Beef Buzz News
NCBA Calls Federal Mandates for Animal Production Practices the Wrong Answer
Fri, 01 Jun 2012 09:16:38 CDT
It is not a beef production issue- but the cattle industry is plenty concerned about recent moves by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who on Friday, May 25, 2012, introduced legislation, The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 (S. 3239). Sen. Feinstein’s measure is modeled after a similar bill (H.R. 3798) that was introduced by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) in the U.S House of Representatives earlier this year. The concerns about the precedence of federally mandated production practices have been raised by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Egg Farmers of America, National Pork Producers Council and more.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Kristina Butts of the NCBA on the HSUS- UEP Egg Agreement
Specifically, S. 3239 and H.R. 3798 would codify a controversial agreement between the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States, which would dictate exactly how eggs can be produced. The proponents of the legislation say it will advance animal welfare standards in the egg industry.
Kristina Butts, NCBA Executive Director of Legislative Affairs, has a different take on the legislation. “We fully support any and all science-based advancements in animal welfare. However, a federal mandate is not needed to accomplish production practices that secure the wellbeing of livestock. This legislation is a one-size-fits-all approach to animal welfare and is the wrong answer. In fact, the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) has even acknowledged mandated animal production practices are not in the best interest of promoting true animal welfare because they cannot easily be adapted or updated for different farming models,” said Butts. “Prescriptive farming standards hinder efficient modifications as new science becomes available.”
Butts said a better approach to animal welfare is demonstrated by programs such as the Beef Quality Assurance program and the Cattle Industry’s Guidelines for the Care and Handling of Cattle. She said these programs are updated regularly as new science becomes available to meet the needs of the very diverse U.S. beef cattle community. These voluntary programs set guidelines for raising healthy cattle and provide hands-on training.
“For decades, cattlemen and women have worked with veterinarians, cattle health and well-being experts, universities and with each other to develop science-based, voluntary animal care programs,” she said.
We focus in on this issue on today's Beef Buzz- and have comments with Kristina Butts on the NCBA's concerns.
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