Animals

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.

Creating a Welcoming Environment for Owls

Mar 10, 2016
https://swvawildlifecenter.org/

Most owls are nocturnal and we're lucky to see them. We usually hear them.
That's the great horned owl with a "Who! Who!" we associate with owls. But these are the other owls in Virginia.

(owl sounds)

That was the Barn, Eastern Screech, and Barred Owl.  According to Sabrina Garvin, Executive Director of Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center, those four raptors are not only majestic but vital:

(Richard Webster / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)

In 1967, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created the first endangered species list, the Eastern Shore's Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel was there among better known species like the bald eagle and Florida manatee.

A combination of clear-cutting of old growth forests and hunting contributed to its near extinction. Today, the Service officially removed the squirrel from its federally protected designation.

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