Lax Illinois laws allow for factory-like hog confinements to grow

As large hog confinements grow in number and size across rural Illinois, pork producers have been found to exploit weak state laws to start operations. A special report by the Chicago Tribune has found that these growing operations can harm neighboring families and communities that have to endure the sickening air emissions and pollutions produced by…

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Tracing the origins of a mysterious disease that cost the pork industry $1 billion

More than two years ago a rare and fast-spreading virus arrived in the U.S., killing hundreds of baby pigs and costing the pork industry roughly $1 billion. Harvest Public Media spent months examining the outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, a virus never before seen in the U.S., studying documents and talking to scientists and other…

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Former Nevada shelter manager accused of needlessly killing animals

Boulder City police officials declined to submit a criminal case to prosecutors after a detective tied the city’s animal control supervisor to 91 questionable animal euthanasia cases and wanted to arrest her on felony charges, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The supervisor quietly retired and the police chief defended not taking the case to prosecutors.…

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Millions of at-risk plants and animals legally enter the U.S.

The bounty includes shoes fashioned from caimans and pythons, coral cut from reefs for aquariums and jewelry, turtle cartilage for soup, iguanas for pets, elephant ivory piano keys, teeth from hippos, sperm whales and grizzlies. Millions of specimens of vulnerable wildlife — whole plants and animals and their parts — enter the United States each…

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Extra Extra Monday: Tracking charges for cops, undocumented overtime, police failure in Sharper case

A record of trouble | The Marshall Project As California prepares to greatly expand its use of halfway houses for people leaving its overcrowded prisons, state officials have turned for help to a private halfway house operator that has been cited in other states for inadequate care, unchecked violence and repeated escapes at its facilities.…

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Veterinarians face conflicting allegiances to animals, farmers – and drug companies

Veterinarians are taking a crucial new role in public health in 2016 — gatekeepers to tons of farm animal antibiotics now freely dispensed without prescription and contributing to a surge of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that infect people. What will the companies selling antibiotics do about that? A Reuters investigation found broad, pervasive and mostly undisclosed financial ties between…

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Inside the JBS Butchertown hog slaughter plant

The JBS Swift pork processing plant in Louisville has struggled during the past decade with odor violations, zoning disputes and fights over truck traffic. It’s also dealing with tighter rules on how hogs are humanely handled and killed. Twice in the last nine months, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has slapped JBS with “egregious violations”…

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Extra Extra Monday: Accident reports, deportations and school finances

Jail Crunch | Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project OCCRP reporters filed freedom of information requests to prison authorities across Eastern Europe. The interactive visualization is a compilation of the data received from each prison authority, organized to demonstrate similarities and differences between prison demographics and crime categories across the region. OCCRP journalists conducted dozens of…

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Injured animals go without vet care, euthanized early at Vermilion Parish

The Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the possibility of criminal wrongdoing at the parish animal control center, based on issues brought to light in a KATC investigation. The station’s investigative team reviewed hundreds of documents and records and found that nearly 300 animals last year were killed earlier than parish ordinance requires, some even…

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Trophy deer hunting spreads disease, costs taxpayers millions

In less than 40 years, a relatively small group of farmers has created something the world has never seen before — a billion-dollar industry primarily devoted to breeding deer that are trucked to fenced hunting preserves to be shot by patrons willing to pay thousands for the trophies. An Indianapolis Star investigation has discovered the…

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