CattleNetwork 03/11/2010 11:12AM
U.S. Representatives Diane Watson, D-Calif., and Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., this week introduced the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (H.R. 4733) “To promote the well-being of farm animals by requiring Federal agencies to procure food products derived from certain animals only from sources that raised the animals free from cruelty and abuse, and for other purposes.” Not surprisingly, a Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) press release said: “The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, praised the proposal and encouraged Congress to act swiftly to pass the bill.”
Adding the words “cruelty” and “abuse” to this bill is an effective way for HSUS to get the shock value out of the legislation and make legislators erroneously believe cruelty and abuse is the norm on farms. It’s also a way to strong-arm the government into kowtowing to activists’ wishes for control over the American diet and the demise of animal agriculture one federal program at a time.
Farming industry advocates, however, dispute that this bill can guarantee welfare standards, and in fact, may hinder welfare on operations depending on type of operation, species, geography and other factors. In a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said: “The American Farm Bureau Federation strongly opposes H.R. 4733, which would limit the federal government from purchasing animal products that are not ‘humanely’ produced. The legislation would mandate arbitrary ‘humane’ standards for food animal production absent the professional judgment of veterinarians and livestock producers.”
Stallman went on to say that “…modern animal agriculture has a consistent commitment to the best possible animal care and millions of research dollars have been committed to assuring the latest science-tested welfare practices. Every major U.S. livestock and poultry group has either a professionally-developed, science-based quality assurance program incorporating proven welfare standards, or has created specific science-based animal welfare practices to which their members adhere.”
Full story at Cattle Network