Animals in chipper OK, say legislators

US - It's not a question of how much wood wood chippers could chip, but rather what wood chippers should be chipping in the first place.

Lawmakers on the Assembly Agriculture Committee didn't have trouble with the tongue twister at a hearing Wednesday. They rejected an effort by animal-rights activists to ban the killing of farm animals by using the chipping machinery, more commonly used to grind up trees and other yard trimmings.

The activists wanted the rare practice of death-by-chipper banned after a 2003 incident in Escondido, when a poultry farmer fed 30,000 live hens into a chipper in the wake of a scare over exotic Newcastle disease. Millions of Southern California birds were killed at the time — mostly by carbon-dioxide gassing — to prevent the spread of the disease.

calendar icon 22 April 2005
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