The Sierra Club released a report today blasting what the environmental group calls “animal factories” but not giving any comparison with other production methods. Erin Jordahl, director of the Iowa chapter, says the Sierra Club looked at federal records of big industrial farms.They looked at pig confinements and egg facilities, and says they call them factories because they’re not farms but just a lot of animals in a small space to meet the bottom line. Jordahl says over the last two and-a-half years, the group found a host of violations committed by big producers.She says most of the convictions and citations were for animal cruelty, bribery, destroying records, worker violations and pollution. Jordahl says it’s no accident that the report comes shortly after a big recall of beef implicated in several e-coli food-poisoning cases.She says it adds up to fifty misdemeanor or felony charges against fifty companies and managers and 43 “recalls” totaling 67-thousand tons of meat, hundreds of manure spills and more than fifty-million in fines. In all, the report looked at 240 big livestock operations and a “ten least wanted” list of the worst offenders, which included one Iowa producer, DeCoster hog facilities. Jordahl says not all big operations are considered environmental offenders. She says the report wasn’t done to point out those doing it responsibly but only the bad “factories,” to urge consumers to seek out meat producers who are responsible about health and the environment. But Jordahl admits the Sierra Club researchers made no effort to find out how many complaints, convictions and fines are recorded against other kinds of producers or whether they have better records than the so-called “animal factories.”The “rapsheet on animal factories” is online at