Statement by the Animal Agriculture Alliance Coalition: Agriculture's Commitments to Animal Well-Being
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Animal Welfare and Food Protection
Each segment of the livestock and poultry industries have species-specific educational programs, guidelines and best management practices focused on proper care, handling, facilities and transportation of animals. These programs and guidelines continue to evolve and improve as each industry gains a better understanding of what is necessary for the well-being of animals, through research.
Training each animal caretaker is of the utmost importance to ensuring the best animal care possible. This is why farms participate in certification programs, distance-learning courses and other means for continuing education on animal care.
Animal production facilities are built to maintain the health and safety of each animal. In many/most of today's production systems, animals are raised comfortably indoors. This arrangement allows producers and veterinarians to closely monitor herd health, control temperature, ensure a nutritionally balanced diet and keep the animals safe from predators.
The Humane Slaughter Act regulates the U.S. meat packing industry. Federal inspectors utilize the Act to ensure compliance in livestock packing plants on a frequent basis. If violations are found, immediate action is taken. The livestock industry has voluntary guidelines in addition to the Act that meet even higher standards for animal care.
American farmers and ranchers have been working with veterinarians, animal scientists, agricultural engineers and animal well-being experts to develop and support ethically grounded, science-based guidelines and audits. Changes to animal well-being guidelines should be based on data, expert analysis and economic feasibility. Today, the marketplace offers meat, milk and eggs produced in a variety of systems.
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- Farmers and ranchers have an ethical obligation to care for animals raised for food
- Animal well-being is critical to providing quality food products
- Animal care is the highest priority for both large and small farms
- Standards for animal care should be based on the expertise of those who work with farm animals daily
- Unfounded regulations will increase food prices and boost the volume of products shipped from areas with inferior food safety records
- Consumers should be able to buy protein from any system that meets their needs