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.
Vice chair of the National Milk Producers' Federation (NMPF)
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
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