To The Editor:
You or your children may have visited the part of Holmdel Park designated as Longstreet Farm, a historical exhibit of a 19th-century farm complete with milking cows, plow horses , mules , sheep , chickens and large pigs. This make-believe farm is staffed by county employees and some volunteers. The dramatized farm runs programs for the public mostly attended by school-age children. Cow milking and sheep shearing is demonstrated. The equine animals give wagon rides, demonstrate plowing and other horse power produced energy. The pigs are used solely for recreational viewing.
Two pig litters are bred each year . Two adult female pigs and one male pig is kept at the park for this purpose. The male pig is allowed to impregnate a female pig twice a year . The first birth takes place around February while the second takes place around July.
The pregnant pig is on display to be viewed during all the discomforts of pregnancy. When the babies are born they are on display for feeding and playing. The public watches them grow and when they become no longer cute , around May for the February litter and October for the July litter , the babies are promptly carted off to the nightmare of a local slaughterhouse.
These activities are confirmed by public document Farm Inventories dating back to 2004, but these activities have probably have gone on longer than that. The inventories disguise the transfer to slaughter by using the term “farmer” for the buyer or “shipping” , “trading” the animals to these individuals who either kill the animal on their premises or send them to a nearby killing operation.
Each year from 2004 to 2011 approximately 20 to 40 percent of the animals have been “removed.”
The sheep and chickens suffer the same consequence. The equine were headed down this same path when one pair of equine were saved by local outraged residents.
Monmouth County as well as Ocean County have many slaughterhouses regulated by their geographic county. If an animal is bought, killed or sold to an individual, USDA inspection does take place since the operation comes under county regulation not federal.
Monmouth County Park System’s Longstreet Farm has a longstanding relationship with several slaughterhouse operations in both Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
This article is not about being vegetarian or not eating meat, it is about honesty and waste. Honesty owed to adults, parents, grandparents and children; waste of tax dollars.
And speaking about waste, the 2006 inventory reports two mules were purchased for $9,800 and two draft horses purchased for $8,500, totaling $18,300. A horse rescue would provide suitable horses for free or very little cost.
A simple solution posed by the Associated Humane Society, is to neuter the male animals and use rescued animals for demonstration, a win, win situation. The Associated Humane Society has offered to provide free neutering and facilitate rescue coordination.
The Monmouth County Park system ignores these invitations.
The Monmouth County Park System Longstreet Farm and local slaughterhouses have a lot in common.
Mary Ann Cavallaro
Former Holmdel resident and
Holmdel property owner)