientists at the South China Agricultural University announced last week that they had successfully engineered 10 piglets that could glow green under black light. By using a technique pioneered by the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Medicine, the researchers were able to isolate a fluorescent protein in jellyfish DNA and inject it into pig embryos. Turkish researchers were able to raise fluorescent rabbits with the University of Hawaii's technique earlier this year.  
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Geneticist Thinks Man Evolved From Pig and Chimp Hybrid

ManBearPigLet’s see… who gets to be pissed off first? Scientists? Religious fundamentalists? The pork lobby? Al Gore? I’m going to go pop some popcorn.

Via The Times of India:

Turning the theory of human ancestry on its head, Dr Eugene McCarthy — one of the world’s leading authorities on hybridization in animals from the University of Georgia has suggested that humans didn’t evolve from just apes but was a backcross hybrid of a chimpanzee and pigs.

His hypothesis is based on the fact that though humans have many features in common with chimps, there are a lot more that don’t correspond to any other primates. He then suggests that there is only one animal in the animal kingdom that has all of the traits which distinguish humans from our primate cousins.

“What is this other animal that has all these traits? The answer is Sus scrofa – the ordinary pig” he says.

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Humans May Have Originated As A Pig-Chimp Hybrid

pig-chimpPerhaps the real reason human beings feel the urge to keep kosher/halal is that in pigs we subconsciously recognize a glimmer of ourselves. Phys.org reports:

Dr. Eugene McCarthy is a Ph.D. geneticist who has made a career out of studying hybridization in animals. He has amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that human origins can be best explained by hybridization between pigs and chimpanzees. Extraordinary theories require extraordinary evidence and McCarthy does not disappoint. Rather than relying on genetic sequence comparisons, he instead offers extensive anatomical comparisons, which are startling when taken together.

The list of anatomical specializations we may have gained from porcine philandering is too long to detail here. Similarities in the face, skin and organ microstructure alone are hard to explain away. A short list of differential features would include, multipyramidal kidney structure, presence of dermal melanocytes, melanoma, absence of a primate baculum (penis bone), surface lipid and carbohydrate composition of cell membranes, vocal cord structure, laryngeal sacs, diverticuli of the fetal stomach, intestinal “valves of Kerkring,” heart chamber symmetry, skin and cranial vasculature and method of cooling, and tooth structure.

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Oregon Farmer Eaten By His Pigs

Little more remained of hog farmer Terry Vance Garner than his dentures, the Guardian reports:

Oregon authorities are investigating how a farmer was eaten by his pigs. Terry Vance Garner, 69, never returned after he set out to feed his animals last Wednesday on his farm near the Oregon coast, the Coos county district attorney said on Monday.

A family member found Garner’s dentures and pieces of his body in the pig enclosure several hours later, but most of his remains had been consumed, the district attorney, Paul Frasier, said. Several of the pigs weighed 320kg (700lb) or more.

It is possible Garner had a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, or was knocked over by the animals, then killed and eaten, Frasier said, adding that at least one pig had previously bitten Garner.

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Midwestern Hog Farms Keep Mysteriously Exploding

6506284705_6ed9d1801a_bHog farming is even grosser than you imagined. Farms keep spontaneously blowing  up due to chemical interactions involving bacteria-laden gas and a brown goop of sketchy origin. Ars Technica writes:

Since 2009, six farms have blown up after methane trapped in an unidentified, pit-topping foam caught a spark. In the afflicted region, the foam is found in roughly 1 in 4 hog farms.

There’s nothing farmers can do except be very careful. Researchers aren’t even sure what the foam is. “This has all started in the last four or five years here. We don’t have any idea where it came from or how it got started,” said agricultural engineer Charles Clanton. “Whatever has happened is new.”

A gelatinous goop that resembles melted brown Nerf, the foam captures gases emitted by bacteria living in manure, which on industrial farms gathers in pits beneath barns that may contain several thousand animals. The pits are emptied each fall, after which waste builds up again, turning them into something like giant stomachs: dark, oxygen-starved percolators in which bacteria and single-celled organisms metabolize the muck.

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Morgan Stanley Employee Implicated in Pigs & Prostitution

The bizarre case of Anna Gristina, the accused millionaire madam being charged with running a widespread prostitution ring in the Upper East Side, got even more absurd as her history of pig rescuing and posing in racy photographs surfaced on Wednesday.

Susan Magidson, who has worked with Gristina in saving six pigs over the last few years, told the New York Times:

Pigs are one of Anna’s passions. When people love pigs, in my opinion, they are special and unique — and in my opinion, the chosen ones — because they’re just such a special animal, highly intelligent, emotional animal, so it’s like working with orphans.

All which raises the question, who exactly is Gristina? Is she the 44-year-old, suburban mother of four? A brothel queen bee with nude model ambitions? Or is she simply a misunderstood swine lover?

Adding to the list of peculiar characters is Morgan Stanley employee David Walker, who authorities say had a private meeting with Gristina shortly before she was arrested.… Read the rest

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Outrage Over South Korea’s Mass Live Burial Of Pigs

Factory farming practices are always bloody and cruel, but this seems to go above and beyond. Following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, since December South Korea has killed 20% of its domestic livestock -- 3 million animals have been exterminated, mostly pigs, who are being buried alive by the thousands in gigantic pits. The practice is traumatizing workers (who hear the pigs' screams in their sleep) and provoking outrage around the world. Video footage is difficult to sit through:
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