You hear how RES and other wind developers go around claiming that there’s no scientific evidence to support that wind turbines adversely affect animals (other than the birds and bats they gloss over with anecdote and made up mortality numbers that are likely double or even triple what these companies report). I’m here to bring you not just scientific study, but CASE LAW showing that these claims are absolute bogus and that these machines do indeed cause grievous injury to livestock raised within the foot print of wind fields.
in 2013 a breeder of prized Lusitano horses in Portugal sued because foals born on their breeding farm have been born with limb deformities because wind turbines at the São Julião park in Torres Vedras are too close to the property. The Supreme Court ruled in their favor, awarding them a hefty sum of money. They had a successful breeding operation welcoming 13 healthy foals between 2000 and late 2006 when the wind farm began operation.
In fact, this farm’s case came up in 2007 at the 2nd International Conference on Wind Turbine (WT) Noise, held in Lyon, France and the case was picked up and studied by Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira and studied as part of her Master’s thesis.
She wrote: “All horses (N=4) born or raised after 2007 developed asymmetric flexural limb deformities. WT began operations in November 2006. No other changes (constructions, industries, etc) were introduced into the area during this time.
Tissue analyses of the defected tendons were performed and revealed the classical features of LFN-induced biological responses: thickening of blood vessel walls due to proliferation of collagen in the absence of an inflammatory process.”
The study on 11 total foals began in 2008 and was published in 2012 after this breeder suffered extreme loss of revenue and wound up having to euthanize several horses because they developed flexural deformities in the front limb including, but not limited to, coffin/pedal bone rotation and clubbed feet shortly after 4 wind turbines (out of the 20 in the project) were installed between 300 – 700m (984 – 2297ft) from their farm. It was bad enough that the family themselves moved from the property due to adverse health effects typically associated with exposure to LFN (Low Frequency Noise) within months of the turbines beginning operation. The Technical University of Lisbon concluded that “since 2008, horses born at the farm and in stages of growth developed deformities of their thoracic limbs” (basically meaning forelimbs)
What’s more interesting is this, taken directly from the Professor’s thesis paper:
“All the animals had been supplemented with balanced commercial diet for equine. To investigate a possible genetic cause, two foals from distinct bloodlines were brought to the stud. These also developed the deformities after 6 months. Two of the affected foals were placed in a pasture away from the initial one and two others were admitted at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Lisbon. In those animals, except for one that had to be euthanized for humane reasons, an improvement was observed on their condition, with partial recovery of the deformity.”
Showing that HEALTHY horses brought in from outside farms and introduced to the stresses driven by wind turbines were adversely affected in severe ways within a very short period of time.
She further went on to write;
“Histopathology was performed from (i) the tendon obtained by surgical desmotomy in one foal, (ii) tendon biopsies were performed in three foals and (iii) from the tissue of one foal during necropsy. Histologically the most significant alterations were the dissociation of myofibrils of the smooth muscle. This was predominantly seen in the small intestine but also in the walls of small capillary vessels, including those of the tendon vasculature. The flexural deformities have a complex and multifactorial etiopathogeny. They occur due to uncoupling of the longitudinal development of the bone and its adjacent soft tissues, but also from shortening of the tendon-muscle unit in response to pain. In the case series presented here, there was no obvious cause for the development of this problem, therefore we hypothesised that unusual environmental conditions might have played an important role in the development of this condition, especially those introduced in recent years.”
The entire report can be found here (warning, it’s in Portugese): https://www.repository.utl.pt/bitstream/10400.5/4847/1/Deforma%C3%A7ao%20flexural%20adquirida%20da%20articula%C3%A7ao%20interfalangica%20distal%20em%20poldros.pdf
This study was presented in court and the family was awarded damages. There is currently an on going additional study as the family chose to pursue the wind company on grounds of criminal negligence and fraud.
This is just one example of many, including a study done on dairy cows showing the adverse affects of LFN and ground vibrations associated with wind turbine operation and how shadow flicker adversely affects the production and release of hormones necessary for healthy reproduction and ovulation in a variety of livestock species.
Attached are photos showing proximity of the farm to surrounding wind turbines. One of the foals at 3 months vs 6 months (note you can see the beginning of the deformities and tendon destruction in the first photo and then how fast the animal deteriorated), x-rays from a 15 day old foal vs 6 months later and photos of the proximity of the broodmare pasture to the windturbines.
The evidence speaks for itself. We cannot allow these turbines to come in and destroy our way of life. As someone who has a vested interest in equine and bovine health and breeding, I know that I personally will never own ag. property anywhere near turbines. As a mother, I refuse to allow my sons to grow up in the footprint of one of these ill-suited projects.
This year, your vote means the difference between undue suffering (physically and financially) or continued peace, tranquility, and preservation of our agricultural industry here in Cass County.