HSUS Targets Egg Producers
The Humane Society of the United States recently released video recorded by an undercover activist alleging charges of animal cruelty against two of the country’s largest egg farms.
April 8, 2010- The two-minute video, taken on a camera phone, was presented to reporters and the pubic after being highly edited. The Alliance has had longstanding concern with these types of videos. Undercover activists have increasingly sought illicit employment with the purpose of securing video- at any means necessary- to portray food producers in disparaging ways.
HSUS President Wayne Pacelle told reporters that “we came to Iowa because this is the nation’s number one egg producing state.” This targeting of a major agriculture state is no coincidence; HSUS has shown that its true goal is not to improve animal welfare but to eliminate animal agriculture in entirety. Several other groups also have released clandestine videossometimes using deceptive tactics- to facilitate their final aim of eradicating animal agriculture.The ultimate objective of these activists is to force food producers out of business with legislation and bad press.
The Alliance in no way defends animal cruelty- it is essential that farmers and ranchers provide the best possible care of their animals at all times. If a further investigation finds the cruelty charges to be valid, we believe that the severest penalties allowed by law should be imposed on all parties involved- including those who failed to stop it and knowingly failed to report it immediately to the proper authorities.
However, it is important to remember that farmers and ranchers select management practices with animal well-being, food safety, and product quality in mind. Food producers do not take lightly the responsibility of providing safe, nutritious food to families around the world or for providing proper care for their animals. The Alliance recommends that farm operators adhere to the following science-based animal care principles:
– Provide access to good quality water and nutritionally balanced diets
– Implement science-based animal health programs, including prudent product use, and provide veterinary care when required
– Provide living conditions sufficient to meet the well-being needs of the animal
– Implement science-based husbandry practices
– Ensure proper handling practices throughout the life of the animal
– Provide transportation that avoids undue stress
Most producers follow additional species-specific animal welfare guidelines to ensure that their animals are comfortable and healthy. In 2002, the United Egg Producers adopted animal care guidelines developed by an independent scientific advisory committee that address all aspects of egg production, including housing, handling, beak trimming, and transportation.
These recommendations became the basis for an animal-welfare certification initiative sponsored by UEP called “UEP Certified.” This program establishes guidelines for hens in both modern cage housing and cage-free production systems. Egg farmers who implement the UEP Certified program must be audited annually to achieve and maintain their UEP Certified status. Producers must implement the guidelines in 100 percent of their production facilities regardless
of where or how eggs are marketed. Today, more than 80 percent of all eggs in the United States are produced under the UEP Certified program.
Unfounded criticisms threaten both America’s farmers’ and ranchers’ way of life and our nation’s food security. The Alliance believes that it is critical that all food producers provide the best care and handling of their animals at all times. Farm operators should implement animal care policies, carefully screen potential employees, and hold every worker accountable for their actions. It is important that consumers understand how their food is produced – not by faceless
corporations, but by hardworking family farms that are committed to proper animal husbandry.
About the Alliance:
The Animal Agriculture Alliance is an industry-united, nonprofit organization that helps bridge the communication gap between farm and fork. We connect key food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues. We engage food chain influencers and promote consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture. We protect by exposing those who threaten our nation’s food security with damaging misinformation. Find the Alliance on Facebook and Twitter.
Category: Press Releases