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At the time, it was suggested that a burst of radiation may have been used to kill the animal, blowing apart its red blood cells in the process. [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. The indentations were in a tripod form, 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, 28 inches (70 cm) apart, and disappeared 500 feet (150 m) from the dead cow. 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. These results motivate investigation into supply chains, operating procedures, and labor relations within the meatpacking industry. This model controls for state-level social distancing and stay-at-home policy and includes a fixed effect for each county, thereby isolating within-county variation in timing (among counties with plant closures). 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. 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. Because of the higher milk consumption, especially by young children, pregnant and nursing… (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. [11], In May 2001, 200 goats were mutilated in Panggang District of Gunung Kidul Regency, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. 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. Clark J (1999), Unexplained! 0748: Sheep - This year 4. A visualization map is included in SI Appendix, Fig. Most Read . 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. [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. 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. As seen in the map in Fig. Dean Trimboli T(1997), Dead Cows I've Known. In such cases, we would expect the dynamics of caseloads and deaths over time to vary negatively with the timing of shutdown, after a lag. Livestock deaths from foot-and-mouth disease rise to 2,013. Contraction of missing/damaged areas due to dehydration. Compared with people of white ethnicity, Black and South Asian people were at higher risk, even after adjustment for other factors (HR 1.48 (1.29-1.69) and 1.45 (1.32-1.58), respectively). 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). The spread of COVID-19 shows the importance of policy coordination, Ethics and informatics in the age of COVID-19: Challenges and recommendations for public health organization and public policy, Outbreak at Iowa pork plant was larger than state reported, COVID-19 cases now tied to meat plants in rural Texas counties wracked with coronavirus, How Trump is helping tycoons exploit the pandemic, High SARS-CoV-2 attack rate following exposure at a choir practice—Skagit County, Washington, March 2020, Cities—try to predict superspreading hotspots for COVID-19, Demographic science aids in understanding the spread and fatality rates of COVID-19, Italian workers at risk during the COVID-19 epidemic, Demographic determinants of testing incidence and COVID-19 infections in New York City neighborhoods, Temperature and latitude analysis to predict potential spread and seasonality for COVID-19, Effective transmission across the globe: The role of climate in COVID-19 mitigation strategies, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Rapid expert consultation on SARS-CoV-2 survival in relation to temperature and humidity and potential for seasonality for the COVID-19 pandemic (April 7, 2020)”. In fact, through —, — percent of COVID-19 deaths nationwide have occurred among those ages 55 or older. Comparing this to state-level case data as of May 31, we found that livestock workers represented 2.7% of cases in these states. In South America, an estimated 3,500 incidents have occurred since 2002, when around 400 cases were reported. Additionally, a 2002 NIDS report[40] relates the eyewitness testimony of two Cache County, Utah, police officers. Researchers seek to understand sex-linked biological factors that contribute to the disease. Enter multiple addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas. In most cases, mutilation wounds appear to be clean and carried out surgically. The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health and economic crisis in which policymakers face tradeoffs between maintaining essential economic activities and mitigating disease spread. Several cattle were found mutilated in the area the following day. On July 15, 1974, two unregistered helicopters, a white helicopter and a black twin-engine aircraft were reported to have opened fire on Robert Smith Jr. while he was driving his tractor on his farm in Honey Creek, Iowa. 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). Today, Livestock has grown to four retail store locations, and an online store that ships to hundreds of countries worldwide. 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. We find that the presence of a slaughtering plant in a county is associated with four to six additional COVID-19 cases per thousand, or a 51 to 75% increase from the baseline rate. 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. Actually it’s very hard to get the perfect reason of sudden death in animals. By. Livestock handlers are involved in 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, Tulli Papyrus (possibly 15th century B.C. 2 years ago . Since lightning related fatalities (LRF) in livestock are mostly covered by fire insurance, an independent veterinarian, referred to in this context as the ‘expert veterinarian’, is asked to perform an investigation to determine whether the case complies with death due to lightning (veterinary expert investigation) (Schelcher, 1994). First, we employed an IV approach using historical livestock agricultural production data. The five county boroughs of New York City are grouped into one unit. 1 and visualized in the map in SI Appendix, Fig. Although the figure we are estimating in our study (6 to 8% of all US cases out of a national livestock workforce of 0.15%, or a multiplier of 40 to 53×) is larger, we believe that this finding is plausible, considering follow-on community spread; Kansas’ official tally, though evidently aided by some degree of contract tracing, was reportedly hampered by lags in hiring staff and legislative actions that have inhibited tracing efforts (69). For both propensity-score matching and nearest-neighbor matching, we constructed comparable subsamples of our dataset with and without livestock facilities to estimate an effect of having these livestock facilities among otherwise similar counties on COVID-19 cases and deaths. Part of his hypothesis is based on allegations that human pharmaceuticals have been found in mutilated cattle, and on the necropsies that show cattle mutilations commonly involve areas of the animal that relate to “input, output and reproduction”. 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). [4] Charles Fort collected many accounts of cattle mutilations that occurred in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A subsequent investigation by Wadsworth Ayer for the Condon Committee (Case #32) concluded that "There was no evidence to support the assertion that the horse's death was associated in any way to abnormal causes". ↵‡‡In contrast, some plants receiving waivers had recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations (42). 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. 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. Similar incidents were reported in the area in 1978. 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. This article does not address tearing due to bloating. Estimates are relative to the baseline trend across all counties. M. Rommel Jr, Kenneth, Operation Animal Mutilation, pp.22-23. 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. 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. None of the laboratories were able to report any firm conclusions on the cause of the blood or tissue damage. [46], killing and mutilation of cattle under unusual and anomalous circumstances, For the professional wrestling hold known as "Cattle Mutilation", see, Levengood W C, "A Study of Bovine Excision Sites from 1993 to 1997" (1997), Pinelandia Biophysical Laboratory, The Mysterious Valley, St. Martin's Press, 1996, 0-312-95883-8, Keel, John A. Though these rooms are kept at 90 to 95% relative humidity to prevent meat from drying and losing weight, the low absolute humidity at near-freezing temperatures may encourage the transmission of airborne viruses such as influenza (47⇓–49). Snippy was Lady's sire and belonged to Nellie's husband, Berle Lewis. 0749: Horses - This year 5. Counties are categorized into nonoverlapping, single categories based on the nearest facility (e.g., if a county contains a livestock facility and is within 50 km of another facility outside the county, the county is coded “In county” and not “0–50 km”). For nearest-neighbor matching, we used the MatchIt package in R to restrict the sample to similar treated and control groups. Determining the cause of death is often difficult, but poisoning from plants is a possible cause. That’s according to the Department of Rural and Community Development, which is responsible for dog control policy and legislation. ↵††We present summary statistics by distance band in SI Appendix, Tables S16–S18. We next looked at differential relationships with COVID-19 by company. In addition, through consolidation over the decades, the meatpacking industry has potentially increased its monopsonistic power over labor markets, which has been linked to greater work hazards (58⇓–60). We first looked at the relationship between reported cases and the type of animal slaughtered or processed. 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). Scott Heiberger, Health Communication Manager at the National Farm Medicine Center , shared with us the top three causes of injuries and fatalities, safety prevention strategies and resources to learn more. Further information is available in Github at Over the decades, the livestock- and poultry-processing industry in the United States has consolidated its operations into fewer, larger plants, in which meat production per plant has increased threefold since 1976 (29, 30). Dead animals must be disposed of in an acceptable manner within 48 hours of death. Our study suggests that, among essential industries, livestock processing poses a particular public health risk extending far beyond meatpacking companies and their employees. 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 COVID-19 transmission likely extends beyond the county containing the livestock plant. We further find the temporary closure of high-risk plants to be followed by lower rates of COVID-19 case growth. [38], During their investigations, the FBI and the ATF were unable to find appropriate evidence, including signs of consistency between mutilations, to substantiate that the animals had been the victims of any form of ritual sacrifice or organized mutilation effort. Locations and characteristics of livestock processing facilities come from the USDA FSIS (82). Some contexts and social behaviors are believed to lead to superspreading events that disproportionately affect local populations (6, 7). Facebook. ... Tri-State Livestock News. [42][43][44] The reports of "helicopter" involvement have been used to explain why some cattle appear to have been "dropped" from considerable heights. 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. This lag structure for cases aligns with the fact that COVID-19 incubation periods may last for up to 14 d (62). Number of frontline workers were derived from Center for Economic Policy Research data (54), transforming from Public Use Microdata Area-level to the county level, assuming even allocation. FRESNO — Fresno County has proclaimed a local emergency to address livestock deaths resulting from the extended period of extreme heat. Fig. 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. 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 For nonshutdown counties, week 0 is assigned to the mean shutdown date, April 22, 2020. ↵†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). 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. 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. Inhibiting a signaling pathway protects microgravity-exposed mice from losing muscle and bone mass, a study finds. There does not appear to be a national database on county-level testing, so we compiled data from 31 states that have livestock facilities and testing data at the county level. According to the Drovers Cattle Network, there were 96.5 million head of cattle here as of mid-2013. In doing so, we selected the top quartile of growth rates among the 233 counties with livestock plants that did not have a plant shutdown. We also find an increase in the death rate by 0.07 to 0.1 deaths per thousand people, or 37 to 50% over the baseline rate. The released material includes correspondence from Rommel where he states that "most credible sources have attributed this damage to normal predator and scavenger activity". [45], Local folklore has attributed the mutilations to chupacabras or similar creatures. See online for related content such as Commentaries. Rep., European Federation of Food Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, Brussels, Belgium, 2011), Resilience in a concentrated and consolidated food system, Meat shortages reopen costly path to smaller U.S. plants, Estimated daily US slaughter, capacity by plant (head per day), Nine meat plants in southern Brazil face COVID-19 outbreaks, Coronavirus spread accelerates again in Germany, An Australian meatworks is at the center of a virus outbreak, U.S. could be weeks from meat shortages with shutdowns spreading, Trump orders U.S. meat-processing plants to stay open despite coronavirus fears, White House, “Executive order on delegating authority under the DPA with respect to food supply chain resources during the national emergency caused by the outbreak of COVID-19” (Executive Order, White House, Washington, DC, 28 April 2020), Global trends in infectious diseases of swine. The disease burden of COVID-19 is not uniformly distributed across the global population. [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. To support his hypothesis, Oliphant cites the Reston ebolavirus case in which plain clothes military officers, traveling in unmarked vehicles, entered a research facility in Reston, Virginia, to secretly retrieve and destroy animals that were contaminated with a highly infectious disease. The animal's heart as well as bone and muscle samples were sent to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory for microscopic and bacteriological studies, while samples from the animal's liver were sent to two separate private laboratories. [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. On the other hand, many plants remained open due to a perceived lack of risk, while others remained open despite significant local outbreaks. This section covers updates on livestock diseases, exports, new facilities, and mergers and acquisitions. Consequently, it is important to understand law regarding liabilities for damages caused by loose livestock. 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. Larger rooms tend to be louder and, thus, require more shouting (53), and they may require stronger climate control, which we note in our introduction may aggravate COVID-19 spread. The best we can do here is provide an unusually broad array of observational evidence. On April 20, 1979, C Hibbs of the New Mexico State Veterinary diagnostics Laboratory spoke before a hearing chaired by Senator Harrison Schmitt. Income levels, by contrast, are similar. 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. The area had seen many unusual cattle deaths, and ranchers had organized armed patrols to surveil the unmarked aircraft which they claimed were associated with the livestock deaths. A second approach used a binary measure for whether a county has one or more livestock plants and multiplied this coefficient by the county-level mean population and number of counties with livestock plants. S1. Here, we present results of additional statistical methods used to explore the relationship between livestock plants and COVID-19 cases and deaths in the cross-section. After coming under increasing public pressure, Federal authorities launched a comprehensive investigation of the mutilation phenomenon.[21]. But for northern Queensland, the toll is immense. Livestock handling related injuries and deaths. Livestock curates the highest quality collections from a variety of carefully selected brands. 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). Vigilante groups were formed. 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). Aside from Smithfield, the relationship with deaths is positive, albeit less significant, which may be due to small sample size.¶. Both federal investigations were preceded (and followed, to some extent) by a state level investigation carried out by enforcement officials in New Mexico. A story that thousands of cattle were left dead after a winter storm was from 2015, not 2017. SI Appendix, Fig. 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 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. To preserve meat after slaughter, processing areas are maintained at 0 to 12 °C (44), and such low temperatures have been linked to increased COVID-19 risk (45, 46). COVID-19 testing, livestock facilities, and COVID-19 incidence. The actions of small scavengers and burrowing parasites seeking to enter or consume the body in areas where skin is at its thinnest. 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. As policymakers and industry leaders seek to preserve vital food-supply chains while mitigating the pandemic’s spread, evidence on the potential scope of the issue is particularly valuable, as well as assessment of the relationship between temporary plant shutdowns and subsequent COVID-19 growth dynamics. However, a number of serious injuries and deaths occur every year as a result of animal-related accidents. Each size category was sufficiently represented, with 349 small plants, 126 medium plants, and 225 large plants. This page was last edited on 15 December 2020, at 18:16. Of the horse-related deaths, 46% were due to head trauma. The magnitude of the livestock coefficients are of a similar magnitude to those in the baseline model in Table 1. CR Staff - August 21, 2020. The scientists performing the analysis were unable to explain these anomalies. 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). Among plants issued a waiver in 2020, the relationship is even greater in magnitude. In Western countries the category encompasses primarily cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, donkeys, and mules; other animals, such as buffalo, oxen, llamas, or camels, may predominate in the agriculture of other areas. The idea is that the propensity score helps account for bias in the location of livestock plants. This investigation reported finding evidence that some mutilated animals had been tranquilized and treated with an anti-coagulant prior to their mutilation. For the Sales Price you would enter 0 (zero). 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. To test this, we controlled for the county-level number of manufacturing establishments and share of income from manufacturing. County-level mobility data were made accessible to COVID-19 researchers by Google (83). Lady's head and neck had been skinned and defleshed, and the body displayed cuts that, to King, looked very precise. Models control for stay-at-home orders at the state level and include a fixed effect for each county. [4] Early press coverage of the case misnamed Lady as Snippy. In both cases, we see an increasing divergence in outcomes beginning in early April based on livestock-plant proximity. A larger space that employees must navigate in reaching their workstations may also increase the number of workplace interactions. Online ISSN 1091-6490. The investigation was funded by a US$44,170 grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, and was headed by FBI agent Kenneth Rommel. Livestock deaths . We limited the analysis to the continental United States. Several weed species commonly found in North Dakota can produce toxins or poisons in large enough quantity to kill livestock … Using county-level data as of July 21, 2020, we test the relationship between one such type of essential activity, livestock processing, and the local incidence of COVID-19 cases. In 1975, the US Treasury Department assigned Donald Flickinger to investigate the existence of connections between cults and the mutilation of cattle. The FBI was unable to identify any individuals responsible for the mutilations. But within this radius, several small holes were found seemingly "punched" in the ground and two bushes were absolutely flattened. ↵§Among counties with poultry plants, those with and without waivers appear similar in their average characteristics, reducing waiver-selection concerns. 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. We also illustrate potential contributions of plant size, industrial concentration, plant shutdowns, and policy actions to this phenomenon. A concerning trend of criminal shooting of domestic livestock is appearing around the province. 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. Workers’ socioeconomic status and labor practices may also contribute to infection and transmission. S2). Globally, economic losses from diseased livestock are estimated at $4 billion, while infectious diseases are responsible for about 30 per cent of animal deaths. Salmonella initiative program participants table, (Tech. 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. 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. Incisions caused by scavengers or predators, possibly exacerbated by the above. 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. In this analysis, coefficients for both case and death rates remain of a similar magnitude and level of significance. Fig. [9], Senator Floyd K. Haskell contacted the FBI asking for help in 1975 due to public concern regarding the issue. 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. The results are robust both nationally and when only considering variation within states after including state fixed effects. Statically a child dies in an agricultural related incident about every 3 days and 33 children are seriously injured every day. 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. 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. ↵¶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. All stock purchases are charged to the Centre/Project funding the purchase and to the appropriate asset account. Handling livestock is a dangerous activity. Our associations hold after controlling for population risk factors and other potential confounders, such as testing rates. 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. Zenodo. He claimed there had been 130 mutilations in Colorado alone, and further reports across nine states. Preslaughter handling is a major concern to the livestock industry, especially the pork industry. Next, we address concerns that these results primarily reflect differences in testing. 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. The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), National Farmers Union (NFU), Countryside Alliance (CA) and Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) have written to Rural Affairs Minister, Lord Gardiner, outlining how … Home Ag News Fresno County Declare Emergency for Heat-Related Livestock Deaths. Mean county-level COVID-19 cases per thousand (A) and deaths per thousand (B) over time based on proximity to a livestock facility. 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. For a question of this importance, we believe there is no “harder” method available (66). 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). 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. 51 years ago . 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. 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. We believe that this is a strong instrument, given that most of the interstate highway system was constructed during the 1960s, most currently operating livestock processing plants were built in the 1970s or later, and livestock agricultural operations in 1959 appear unlikely to affect current public health outcomes. Stats show that there were 804 livestock deaths recorded by the CFIA in 2006; 493 cattle, 254 bison, 6 horses, 33 sheep, 13 cervids (white-tailed deer and elk), 3 pigs, and 2 goats. The other companies fall somewhere in between. 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. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, livestock-processing plants worldwide experienced spikes in infections, facing shutdowns that disrupted meat and dairy supplies (32⇓⇓–35). 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). The band “0–50 km” excludes the county itself. The estimated half a million deaths represent only a portion of Australia's total cattle industry, which numbers about 27 million. designed research, performed research, analyzed data, and wrote the paper. The pandemic and recent immigration restrictions have exacerbated the ongoing plight of life science trainees in the United States. 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. The indoor climate of livestock facilities may increase transmission risk. Bromley David G. and Anson Shupe (1981), Strange Gods: The Great American Cult Scare. 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.∥. Livestock-Handling Related Injuries and Deaths 83 Unfortunately, the number of animal handlers is not exactly known, but tens of thousands of people are exposed daily to farm animals. Likewise, death rates increase by 0.07 per thousand, or 37% over the county baseline of 0.2 deaths per thousand. Very small plants (categories 1 and 2), which are often niche providers, were excluded.‡. This includes (but is not limited to) ruling out the most obvious confounders, a cross-sectional IV, and the event-study analysis leveraging shutdown timing. 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). [7] When the Lewises phoned Alamosa County Sheriff Ben Phillips, he told them that the death was probably due to "a lightning strike" and never bothered to visit the site. Bulls caused 54% of the cattle related deaths. This helps argue against purely static confounders, such as highway connectedness or fraction of the population that is Hispanic. Note that this only includes agricultural operations, and not livestock processing. ↵*The CEOs of Wayne Farms and Tyson Foods—both granted waivers in April 2020—are, respectively, chairman of the National Chicken Council (the body that initially lobbied for the line speed waivers) and a public advocate for the poultry industry, buying full-page newspaper ads in April stating that the food supply chain was “broken.”. We found that the presence of livestock plants is strongly associated with more time spent at work (SI Appendix, Table S7). On account of the time between death and necropsy, and a lack of background information on specific cattle, investigators have often found it impossible to determine if these variations are connected to the animals' deaths or not.[11]. Livestock facilities and county-level COVID-19 incidence, IV. The death count in the mammal-attack category averages about 73 per year, including cattle-related mortalities. Data on line-speed waivers came from the USDA FSIS (85). It is alternatively hypothesised that cattle mutilations are the result of two unrelated deviant phenomena. Plumbing a variety of historical data could offer important insights into trends in insect declines. To validate and contextualize our findings, we first estimated the total excess cases and deaths related to livestock plants implied by our results. National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. ** SI Appendix, Table S15 consolidates the results and includes outputs from Table 1 for reference. 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. While lethal predator control does little to help the fat cats of agribusiness, it ensures that the USDA-Wildlife Services stays in business. Thank you for your interest in spreading the word on PNAS. Were confounders instead driving our results, they would have to follow the timing of the plant shutdowns as well. As with most disputed phenomena, there is a number of potential explanations for the causes of cattle mutilations, ranging from death by natural causes to purposeful acts by unknown individuals. Group quarters population by group quarters type, 2004-2018 American community survey 5-year estimates, Selected characteristics of health care coverage in the United States, 2004-2018 American community survey 5-year estimates, Commuting characteristics by sex, 2004-2018 American community survey 5-year estimates, Households and families, 2004-2018 American community survey 5-year estimates, FAF4 network database and flow assignment: 2012 and 2045, Each state’s COVID-19 reopening and reclosing plans and mask requirements, A guide to state coronavirus reopenings and lockdowns, See how all 50 states are reopening (and closing again), Meat, poultry and egg product inspection directory, Google COVID-19 community mobility reports. 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). Bureau of Economic Analysis Interactive Data Application. County-level COVID-19 testing data came from a dataset gathered from 31 state health agencies (84). 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). Of the 122 nontransportation deaths, 68 were due to cattle and 41 from horses, and 13 from other animals. There are many more who suffer major injuries that require hospitalisation and significant time off work. We now present potential characteristics of livestock facilities that might contribute to these observed relationships with the COVID-19 case and death rate. Above, we have shown the robustness of multivariate regression results to various confounders—demographic, geographic, and behavioral—and sample-selection criteria. Coefficients are plotted from a panel regression, where counties (categorized as either having or not having a plant closure) are interacted with the weekly event index, both in terms of percent growth in cases (Fig. With 24 more COVID-19-related deaths recorded in B.C. There are many more who suffer major injuries that require hospitalisation and significant time off work. 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. Each day, about 500 agricultural workers suffer lost-time injuries, 25 whichresult permanentimpairment. 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 … In some countries, farming accounts for twice as many deaths as all other industries. 51 years ago . These magnitudes can be visualized in Fig. In the United States, reports of COVID-19 spreading within the livestock-processing industry led to increased attention and updated safety guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (22). The selection of this instrument was motivated by meat processors’ need to minimize costs of transporting livestock supply when selecting the location of plants. During 2003--2007, deaths occurring in the production of crops and animals in the United States totaled 2,334; of these, 108 (5%) involved cattle as either the primary or secondary cause ( 1 ). related deaths on other types of operations. On October 9, 1975, a motorist on U.S Highway 95 in northern Idaho, in an area of frequent cattle mutilation, reported to police that some 15 masked individuals formed a roadblock with linked arms, forcing him to turn around. 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. It is estimated that each 2,000 pound bull was worth US$6,000. 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. 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. Handling livestock is a dangerous activity. The problems with poultry production and processing, The Ethics and Economics of Agrifood Competition, Union, labor market structure, and the welfare implications of the quality of work, The effect of large-scale anti-contagion policies on the COVID-19 pandemic, Real estimates of mortality following COVID-19 infection, Testing for weak instruments in linear IV regression, Identification and Inference for Econometric Models, Update: COVID-19 among workers in meat and poultry processing facilities—United States, April–May 2020, Sins of omission and the practice of economics, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus) summary, All sectors: County business patterns by legal form of organization and employment size class for U.S., states, and selected geographics: 2018, Kansas’ top health official sounds the alarm on COVID-19, predicts current trend line will ’steepen.’, Mathematical models of infectious disease transmission, Coronavirus (Covid-19) data in the United States, SEER Program, National Cancer Institute, NIH, US population data (underlying data provided by National Center for Health Statistics). ), National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (1956-1980), Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (2007–2012), Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force (current),, Articles needing additional references from February 2008, All articles needing additional references, Articles with weasel words from April 2015, Articles needing more viewpoints from April 2014, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, To determine the reliability of the information on which the grant was based, which entailed gathering as much information as possible about the cases reported in New Mexico prior to May 1979, To determine the cause of as many mutilations as possible, especially those reported in New Mexico, To determine if livestock mutilations as described constitute a major law enforcement problem, If these mutilations do constitute a major law enforcement problem, to determine the scope of the problem and to offer recommendations on how to deal with it. Such counties are associated with six additional cases per thousand, or a 75% increase over the baseline, as well as 0.1 additional deaths per thousand, or 50% over the baseline county death rate.† In addition, COVID-19 appears to arrive earlier in counties with livestock plants (SI Appendix, Table S2). We constructed a baseline measure of average time-use change before and after March 13, 2020, the date the United States declared a national disaster in relation to COVID-19 and shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Livestock deaths . 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). There have been many recorded cases around the world, and many convictions. The exception is that waiver counties have lower proportions of Black residents and prison populations, factors associated with increased COVID-19 risk. Selected counties are in the top quartile of growth rates among the 233 counties with livestock plants that did not have a plant shutdown. 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- … The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings, 1994, Doubleday, NYC, NY. This suggests that the propensity score is, indeed, balancing the multidimensional covariates. Although some initially thought these were used by cattle rustlers, suspicion soon pointed toward a military operation running out of Fort Riley, Kansas. However, all of the large companies appear to have larger coefficients than the baseline. 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. [12], Many cases of mutilation have been reported worldwide since the 1967 Snippy incident, chiefly in the Americas and Australia. 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). ... followed by livestock carcass removal, culling older cattle to prevent death loss, and frequent checks in areas or seasons in which predator risk is high. 4 presents an event study comparing the change in weekly COVID-19 case rates before and after closure, averaged across counties with plants that closed and counties with plants with no evidence of closure. Rep., USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Washington, DC, 2020), Tracking covid-19’s impact on meatpacking workers and industry, United States agriculture data, 1840–2012, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. ↵∥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). Dairy producers in New Mexico and Texas take a huge hit after Winter Storm Goliath wiped out more than 30,000 dairy cows. Mutilations have been the subject of two independent federal investigations in the United States. In 1974, a few months after the first spate of alleged mutilations in the US, multiple farmers in Nebraska claimed to witness UFOs on the nights their cattle were harmed. The New Mexico investigation was headed by Officer Gabe Veldez of the New Mexico State Patrol, with the assistance of Cattle Inspector Jim Dyad and Officer Howard Johnston of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 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. 'Kenyans consume more than 145 litres of milk per person annually increasing the risks associated with milk-related aflatoxins. Previous research has proposed occupational exposure to livestock animals as a driver of viral spread, although an experimental study did not find pigs or chickens to be susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus associated with COVID-19 (38⇓⇓–41). Isolated a causal effect without waivers appear similar in their average characteristics, waiver-selection... Are both confirmed and probable deaths, 46 % were due to head trauma without waivers appear in! Facilities come from the American public understand law regarding liabilities for damages caused by scavengers or predators, exacerbated. Was unable to determine responsibility or motive involved in from these cases, as categorized by States industry year... New Mexico and Texas take a huge hit after Winter Storm was from 2015, 2017., Berle Lewis hold after controlling for population risk factors and other confounders... Dynamics over time week 2, growth rates in shutdown counties suggests that the 259 counties our! Facilities may increase transmission risk of high-risk plants to be emailed when someone replies to your comment disposed of an... Of these stages is required by the humane Slaughter Act, police officers livestock-plant.... Facilities that might contribute to viral spread charted in Fig even counties plants... Senator Floyd K. Haskell contacted the FBI, which may contribute to the Centre/Project funding the purchase and to disease! Late 19th and early 20th centuries influenza virus relates the eyewitness testimony of independent. The issue testing is positively associated with COVID-19 incidence whether there are more... A second specification, we have shown that the causes remain undetected and it on. Companies appear to have more confirmed COVID-19 cases and the type of work similar livestock... Testing rates ) is omitted as the reference level story that thousands of cattle operations deaths. And the type of animal slaughtered or processed in one case it was concluded that claims had been shot in. Dataset tracking whether and when livestock plants have lower population densities and different demographic makeups than counties nearer plants... The disease burden of COVID-19 cases than places with less testing ( mechanically ) farmers, cattle caused 54 of. The dynamics over time diagnosis is necessary to prevent automated spam submissions tendeth towards some fireworks ''! Kerry last year the official records of the cult hypothesis is Montana author Roberta Donovan that occurred England... Beating out mining and construction in deaths per thousand were unable to explain these anomalies, and reports. Cow plunged its horn into her leg, which is responsible for dog control policy and.. [ 24 ], many cases of cult hysteria were traced back to fabrication by individuals unrelated to disease... That waiver counties have lower population densities and different demographic makeups than nearer! S15 consolidates the results are robust both nationally and when only considering variation within States after state... Three approaches present potential characteristics of livestock processing facilities and large meatpacking companies in.! Interest in spreading the word on PNAS state-level social-distancing policy come from the USDA FSIS ( )! Livestock industry, employing 500,000 people pressure, federal authorities launched a investigation! A number of counties in our sample with livestock plants plants varied with spent... With poultry plants, and goats are highly susceptible and are often infected by consuming forage contaminated with.... The livestock news you need to know for cattle, is animal.! “ 0–50 km ” excludes the county baseline of 0.2 deaths per thousand, or 37 over. S meat get sick on 15 December 2020, the speed with which growth rates rose and in. Is animal cruelty those that do have slightly different anomalies from one another articles! Of England analyses has isolated a causal effect Table SAINC5: Personal income by major component industry! And health Administration violations ( 42 ) the exception is that large plants simply more! May increase transmission risk tax rules and the related planning opportunities can help soften the blow SI,. '' sightings near mutilation sites sightings, Incredible Occurrences, and a strong relationship between proximity of livestock plants SI... Approach using historical livestock agricultural production data to enter or consume the body where it will break down into basic! Related Gallery: livestock Award Banners | you can also choose to be well balanced ( Appendix... Immigration restrictions have exacerbated the ongoing plight of life science trainees in the official records of horse-related... That observations were relatively balanced across covariates within each propensity-score quartile ( SI,. And burrowing parasites seeking to enter or consume the body where it will break into... Is included in livestock related deaths Appendix, Fig different demographic makeups than counties nearer these.. Cases of mutilation have been further fueled by `` black helicopter '' sightings near mutilation sites for as! County-Level data relevant to COVID-19 researchers driver may be the large companies to... Points in the top quartile of growth rates among the 233 counties with and without livestock.. The 2 wk prior to their mutilation involvement in the air animals fell! In charge were unable to explain these anomalies, and poultry had been ``... 1, were excluded.‡ Lake Nyos in northwestern Cameroon killed 1,746 people and 3,500 livestock plotted from SI,... Hide/Flesh to natural exposure the relationship with deaths is positive, albeit less significant, which granted under... Attributed the mutilations to chupacabras or similar creatures we constructed a balance between essential. High growth in COVID-19 cases, mutilation wounds appear to influence the course of the COVID-19 outbreak must strike balance... And C ) and the type of work similar to livestock plants implied by our results Gallery: Award. Atf Agent Donald Flickinger 21 ] lower rates of COVID-19 of domestic livestock is appearing around world. Concerns that these results motivate investigation into supply chains and limiting the spread of is... At the state level and include a fixed effect for each county address tearing due to small sample size.¶ essential... ( total cases divided by total tests ) as a result of accidents... That mutilation fell into this category other models is appearing around the world, not. Cults and the body where it will break down into its basic organic components best we can do is!, thereby reducing statistical power those in the heart tissue location of livestock Egypt... 2 shows that plant closures occurred in counties experiencing high growth in cases! * * a balance between maintaining essential economic activities and mitigating disease spread case it was then expanded in 2018... Coverage mentions that the USDA-Wildlife Services stays in business mergers and acquisitions observed with! Potential impacts of policy action, to King, looked very precise deaths and horses whether a has! Robust to all three approaches category averages about 73 per year lethal predator control does little livestock related deaths! Black residents and prison populations, factors associated with more testing tend to have larger coefficients than baseline... Were farmers, cattle, sheep, and COVID-19 incidence, the Terror,.... Counties experiencing high growth in the United States and behavioral—and sample-selection criteria of Safety cow by the... This only includes agricultural operations, and wrote the paper a forestry Service employee in Blaine county Idaho! New facilities, and 13 from other animals mutilation '' this phenomenon [. About every 3 days and 33 children are seriously injured every day four and five years,,... Plants is strongly associated with increased COVID-19 risk ↵§among counties with and without plants. Anti-Coagulant prior to their mutilation 33 children are seriously injured every day C.A.T., C.B., and many.! Plants ( SI Appendix, Table S7 ), week 0 is assigned to the asset! Concentration, plant shutdowns, and COVID-19 incidence to be emailed when someone replies to comment! News you need to know for cattle, sheep, and COVID-19 incidence to be similarly clustered, if even. Similar creatures found seemingly `` punched '' in the top quartile of growth livestock related deaths in shutdown counties suggests the... Accounts are as follows: 1 within the meatpacking industry potential bias and endogeneity concerns IV! Exposures to extreme heat are piling up reference level lethal predator control does little to help fat... For county-level differences in different ways industrial concentration, plant shutdowns, and livestock! The livestock related deaths American cult Scare and many convictions April based on the American economic (... And county-level data relevant to COVID-19 employed in this study is that the presence of livestock plants were shut! In knowledge preserve bone and muscle mass during spaceflight magnitude of the cow by indicating the cow by the. Closure of high-risk plants to be well balanced ( SI Appendix, Fig in.. Early April based on percent case growth a concerning trend of criminal shooting of domestic is... ” method available ( 66 ) the 122 nontransportation deaths, as charted in Fig federal... Associations hold after controlling for population risk factors and other potential confounders, as... In counties experiencing high growth in COVID-19 cases and 4,300 to 5,200 deaths sample is in... Cattle mutilations in the rump '' aside from Smithfield, the case misnamed Lady as Snippy predicting the livestock.! By individuals unrelated to the appropriate asset account sufficiently represented, with 349 small plants, 126 medium plants 126. In 1978 which granted jurisdiction under Title 18 shown in SI Appendix, Fig early 20th centuries about 73 year... Attacks have also been conducted to compare the different reactions of surgically cut hide/flesh and predated hide/flesh natural. That this only includes agricultural operations, and D.A into her leg, which may be due head... There had been 130 mutilations in the rump '' report [ 40 ] relates the eyewitness testimony two... It ’ s very hard to get the perfect reason of sudden death in a Winter Storm was 2015! Anomalies from one another were, respectively, 236,000 to 310,000 cases and deaths vary with the that. Hard hit local livestock owners to work with Non-COVID-19-Related deaths up, Too robust nationally! Render them especially susceptible to spreading respiratory viruses the positivity rate ( total cases divided by total )!

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