Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Livestock Stewards Should Decide Welfare Standards

Column: Farmers responsible stewards of livestock
By Bill Bruins

At some point, we as farmers lost ownership of the issue of animal care, and now it’s time we get it back.

Providing good care to the animals on our farms is a second sense within us, because we each have lifetimes of experience doing so. Any good farmer knows that good care also equals profitability. That’s why for years we as farmers have been financing meaningful scientific research through our commodity associations to benefit animals’ behavioral and psychological needs.

Yet, today we find ourselves in a situation where unscrupulous activists want to tell us how to care for our animals. Their extremist mindset and fundraising goals blind them to what research (or common sense) says is actually best for animals.

How did we get to this point? Read More

Mr. Bruins is absolutely right when he states that we need to retake our ownership of the livestock care issue. If we allow people from the HSUS, whose only interaction with farm animals is when there is a photo opportunity to be had, to determine standards of care rather than those of us with generations of experience, the welfare level of livestock will undoubtedly suffer. These groups continue to make their tired argument on an emotional level in order to keep moving towards their ultimate goal of an animal-free society. My six year old son knows more about livestock than all of the upper management at the HSUS combined. He understands the need to keep them protected, fed a nutritious diet and that life involves death. We need to remember that nothing less than the safety and security of our food supply is at stake.

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