Seedling LIVESTOCK SPECIAL ISSUE
In this special edition of Seedling, we take a close look at the livestock industry. Behind the scenes this global industry is going through a rapid process of concentration as it extends its control over livestock farming. As consumption of meat increases, hundreds of thousands of small farmers have been tied into production contracts mainly for the export market. Furthermore, we are heading for more diseases, more deadly types of disease, and more capacity for these diseases to spread. And yet, the international response fails to reflect the seriousness of the situation. Meanwhile traditional cultures dependent on livestock are also being further marginalised as illustrated in this issue of Seedling in and .
This issue of Seedling is currently available in PDF. You can download the full issue of Seedling here: http://www.grain.org/seedling/?id=527&PDF (6.6 MB)
LIVESTOCK BREEDING IN THE HANDS OF CORPORATIONS by Susanne Gura
Scarcely noticed by the general public, the global livestock industry is going through a rapid process of concentration. Company takeovers and co-operation agreements proliferate and technology is changing fast. Patents are flying out for genetic material, and other proprietary strategies are being vigorously pursued. In a process that bears an uncanny resemblance to what has happened to the global seed market, the breeding sector - now renamed "livestock genetics" - is becoming the nerve centre of the industry and extending its control over livestock farming. Quick to seize the opportunity, agro-giants such as are moving in.
MONGOLIAN HERDERS DEMAND THEIR RIGHTS by GRAIN with Dorj Borjigin and Yangjain Tegusbagar
As part of the carve-up of the world that followed the end of the , the Chinese were able to bring under their sphere of influence an area to the south of , which they called Inner Mongolia. Although today the region formally remains autonomous, the Chinese effectively control it. Two Mongolians - Dorj Borjigin and Yangjain Tegusbagar - talked to about the problems they face in their country, which they call Southern Mongolia.
CONTRACT FARMING IN THE WORLD'S POULTRY INDUSTRY by GRAIN
Over the last 40 years the world has witnessed a remarkable increase in the consumption of poultry, pork and beef. Multinational meat processing companies have been able to respond to the hugely expanded export trade only by tying hundreds of thousands of small farmers into production contracts. In this article we examine contract farming in the poultry sector of two leading producing countries - and .
RIGHTS OF PASSAGE IN Interview with Bouréima Dodo
Bouréima Dodo is an agro-pastoral producer in , executive secretary of the Association for the Re-dynamisation of Livestock in (AREN), a national organisation with about 36,000 members, and part of the Farmers' Platform, which is linked to the Network of Farmers' and Agricultural Producers' Organisations of (ROPPA).
VIRAL TIMES - THE POLITICS OF EMERGING GLOBAL ANIMAL DISEASES by GRAIN
The world is in the midst of big changes with respect to global animal diseases. We are heading for more diseases, more deadly types of disease, and more capacity for these diseases to spread. There is also a greater probability of the emergence of zoonotic diseases and global pandemics. Yet the international response to this situation has so far failed by a large measure to reflect the seriousness of the crisis. The fault lies in governments' unwillingness to confront the dominant powers of industrial livestock farming - whether it be the pharmaceutical corporations and their patents or the industrial meat corporations and their factory farms.
GERM WARFARE - LIVESTOCK DISEASE, PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX by GRAIN
Animal diseases that threaten human health - the global reaction by governments to this is plagued by three key problems: information (a lack of transparency and poor media coverage); privatisation (of viruses, vaccines and related materials and technologies for commercial purposes); and military use (the growing intrinsic connection between health research and development and military use).
LIVESTOCK DIVERSITY STILL THREATENED - INTERLAKEN CONFERENCE DUCKS THE ISSUES by GRAIN
An international conference to debate the future of animal genetic resources was organised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) from 3 to 7 September 2007 in . It was attended by almost 300 people from more than 100 countries. Governments adopted the " Declaration" and agreed on a "Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources". This was the first major intergovernmental conference to address the problem of how to reduce the rapidly dwindling diversity of livestock breeds of the few dozen animal species that are used in agriculture and pastoralism for food, fibre, fuel and power, as well as for social, cultural and environmental purposes.
CAFTA AND THE BUDAPEST TREATY - THE DEBATE IN COSTA RICA by Silvia Rodríguez Cervantes
Bilateral trade agreements are the latest tool to spread patents on life worldwide. They may be used to force countries to provide patents on plants and animals or to join the UPOV Convention's softer system of plant variety rights. Or they may include an obligation to sign the little-known Budapest Treaty on the patenting of micro-organisms. This was the option chosen for Central America and the , which, through their free-trade agreement with the USA, are having the Budapest Treaty forced upon them. But the debate is far from over, for many Costa Ricans are determined to stop this happening.
RAMÓN VERA Interview by GRAIN
Ramón Vera Herrera is the new editor of 'Biodiversidad, sustento y culturas', a quarterly magazine published by and REDES-AT. He is also the editor of an 18-year-old project called Ojarasca (published monthly in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada), which covers the life and struggles of the indigenous and peasant communities in and Latin America.