Second Sight

Special note: This is an archived site. What’s below is unedited. Please see the opening note for the previous posting for perspective. Anyone living in or around Santa Cruz should find the boldfaced Sentinel article and related comments fascinating; if that’s NOT the case please let me know. Anyone from Temple Beth-El should scroll back to the article before last… where I put together a piece for that audience.

Second Sight
by Oxman

To be able to see into the future, one must take in the present, be present. [Pause.] I think of myself as giving the reader a present here, the gift of being able to do something about what the reader is complaining and worrying about, what virtually everyone in our relatively comfy quarter is absolutely frantic about, the momentum of this wretched cold which envelops us, growing more bone chilling with each passing day on our Easy Street.

Lambs that learn to walk in snow
When their bleating clouds the air
Meet a vast unwelcome, know
Nothing but a sunless glare.
Newly stumbling to and fro
All they find, outside the fold,
Is a wretched width of cold.

As they wait beside the ewe,
Her fleeces wetly caked, there lies
Hidden round them, waiting too,
Earth’s immeasureable surprise.
They could not grasp it if they knew,
What so soon will wake and grow
Utterly unlike the snow
.

I too am infused with the belief that none of us know what’s right around the corner… making room for nursing a certain kind of (limited) hope. Such is contingent upon moving in solidarity, however, along unprecedented lines. The above is First Sight by Philip Larkin. I’m open to discussing that and what’s below upon request.

On 6/12/12, the Santa Cruz Sentinel carried a story about repeated scandals occurring at Santa Cruz Biotechnology, one of the biggest employers in the city. Glance at the piece below, if you will, and then I’d like you to think about the questions posed below the boldfaced article. Please note that a Governor of California with heart, head and soul in a healthy place could — unilaterally — address the “problems” touched upon here, could do so without the cooperation of any career politicians virtually overnight. Ditto regarding many other “issues” which plague us all, including matters which affect our pocketbooks, our healthcare, etc. For elaboration on that last sentence, or anything, please contact the author at aptosnews@gmail.com; I will also be able to explain how we can — effortlessly — take steps to ensure that such action is taken immediately.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found a number of violations of the animal welfare act at a Santa Cruz laboratory for the second time in two years.

According to reports, inspectors found multiple violations in the areas of research protocol procedures and veterinary care during a March 6 inspection at Santa Cruz Biotechnology.

A follow-up inspection a month later turned up further violations, including a goat with a leg fracture in which one part of the leg was “moving independently from the rest of the leg when the goat walked.” Another goat had an untreated broken leg, while yet another was suffering a serious, untreated skin condition and was later euthanized.

The inspection found the facility has one veterinarian on staff, tasked with caring for 10,000 goats and 6,000 rabbits as well as an undetermined number of cattle and horses.

Santa Cruz Biotechnology, one of the city’s largest employers, sells antibodies to researchers and maintains offices in Paso Robles; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Heidelberg, Germany.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now, an Ohio-based animal research watchdog group, is calling on the USDA to pursue an investigation against the company and seek fines.

“I find it most disturbing that many animals at this facility are allowed to suffer through illnesses and injuries without treatment, and that the only treatment given to other suffering animals is euthanasia,” Michael Budkie, the organization’s executive director, wrote in a letter to the USDA. “This clearly indicates a total disregard for the law by the management of this facility as well as a complete lack of concern for the animals held captive here.”

Budkie said he believes the facility’s veterinarian is trying her best to take care of the animals but that one veterinarian for nearly 20,000 animals is clearly overburdened and that level of staffing is inadequate. To produce antibodies, the animals must be maintained in a “chronically sick” condition.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service investigated the company last year after inspections at the facility twice in 2010 found a dozen sick or injured goats in pain. Agency spokesman David Sacks could not immediately say Tuesday whether the company was penalized after that investigation. Violations can result in penalties ranging from a warning letter to a fine of $10,000 per violation, Sacks said.

The April 19 inspection at Santa Cruz Biotech found two violations classified as “direct, noncompliant,” which results in an another automatic inspection within 45 days. Inspectors also recorded one “repeat, noncompliant” violation, which calls for a reinspection within 90 days, according to USDA records.

A spokeswoman for Santa Cruz Biotechnology could not be reached to comment Tuesday.

Questions:

1. Why does virtually no one in Santa Cruz know about Santa Cruz Biotech, one of its largest employers?

2. How is it the the company can get away with such horror suffering only a slap on the wrist?

3. Why aren’t any individuals being punished (or at least named) for any crimes committed? Who is responsible for putting only one vet in place? I sent a message to the company asking that very question, but no one has responded. And why didn’t the single vet report the atrocities long ago?

4. Why does Stop Animal Exploitation have to fall on bended knee, pleading for federal officials to take action against the company?

5. Why does the journalist allow the comment by Budkie to stand as is, as if it makes sense?

6. Why isn’t the general population taught how antibodies are produced? Why isn’t the subject discussed at all in academic circles in or around UCSC at least… with an ethical dimension brought in?

7. How is it that federal parameters make it easy for such disgusting practice to continue over such long periods of time?

I have other questions which I may add shortly. In the meantime, please contact me at your earliest convenience… for there are a number of other abominations going on right under your nose in the Santa Cruz area and elsewhere… which I’d like to share. Again, contact aptosnews@gmail.com.