Ensuring both public health and robust essential supply chains may require an increase in meatpacking oversight and potentially a shift toward more decentralized, smaller-scale meat production. On April 20, 1979, C Hibbs of the New Mexico State Veterinary diagnostics Laboratory spoke before a hearing chaired by Senator Harrison Schmitt. [11], Samples from the animal's liver were found to be completely devoid of copper and to contain 4 times the normal level of zinc, potassium and phosphorus. Livestock deaths . This lag structure for cases aligns with the fact that COVID-19 incubation periods may last for up to 14 d (62). The selection of this instrument was motivated by meat processors’ need to minimize costs of transporting livestock supply when selecting the location of plants. In the United States, some industries are exempted from shelter-in-place orders and have remained operational due to their necessity to satisfy basic societal needs (21). Livestock curates the highest quality collections from a variety of carefully selected brands. Using a dataset tracking whether and when livestock plants closed, Fig. We also illustrate potential contributions of plant size, industrial concentration, plant shutdowns, and policy actions to this phenomenon. Although our estimate that 6 to 8% of COVID-19 cases are associated with livestock plants may appear high, it is important to recall that high levels of geographic heterogeneity in COVID-19 incidence can be explained by some combination of individual behavior, government policy, social-distancing compliance, and economic activity: The United States, for example, has 4% of the world’s population, but approximately a quarter of all cases and deaths as of July 2020. [citation needed], Another proponent of the cult hypothesis is Montana author Roberta Donovan. Blood that is external to the body, or in the area of a wound being consumed by insects or reduced by solar desiccation. A graduate student makes a call to action. By week 2, growth rates between the two categories, highly divergent in week 1, were roughly equal. S3 expands our main analysis to include neighboring counties grouped by distance band, as charted in Fig. designed research, performed research, analyzed data, and wrote the paper. ... Livestock display an alarming ability to coordinate their attacks. Among the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, maintaining essential supply chains while mitigating community spread of the virus is vital to society. Vigilante groups were formed. It was then expanded in September 2018 to allow all poultry plants the opportunity to apply for these waivers. To test this, we controlled for the county-level number of manufacturing establishments and share of income from manufacturing. The relationship between local COVID-19 incidence and medium and large plants (FSIS categories 4 or 5) owned or operated by some of the largest US processors (National Beef, JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and Smithfield) and their subsidiaries is presented in SI Appendix, Table S6. Livestock contribute 14.5% of the total annual anthropogenic GHG emissions globally (Gerber et al., 2013).Livestock influence climate through land use change, feed production, animal production, manure, and processing and transport ().Feed production and manure emit CO 2, nitrous oxide (N 2 O), and methane (CH 4), which consequently affects climate change. Moreover, studies have suggested that industrial climate control systems used to cool and ventilate meat processing facilities may further the spread of pathogenic bioaerosols, a proposed COVID-19 transmission route (46, 50⇓⇓–53). [26][36]:23 The operation came under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Covariate data include county-level race, ethnicity, and age structure data from the US Census and mean county-level income data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (72, 73). The outbreak was noted in the official records of the Court of James I of England. Likewise, death rates increase by 0.07 per thousand, or 37% over the county baseline of 0.2 deaths per thousand. Data on manufacturing establishments come from the American Economic Survey (68). Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences, and Puzzling Physical Phenomena, 2nd Edition. Increased urbanization puts livestock farms closer than ever to high-ways and population centers, heightening the risk of accidents and resulting liabilities. In one case it was concluded that claims had been falsified by a convict seeking favorable terms on his sentence in exchange for information. Image credit: Joyce Gross (University of California, Berkeley). The methods we used to help address potential bias and endogeneity concerns are IV analysis, propensity-score matching, and nearest-neighbor matching. Although some initially thought these were used by cattle rustlers, suspicion soon pointed toward a military operation running out of Fort Riley, Kansas. Rommel (a former FBI bank robbery expert) was disgusted by dead necrotic cows and chose to let others do the actual investigations while he waited upwind in the car. It displayed "classic" mutilation signs, including the removal of the rectum and sex organs with what appeared to be “a sharp and precise instrument” and its internal organs were found to be inconsistent with a normal case of death followed by predation. Locations and characteristics of livestock processing facilities come from the USDA FSIS (82). 0746: Beef Cattle - This year 2. This ses-sion will look at the exposures relating to loose livestock, the own- Error bars reflect a 95% CI. Livestock plants and COVID-19 transmission. The mean closure time was 9 d. Some closed for a day or two for cleaning and disinfection, while others closed for longer periods while revising their operating procedures and monitoring staff. The first stage in the IV analysis, presented in SI Appendix, Table S12, shows that the instrument is highly relevant with the F-statistic far above Stock and Yogo’s (63) 10% maximal bias threshold. Fig. Because these plants provide a central location for moving products, it is plausible that a linear increase in the potential infected within the plant would entail a nonlinear response, owing to the complex and exponential nature of disease-transmission dynamics (70). Increases in production-line speeds due to technological enhancements as well as policy changes have also been hypothesized to exacerbate COVID-19 transmission (5, 42). Of workers that were farmers, cattle caused 54 deaths and horses caused 27 deaths. [32] However, contrary to the deviancy hypothesis, which holds that cattle are mutilated at random by individual deviants, the cult hypothesis holds that cattle mutilations are coordinated acts of ritual sacrifice carried out by organized groups. This finding suggests a potential pathway between a livestock plant’s operating procedures and COVID-19 transmission. The idea is that the propensity score helps account for bias in the location of livestock plants. But within this radius, several small holes were found seemingly "punched" in the ground and two bushes were absolutely flattened. A story that thousands of cattle were left dead after a winter storm was from 2015, not 2017. Globally, economic losses from diseased livestock are estimated at $4 billion, while infectious diseases are responsible for about 30 per cent of animal deaths. Los Alamos detected the presence of naturally occurring Clostridium bacteria in the heart, but was unable to reach any conclusions because of the possibility that the bacteria represented postmortem contamination. Dairy producers in New Mexico and Texas take a huge hit after Winter Storm Goliath wiped out more than 30,000 dairy cows. 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We estimate the total excess COVID-19 cases and deaths associated with proximity to livestock plants to be 236,000 to 310,000 (6 to 8% of all US cases) and 4,300 to 5,200 (3 to 4% of all US deaths), respectively, as of July 21, 2020, with the vast majority likely related to community spread outside these plants. Fig. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, livestock-processing plants worldwide experienced spikes in infections, facing shutdowns that disrupted meat and dairy supplies (32⇓⇓–35). However, not all mutilated animals display these anomalies, and those that do have slightly different anomalies from one another. Bromley David G. and Anson Shupe (1981), Strange Gods: The Great American Cult Scare. We now present potential characteristics of livestock facilities that might contribute to these observed relationships with the COVID-19 case and death rate. The investigation was funded by a US$44,170 grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, and was headed by FBI agent Kenneth Rommel. Boston: Beacon Press, D. Albers, Michael, The Terror, pp. For context, there are 17,200 employees in the animal-slaughtering industry in Kansas (68), or 0.6% of the state’s population, suggesting that livestock plants had a relationship of a magnitude closer in scale to our own estimates (Kansas’ estimate is 23× their labor footprint). After coming under increasing public pressure, Federal authorities launched a comprehensive investigation of the mutilation phenomenon.[21]. Are swine workers in the United States at increased risk of infection with zoonotic influenza virus? A concerning trend of criminal shooting of domestic livestock is appearing around the province. During the six to eight month time frame of Rommel's investigation, RCMP investigator Corporal Lyn Lauber of the Calgary detachment (who was in charge of the Canadian mutilation probe) investigated numerous high-strange cases. Consequently, it is important to understand law regarding liabilities for damages caused by loose livestock. However, all of the large companies appear to have larger coefficients than the baseline. What happens if workers cutting up the nation’s meat get sick? COVID-19 testing, livestock facilities, and COVID-19 incidence. Counties with plants have higher population density, a lower proportion of elderly people, higher proportions of Black and Hispanic people, and larger household sizes. Clark J (1999), Unexplained! Valdez was convinced that Rommel never was able to investigate a single high-strange case, because the mutilators moved their operations to other parts of the west. The scientists performing the analysis were unable to explain these anomalies. That unborn calves have been harvested from mutilated cattle. We have quantified a range of clinical factors associated with COVID-19-related death in … How many die from cows each year? Livestock handlers are involved in The flood wreaked havoc on Devillier’s ranch, killing at least 60 cattle (along with several horses) that represent 20 percent of his herd. How will country-based mitigation measures influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic? Salmonella initiative program participants table, (Tech. in the past 24 hours, and 133 such deaths in the past week, the province is going through the deadliest stretch of the pandemic that it has yet faced. 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Non-COVID-19-Related Deaths Up, Too. The best we can do here is provide an unusually broad array of observational evidence. Enter multiple addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas. We limited the analysis to the continental United States. Livestock deaths . In most cases, mutilation wounds appear to be clean and carried out surgically. A number of livestock deaths are reported each year from unknown causes. In Table 1, we estimate the relationship between livestock plants and COVID-19 incidence as of July 21, 2020, using regression models that control for potential confounding variables, including county-level measures of income; population density and its square; the timing of the first case; the proportions of elderly people, uninsured people, frontline workers, and people using public transportation; racial and ethnic characteristics; average household size; local freight traffic; and populations of nursing homes and prisons. Each particular statistical method adjusts for these baseline differences in different ways. For the Sales Price you would enter 0 (zero). Killing Wolves Actually Leads to More Livestock Deaths On the surface, killing wolves that kill sheep and cattle seems like a way to control predation, but the data paints a not-so-simple picture Lady's head and neck had been skinned and defleshed, and the body displayed cuts that, to King, looked very precise. Few farm people look upon their livestock as a source of danger. Tears in the skin created when it is stretched by postmortem bloat and/or as dehydration causes the animal's hide to shrink and split, often in linear cuts. Livestock facilities and county-level COVID-19 incidence, IV. Further information is available in Github at https://github.com/cboulos/livestock-covid. This article contains supporting information online at https://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.2010115117/-/DCSupplemental. Meanwhile, there is a lesser and imprecise relationship with retail and recreation activities, which may contribute to viral spread. 0752: Reptiles - This year E.g. NOTE: We only request your email address so that the person you are recommending the page to knows that you wanted them to see it, and that it is not junk mail. Hibbs testified that mutilation fell into three categories, one of which was animals mutilated by humans[11] (page 25). It is also highly concentrated: The largest four companies in beef, pork, and poultry processing capture 55 to 85% of their respective markets (22⇓⇓⇓⇓–27). These magnitudes can be visualized in Fig. Covid-19 and community mitigation strategies in a pandemic, Scientific and ethical basis for social-distancing interventions against COVID-19, Projecting hospital utilization during the COVID-19 outbreaks in the United States, The effect of human mobility and control measures on the COVID-19 epidemic in China, Impact of international travel and border control measures on the global spread of the novel 2019 coronavirus outbreak, Advisory memorandum on identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response, (Tech. Another driver may be the large physical spaces where processing occurs. In total, 253 incidents of livestock worrying, including sheep attacks, by dogs were recorded by local authorities around the country; Mayo had […] [4] Charles Fort collected many accounts of cattle mutilations that occurred in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Livestock deaths . C and D are daily line charts of the mean values of each group in terms of percent case growth and change in case rate, respectively. We found that beef, pork, and poultry plants each show a significant relationship with COVID-19 cases and deaths, with pork plants showing the greatest measured magnitude of the three in cases and beef plants showing the greatest magnitude in deaths (SI Appendix, Table S3). To ensure an adequate sample size, we allowed the algorithm to match two nonplant counties to every one county with a livestock plant. ↵‡In our main analyses, we included category 4 and 5 pork and beef facilities and category 5 poultry facilities (which comprise 57% of total poultry plants); see Materials and Methods for a full discussion. Each day, about 500 agricultural workers suffer lost-time injuries, 25 whichresult permanentimpairment. ... 730 deaths 150,000disabling injuries occurred U.S.farms. 4 B and D). Advertisement. This degree of concentration stands in contrast to the European Union (EU), for example, where the top 15 meat companies represent 28% of EU meat production (28). Fontenot said only a few horses and no goats have died, probably because they are generally kept in stalls which can be sprayed with insecticide, while cattle may graze in 50- … We found the relationship between livestock plants and COVID-19 transmission to be most pronounced among the largest plants, whose presence in a county is associated with a 35% higher COVID-19 case rate relative to the average coefficient for livestock plants shown in Table 1. [31] Correspondingly, there is a risk that incorporating these counties into our analysis may introduce bias into our livestock-plant estimates. Several plants were forced to shut down until, among other factors, a federal executive order invoked the status of livestock processing as “critical infrastructure” for national security and mandated that these plants remain open (36, 37). Now if you are in a great confusion about the sudden deaths in your livestock, this article is the right place from where you will be getting a right idea about the whole matter. This helps argue against purely static confounders, such as highway connectedness or fraction of the population that is Hispanic. Country and Farming Rural groups call for law change to allow temporary footpath re-routing following increase in livestock related walker deaths Many livestock plants were temporarily shut down to halt the spread of COVID-19. Control measures should be followed to reduce the chances of these diseases affecting livestock, because some of them can have a negative economic impact on the country, cause serious diseases in humans and even death … S2). Copyright © 2020 National Academy of Sciences. The overall IV results in Table 3 show the relationship between livestock facilities and COVID-19 case and death rates to be even stronger for each outcome, except the within-state death rate, which is of comparable magnitude but less precisely estimated. We next examined whether there is a relationship between local COVID-19 transmission and plant-operating procedures. We controlled for the same demographic and location-based covariates as in other models. Theories of government involvement in the cattle mutilation mystery have been further fueled by "black helicopter" sightings near mutilation sites. However, every livestock producer must face the reality of carcass disposal, regulated by the Destruction and Disposal of Dead Animals Regulation of the Animal Health Act, Appendix A. Both federal investigations were preceded (and followed, to some extent) by a state level investigation carried out by enforcement officials in New Mexico. The average number of counties in each band increases with distance. [14], In the summer of 2019, five bulls were mutilated at the Silvies Valley Ranch in Oregon. In another incident a herd of cows was reported to have been slaughtered after launching an attack that put a dog walker in hospital and killed one of his pets. This page was last edited on 15 December 2020, at 18:16. Relationship between COVID-19 cases and livestock plants owned or operated by large meatpacking companies. 51 years ago . Data on line-speed waivers came from the USDA FSIS (85). Number of livestock deaths due to the bushfire season in Victoria, Australia as at February 6, 2020, by type Number of fatalities Exclusive Premium statistic National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. We note that the IV approach restricts identifying variation to that attributable to livestock agriculture proximity, thereby reducing statistical power. Meatpacking workers are a diverse group who need better protections, Blood, sweat, and fear: Workers’ rights in US meat and poultry plants, Restructuring of the US meat processing industry and new Hispanic migrant destinations. We next looked at differential relationships with COVID-19 by company. In other words, for every worker infected at a livestock plant, between seven and eight local nonworkers were ultimately infected by the end of the sample period, underscoring the high potential for community spread. Data on nursing-home populations, incarcerated populations, uninsured populations, average household size, and work-commuting methods come from the 2014–2018 American Community Survey (74⇓⇓–77). Our analysis used a county-level dataset of COVID-19 cases and deaths from the New York Times, based on reports from state and local health agencies (71). We do not capture any email address. The indoor climate of livestock facilities may increase transmission risk. However, the speed with which growth rates rose and fell in shutdown counties suggests that some closure-related mechanism is likely at play. The matching occurred by using a nearest-neighbor algorithm based on predicting the livestock binary variable with the covariates in our primary specification. This supports the notion that livestock plants, rather than unrelated changes in behavior in these same counties, are the more likely vehicle of COVID-19 transmission.∥. D. Albers, Michael, The Terror, pp.13-15. That is, the figure we have calculated could, in fact, be more complete than the Kansas figure in capturing the spread resulting from livestock plants. Kansas provides a telling example of the outsized role of livestock facilities: As of July 20, a total of 3,200 of 23,300 state cases (14%) were directly linked to meatpacking (67). Of 144 deaths obtained using the US Department of Labor (US DOL) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), there were 22 transportation fatalities involving animals. In the first stage, we regressed the current number of livestock plants in each county on the county’s livestock-production value in 1959 in terms of animals sold, as derived from the USDA census. We then confirmed that observations were relatively balanced across covariates within each propensity-score quartile (SI Appendix, Table S13. • About one-third of cattle operations had deaths in adult cattle. [4] Early press coverage of the case misnamed Lady as Snippy. Deaths: 1,746: On 21 August 1986, a limnic eruption at Lake Nyos in northwestern Cameroon killed 1,746 people and 3,500 livestock. No microscopic changes of pathological significance were found in the heart tissue. Ruminants like bison, cattle, sheep, and goats are highly susceptible and are often infected by consuming forage contaminated with spores. ↵¶In our collected sample, the number of facilities per company varies: National Beef has only seven plants in seven counties, whereas Tyson Foods has 80 plants across 69 counties. Livestock deaths from mosquitoes aren't a new phenomenon. This association is relative to the baseline behavior change across all other counties, indicating that people in livestock-plant counties are working more (or cutting back on work less) than people in other counties. Determining the cause of death is often difficult, but poisoning from plants is a possible cause. This avoidance and caution stands in contrast to other recent, impactful work on COVID-19. There is a clear positive relationship between COVID-19 cases and deaths in relation to livestock facilities, and the county-level mean case rate varies directly with a county’s proximity to a neighboring county with a livestock facility. In South America, an estimated 3,500 incidents have occurred since 2002, when around 400 cases were reported. Several weed species commonly found in North Dakota can produce toxins or poisons in large enough quantity to kill livestock … Cattle mutilation (also known as bovine excision and unexplained livestock death) is the killing and mutilation of cattle under unusual, usually bloodless, and anomalous circumstances. In the second stage, we regressed COVID-19 incidence on this predicted value of livestock plants as well as the other covariates in the primary specification. Dog owner Amelia Borelli was attacked near her home at Fritham after accidentally coming between a cow and her calf, which was hidden by bushes. A still more compelling natural experiment would leverage explicit and exogenous variation that drives livestock-plant shutdowns, i.e., an IV for the shutdowns or their timing. Mutilated animals are sometimes, though not always,[16] reported to have been drained of blood and show no sign of blood in the immediate area or around their wounds. 3: The strongest relationship is found with National Beef, whose indicated relationship with COVID-19 case rates is approximately five times greater in magnitude than that of other livestock facilities. The B.C. ↵†In line with the literature, we find COVID-19 incidence to be strongly associated with population density, average household size, the timing of the first confirmed case, and the proportion of a county’s population who are public-transit commuters, elderly, Black, Hispanic, in a nursing home, uninsured, or institutionalized (SI Appendix, Table S1). In addition, we performed prepolicy matching across the two groups based on percent case growth in the 2 wk prior to shutdown. Our associations hold after controlling for population risk factors and other potential confounders, such as testing rates. Work routines in livestock processing have several characteristics that make plants susceptible to local outbreaks of respiratory viruses. 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That the apparent absence of blood at mutilation sites may indicate cult members harvest it, That organs have been removed from cattle for use in rituals. Of the deaths from cattle, 40% were due to multiorgan trauma, 35% trauma to trunk and chest, and 18% from head trauma. The lower sustained COVID-19 growth rate postclosure suggests that plant closures have some relationship with COVID-19 transmission, which, in turn, suggests some relationship between plant-level activity and community disease spread within the county. [22] The investigation was dubbed "Operation Animal Mutilation". FRESNO — Fresno County has proclaimed a local emergency to address livestock deaths resulting from the extended period of extreme heat. First, we employed an IV approach using historical livestock agricultural production data. The magnitude of the livestock coefficients are of a similar magnitude to those in the baseline model in Table 1. The bulk of mutilations are the result of predation and other natural processes, and those with anomalies that cannot be explained in this way are the work of humans who derive pleasure or sexual stimulation from mutilating animals. Closely related to the deviant hypothesis is the hypothesis that cattle mutilations are the result of cult activity. Handling livestock is a dangerous activity. When narrowing the geographic focus, we can imagine the distribution of COVID-19 incidence to be similarly clustered, if not even lumpier. The disease burden of COVID-19 is not uniformly distributed across the global population. ... Tri-State Livestock News. Livestock What you need to do ... HSE aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. One week prior (week −1) is omitted as the reference level. Preslaughter handling is a major concern to the livestock industry, especially the pork industry. The coronavirus pandemic and aerosols: Does COVID-19 transmit via expiratory particles? Related News. (Wolves count for less than one half of 1% of cattle deaths per year, paling in comparison to predators like mountain lions, coyotes, and even vultures. Good Timothy, Alien contact: top-secret UFO files revealed, William Morrow & Co., M. Rommel Jr, Kenneth, Operation Animal Mutilation, pp.172-75, M. Rommel Jr, Kenneth, Operation Animal Mutilation, pp.12-13, Clark J, Pear N (1997), "Strange and unexplained phenomena", Visible Ink Press, Onet George E, DVM, PhD, Kelleher Colm, PhD, (1997), Histological Changes in Bovine Skin Exposed to Natural Environmental Conditions, Mystery Stalks the Prairie (1976), Donovan Roberta, Wolverton Keith, ASIN B0006WH8CA. [33]:14–15[36]:23–24 In another case, claims were traced back to local high school students who had circulated rumors as a joke.[33]:21. We estimate the total excess COVID-19 cases and deaths associated with proximity to livestock plants to be 236,000 to 310,000 (6 to 8% of all US cases) and 4,300 to 5,200 (3 to 4% of all US deaths), respectively, as of July 21, 2020, with the vast majority likely related to community spread outside these plants. Ruminants like bison, cattle, sheep, and goats are highly susceptible and are often infected by consuming forage contaminated with spores. It is possible that a certain type of work similar to livestock processing—but not livestock processing itself—is driving the spread of COVID-19. During the same period, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska accounted for 16% of the nation's approximately 985,000 cattle operations and 21% of the nation's cattle … We note that the 259 counties in our sample with livestock plants differ in important ways from those without plants. During the 48 hours, postmortem bloating was reported to have caused incision-like tears in the cow's skin that matched the "surgical" cuts reported on mutilated cows, while the action of blowflies and maggots reportedly matched the soft tissue damage observed on mutilated cows. Complicating this matter from an economic standpoint is the supply-chain choke point created by large plants disrupted by COVID-19, causing food shortages, driving up prices, and incurring substantial upstream and downstream economic losses. 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An analysis omitting counties more than 100 km from a county with a livestock plant showed a relationship with livestock facilities greater in magnitude than the base specification, indicating that our findings are robust to this risk and, perhaps, somewhat conservative (SI Appendix, Table S9). According to Howard Burgess, nearly 90 percent of mutilated cattle are between four and five years old. Our study suggests that, among essential industries, livestock processing poses a particular public health risk extending far beyond meatpacking companies and their employees. The standard criminal charge for mutilating an animal, including cattle, is animal cruelty. We also find that smaller, decentralized facilities do not appear to contribute to transmission and that plants that received permission from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase their production-line speeds saw more county-wide cases. We found evidence of a relationship between livestock plants and increased COVID-19 case rates up to 150 km away from a plant, further supporting the notion of community spread beyond the immediate work context.††. We estimate livestock plants to be associated with 236,000 to 310,000 COVID-19 cases (6 to 8% of total) and 4,300 to 5,200 deaths (3 to 4% of total) as of July 21. [6], On September 9, 1967, Agnes King and her son Harry found the dead body of their three-year-old horse, Lady. S1. 4 A and C) and the change in case rates per 1,000 (Fig. However, attacks have also been recorded against larger animals, including sheep, cows, and horses. However, the report concluded that the mutilations were predominantly the result of natural predation, but did acknowledge that some cases contained anomalies that could not be accounted for by conventional wisdom. We found the resulting 774 county subsample to be well balanced (SI Appendix, Table S14). The actions of small scavengers and burrowing parasites seeking to enter or consume the body in areas where skin is at its thinnest. There were 16 incidents of livestock worrying by dogs recorded in Kerry last year. A faster production line can result in both workers locating in greater proximity to one another and increased difficulty in maintaining personal protective equipment and thus could contribute to conditions that increase the likelihood of viral transmission. Rep., US Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC, 2020), COVID-19 among workers in meat and poultry processing facilities—19 states, April 2020, The transformation of US livestock agriculture scale, efficiency, and risks, Power, food and agriculture: Implications for farmers, consumers and communities, Competition in the US meatpacking industry, A review of causes for and consequences of economic concentration in the U.S. meatpacking industry, European Federation of Food Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, “Putting meat on the bones: A report on the structure and dynamics of the European meat industry” (Tech. TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2020 -- Between March and May 2020, there was a significant increase in non-COVID-19-related deaths over previous years, according to a study published in the December issue of Public Health. In fact, through —, — percent of COVID-19 deaths nationwide have occurred among those ages 55 or older. Within 1 wk of closure, however, the growth rate in shutdown counties reverted to the prepolicy growth rate from a higher peak, compared to nonshutdown counties in the same time. Such a relationship is plausible given that, like livestock processing, employees in the manufacturing sector may work in close proximity and that many manufacturing activities are considered essential to supply chains. Handling livestock is a dangerous activity. The released material includes correspondence from Rommel where he states that "most credible sources have attributed this damage to normal predator and scavenger activity". We find that livestock plants are associated with an increase in COVID-19 cases by approximately four per thousand people, representing a 51% increase over the July 21 baseline rate of eight per thousand. And while shutdown counties have higher cumulative COVID-19 caseloads on average, this is likely because closures occurred too late to suppress community spread outside of these plants. Livestock deaths from foot-and-mouth disease rise to 2,013. Given this, and in order to be conservative, we avoided causal language throughout our text so as not to overstate the “hardness” of our method (66). For propensity-score matching, we first predicted the probability that a county has at least one livestock facility (binary value) using a binomial regression that includes all of the covariates from our primary model specification in Table 1, as well as their quadratic terms to increase model flexibility. Previous studies have explored links between the incidence of COVID-19 cases and a range of demographic and environmental factors, such as age, occupation, income, race, intergenerational mixing, temperature, and humidity (8⇓⇓⇓⇓–13). - Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com Gray shaded bars reflect the estimated period when the effect of closing a plant would have been reflected in cases (1 to 3 wk after), given that incubation periods may last up to 14 d) (62). On the other hand, many plants remained open due to a perceived lack of risk, while others remained open despite significant local outbreaks. related deaths on other types of operations. To validate and contextualize our findings, we first estimated the total excess cases and deaths related to livestock plants implied by our results. A visualization map is included in SI Appendix, Fig. It is alternatively hypothesised that cattle mutilations are the result of two unrelated deviant phenomena. More broadly, the finding that meatpacking plants may contribute to high levels of community spread underscores the potential negative public health externalities generated by the industry, which may be attributable to industrial concentration, operating practices, and labor conditions. [19][20], Laboratory reports carried out on some mutilated animals have shown unusually high or low levels of vitamins or minerals in tissue samples, and the presence of chemicals not normally found in animals. Cattle mutilation (also known as bovine excision and unexplained livestock death) is the killing and mutilation of cattle under unusual, usually bloodless, and anomalous circumstances. [11], Blood samples taken at the scene were reported to be "light pink in color" and “Did not clot after several days” while the animal's hide was found to be unusually brittle for a fresh death (the animal was estimated to have been dead for 5 hours) and the flesh underneath was found to be discolored.[11]. 20711-01041-0749-99-31-00 for horse purchases. Our estimates imply that excess COVID-19 infections and deaths related to livestock plants are 236,000 to 310,000 (6 to 8% of all US cases) and 4,300 to 5,200 (3 to 4% of all US deaths), respectively, with the vast majority occurring among people not working at livestock plants. We constructed a balance table comparing counties with and without livestock plants (SI Appendix, Table S11). The phenomenon remained largely unknown outside cattle-raising communities until 1967, when the Pueblo Chieftain in Pueblo, Colorado, published a story about a horse named Lady near Alamosa, Colorado, that was mysteriously killed and mutilated. Unfortunately, we know of no such identifying variation. 4 shows that plant closures occurred in counties experiencing high growth in COVID-19 cases, as might be expected. In particular, the evidence that shutting down plants temporarily may be related to decreases in COVID-19 case growth presents a potentially powerful transmission mitigant. 0748: Sheep - This year 4. Workers’ socioeconomic status and labor practices may also contribute to infection and transmission. Places with more testing tend to have more confirmed COVID-19 cases than places with less testing (mechanically). [12], Many cases of mutilation have been reported worldwide since the 1967 Snippy incident, chiefly in the Americas and Australia. One claimed he saw an object which “looked as if it had a little bluish-green light on each side with a glow surrounding it.” The sightings were hailed by UFO researchers as the first physical evidence of extraterrestrial life. Snippy was Lady's sire and belonged to Nellie's husband, Berle Lewis. Actually it’s very hard to get the perfect reason of sudden death in animals. Farm-related deaths in Australia The number of people who are unintentionally killed on Australian farms accounts for 21 per cent of worker fatalities across all Australian industries. It’s not a totally unfounded hatred; certainly wolves do prey on livestock, but the statistics have never really indicated that wolves were a significant problem for ranchers. The other companies fall somewhere in between. By. In 1975, the US Treasury Department assigned Donald Flickinger to investigate the existence of connections between cults and the mutilation of cattle. Subsection 70 (2) requires the legal representative of such a deceased farmer to include the value of livestock at death in the deceased farmer's income tax return for the year of death or elect to file a separate return to include the value of all the decedent's rights or things (including livestock) and pay tax thereon for the taxation year in which the farmer died as if the farmer were another person. Fatalities Caused by Cattle --- Four States, 2003--2008. Stats show that there were 804 livestock deaths recorded by the CFIA in 2006 in Saskatchewan; 493 cattle, 254 bison, 6 horses, 33 sheep, 13 cervids (white-tailed deer and elk), 3 pigs, and 2 goats. Data on plant closures and opening dates came from a dataset assembled from various local news reports, building on a dataset from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (86, 87). A and B plot coefficients from a panel regression, where counties are interacted with the weekly event index in terms of percent growth in cases (A) and change in case rates per 1,000 (B). In the experiment, the body of a recently deceased cow was left in a field and observed for 48 hours. Typically the victims of such attacks are cats, dogs, and other family pets,[30] and the actions of humans are usually limited to acts of cruelty such as striking, burning, or beating animals. John Keel mentioned investigating animal mutilation cases in 1966 (while with Ivan T. Sanderson) that were being reported in the Upper Ohio River Valley, around Gallipolis, Ohio. [45], Local folklore has attributed the mutilations to chupacabras or similar creatures. [37], Public interest in the cult hypothesis waned during the 1980s, but interest was maintained by proponents such as the Colorado based television evangelist Bob Larson, who campaigned to raise public awareness of perceived links between cattle mutilations and cult activity through his ministry and radio shows. [3], The earliest known documented outbreak of unexplained livestock deaths occurred in early 1606 "...about the city of London and some of the shires adjoining. ↵††We present summary statistics by distance band in SI Appendix, Tables S16–S18. Information in other languages. Next, we address concerns that these results primarily reflect differences in testing. In September 1975, a forestry service employee in Blaine County, Idaho, reported seeing a group of people in black hooded robes. Our results indicate a strong positive relationship between livestock-processing plants and local community transmission of COVID-19, suggesting that these plants may act as transmission vectors into the surrounding population and accelerate the spread of the virus beyond what would be predicted solely by population risk characteristics. Reporter Dane Edwards spread the theory that the government was testing cattle parts to develop biological weapons to use in Vietnam, going so far as to write to Floyd K. Haskell during his investigation to accuse agents of threatening him into silence. [21], In most cases, mutilations were either ruled due to natural causes, or the cattle were too far decayed for any useful conclusions to be drawn. [24], Western Canada, during this time frame, was especially hard hit. In addition, employees at these facilities may face incentives to continue working even while sick through company policies on medical leave and attendance bonuses (5, 22, 57). While there is no obvious relationship with number of manufacturing establishments, the coefficient for manufacturing share of income is positive and statistically significant, implying that manufacturing may be associated with higher COVID-19 incidence. World 4h ago Indian farmers start hunger strike to pressure Modi on reforms ... Indian farmers vow to carry on protests despite cold, deaths. This trend can also be found on the state level. The apparent clandestine nature of such operations would seem unnecessary and even dangerous to personnel and ranchers given the options available to government agencies. Ag News; Fresno County Declare Emergency for Heat-Related Livestock Deaths. Few farm people look upon their livestock as a source of danger. For nonshutdown counties, week 0 is assigned to the mean shutdown date, April 22, 2020. W. Smith, Fredrick, Cattle Mutilation, p.21, Professional wrestling holds § Bridging double chickenwing, Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, List of topics characterized as pseudoscience, "Town gets Snippy about skeleton of mutilated horse", Costilla County officials probe cattle mutilation, Life term sought for killer, horse mutilator, Cult Group Controversies: Conceptualizing "Anti-Cult" and "Counter-Cult", Report on Unusual Animal Injuries in Cache County, Utah, The Skeptic's Dictionary explanation of Cattle Mutilation, Human Mutilation by Aliens - Brazilian Case With Photos, Animal Mutilation News at Paranormalnews.com, Tulli Papyrus (possibly 15th century B.C. In the United States, it is a large industry, employing 500,000 people. Shaded counties contain at least one beef or pork facility categorized by USDA FSIS as processing more than 1 million pounds per month (categories 4 and 5) or at least one poultry facility categorized as processing more than 10 million pounds per month (category 5). Highways Act amendment could prevent livestock-related deaths By Becky Payne Agricultural reporter Following a spike in livestock-related deaths, rural groups have joined forces to … The exception is that waiver counties have lower proportions of Black residents and prison populations, factors associated with increased COVID-19 risk. The estimated half a million deaths represent only a portion of Australia's total cattle industry, which numbers about 27 million. Our study represents an attempt to address this gap in knowledge. [25], Prior to the involvement of the FBI, the ATF launched their own investigation into the phenomenon.[26]. Livestock handling related injuries and deaths. Aside from Smithfield, the relationship with deaths is positive, albeit less significant, which may be due to small sample size.¶. Several cattle were found mutilated in the area the following day. Livestock manifests can be signed by the livestock owner or by that person’s agent. They were also unable to determine how or why a cult would perform procedures that would result in the anomalies reported in some necropsies,[11]:3 or to verify that the anomalies were 1) connected to the mutilations themselves 2) the result of human intervention. If you accounted for your purchase as an asset you can record the loss of the cow by indicating the cow was sold. Of the 120 poultry plants in our sample, 48 plants currently have waivers, 16 of which were issued in 2020.§ An analysis of the relationship between line speed waivers and local COVID-19 incidence suggests, though with less precise estimates, that waivers predict increases in county-level case rates double those in counties with nonwaiver poultry plants (SI Appendix, Table S5). Get the livestock news you need to know for cattle, hogs, and poultry. Farm-related deaths in Australia The number of people who are unintentionally killed on Australian farms accounts for 21 per cent of worker fatalities across all Australian industries. Facebook. ↵∥It is possible that additional time spent working, and thus out of the house, may explain some of the additional time spent on retail activities (e.g., gas stations or workday meals). 51 years ago . We took this step to maximize comparability between the two groups, as we observed that preclosure growth in cases was, on the whole, greater in plants that closed (SI Appendix, Fig. Still, we believe that our array of analyses constitutes the best feasible approach to shed light on the role of livestock-processing plants in the US COVID-19 pandemic. Following a spike in livestock-related deaths, rural groups have joined forces to call for an amendment to the Highways Act 1980 which would improve safety on public rights of way. Estimates are relative to the baseline trend across all counties. FBI records did not record the percentage of mutilated animals that fell into this category. Using our calculation of 236,000 to 310,000 cases nationwide due to livestock plants, we estimated that livestock workers represent 12 to 15% of these excess total cases. An implication of this study is that some aspects of large meat-processing plants render them especially susceptible to spreading respiratory viruses. Researchers seek to understand sex-linked biological factors that contribute to the disease. Bulls caused 54% of the cattle related deaths. We first looked at the relationship between reported cases and the type of animal slaughtered or processed. Flickinger recorded a number of 'unusual' incidents and circumstantial evidence, but was unable to find sufficient evidence of cult involvement for the ATF to take further action. As seen in the map in Fig. In addition, the positive relationship between COVID-19 transmission and production-line speed waivers issued to poultry plants, particularly those during the 2020 pandemic, is notable, given that these waivers are intended for plants with safe commercial production practices and microbial control.‡‡ This finding suggests a need for additional examination of this program. The story was republished by the wider press and distributed nationwide; this case was the first to feature speculation that extraterrestrial beings and unidentified flying objects were associated with mutilation. County-level COVID-19 testing data came from a dataset gathered from 31 state health agencies (84). All stock purchases are charged to the Centre/Project funding the purchase and to the appropriate asset account. Cattle mutilation (also known as bovine excision[1] and unexplained livestock death[2]) is the killing and mutilation of cattle under unusual, usually bloodless, and anomalous circumstances. According to Tom Adams' self-published book, "The Choppers and the Choppers", published in 1992, by 1990 upwards of 350 helicopter reports in and around mutilation sites had been documented by Adams. Plumbing a variety of historical data could offer important insights into trends in insect declines. When Rommel's final report was released to the public...Lauber answered an inquiry by investigator Tommy Bland: "I find it difficult to understand how Rommel could make a statement such as this, without ever having personally witnessed a [real] muitilation firsthand". Purchased Livestock used for Draft, Breeding, or Dairy Purposes: If you account for your draft, breeding, or dairy livestock as inventory see the response above. SI Appendix, Table S4 categorizes beef, pork, and poultry plants by order of magnitude based on the pounds per month processed: large (category 5; over 10 million), medium (category 4; over 1 million), and small (category 3; over 100,000 and under 1 million). Twitter. The freight index is from the Federal Highway Administration’s Freight Analysis Framework (78) using the variable AADTT12, the annual average daily truck traffic in 2012, which we sum across all listed highways in a given county. 51 years ago . RCMP advise animal producers in the area to check on their livestock regularly to ensure they are accounted for, and immediately report any suspicious livestock deaths. The CDC includes the following among potential risk factors: long work shifts in close proximity to coworkers, difficulty in maintaining proper face covering due to physical demands, and shared transportation among workers (22). Using this ratio to estimate the total number of infected livestock workers among all of the cases observed in these states on July 21, we arrived at an estimate of 35,635 infected workers, ∼7% of the industry’s entire employee base. Biochemist Colm Kelleher,[41] who has investigated several purported mutilations first-hand, argues that the mutilations are most likely a clandestine U.S. government effort to track the spread of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow disease") and related diseases, such as scrapie. Here we provide virological, epidemiological, evolutionary and experimental evidence that a novel HKU2-related bat coronavirus, swine acute diarrhoea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV), is the aetiological agent that was responsible for a large-scale outbreak of fatal disease in pigs in China that has caused the death of 24,693 piglets across four farms. We next investigated whether there are differential relationships with COVID-19 transmission based on the size of processing facilities. Today, 12 plants produce over 50% of the country’s beef, and 12 others, similarly, produce over 50% of the country’s pork (30, 31). Income levels, by contrast, are similar. There are many more who suffer major injuries that require hospitalisation and significant time off work. Of the 122 nontransportation deaths, 68 were due to cattle and 41 from horses, and 13 from other animals. WhatsApp. Small and medium-sized plants were generally not found to have significant relationships with local COVID-19 transmission, suggesting that the scale of production is an important variable for industry leaders and policymakers to consider. Among front-line meat-processing workers in the United States, 45% are categorized as low income, 80% are people of color, and 52% are immigrants, many of whom are undocumented and lack ready access to healthcare and other worker protections that could facilitate COVID-19 prevention and treatment (54⇓–56). Livestock facility data were gathered from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). He claimed there had been 130 mutilations in Colorado alone, and further reports across nine states. Since the first reports of animal mutilations, various explanations have been offered, ranging from natural decomposition and normal predation to cults and secretive governmental and military agencies, to a range of speculations, including cryptid predators (like the chupacabra) and extraterrestrials. Additionally, a 2002 NIDS report[40] relates the eyewitness testimony of two Cache County, Utah, police officers. Our analysis of individual meatpacking companies may present an opportunity to explore how differences in corporate structure and operating practices may account for their differential public health outcomes. The centrality of livestock processing to local economies and national food supplies implies that mitigating disease spread through this channel may take an economic toll. If livestock facilities are driving higher COVID-19 incidence, and if livestock processing is an essential industry, we would expect people in livestock-plant counties to work more compared to those in nonlivestock counties in response to COVID-related lockdowns. In this analysis, coefficients for both case and death rates remain of a similar magnitude and level of significance.