Animals

Courtesy of the Richmond SPCA

 

 

Across Virginia fewer dogs and cats are being killed at shelters than ever before. In fact, 88% of dogs and cats in shelters now avoid euthanization. But animal welfare advocates want more. 

Virginia Department of Agriculture

 

 

Rolling into the weekend you may have plans to relax at one of Virginia’s many breweries or wineries. In the future, thanks to a new law, you may be able to bring your four legged-friend along.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Virginia is home to the world’s largest pork producer – a Chinese owned company called Smithfield, and this region produces nearly nine million hogs a year.  It’s also a hotbed of opposition to the factory farms where most of those animals live.  

Sandy Hausman

A World Health Organization report recently warned that eating meat puts people at a greater risk for cancer, but that hasn’t hurt the market for bacon, ham, pork chops and roasts.  Nor are consumers deterred by other deadly health hazards linked to the industry. The world’s largest pork producer – Smithfield Foods -- slaughters 30 million pigs a year.  

For many families, ham is part of a holiday tradition.  The nation’s largest producer – Smithfield – is based in Virginia, and this state is home to more than a quarter of a million pigs.  This story is the first in a five-part series looking at the impact of a growing industry on the environment, on the animals and on public health.

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