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News 217 views update:May 15, 2007

Animal welfare laws discarded

US animal rights campaigners have tried to include new European-style battery cage and livestock care standards in the 2007 farm bill, however, their battle seems lost.

The Humane Society of the US (HSUS) aims to prevent the US government from buying food produced under what they view as inhumane industrial farming practices: intensive confinement of cattle, pigs and poultry.
However, farmers are urging the House Agriculture Committee not to include specific animal welfare regulations in the farm bill.
Vice chair of the National Milk Producers' Federation (NMPF) animal health committee, Karen Jordan, says that farmers are looking out for the interests of their livestock, because if they are comfortable and healthy, they produce more milk. "Too often, people not familiar with, or those with an ideological bias against livestock production, assume that farmers can afford to be cavalier about the health of their herds," Jordan said.
According to the chairman of the House subcommittee on livestock, dairy and poultry, Leonard Boswell, it was "evident that livestock producers are vigorously addressing animal welfare issues."
Congressman Robin Hayes, the senior Republican member of the subcommittee, said the hearing "demonstrated that the animal agriculture industry is committed to ensuring the humane treatment of animals in its care". He also said that producers, rather than activists, should determine animal husbandry practices.
 
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