Video Not Representative of Dairy Industry
May 27, 2010- The Animal Agriculture Alliance is disturbed by the images of alleged animal cruelty documented in a video released this week by an animal rights activist group. The Alliance has long condemned the abuse and mistreatment of animals raised for food and works to promote animal care guidelines on all farms across the United States.
If an investigation finds the video to be genuine, we believe that the severest penalties allowed by law should be imposed on all parties involved, as well as those who failed to stop and report these actions immediately to the proper authorities.
The gruesome images shown in the video are in no way representative of the majority of America’s hardworking farm families. Farmers and ranchers realize that consumers trust in them to provide safe, quality food products- and they take that trust seriously. Management practices are selected with animal well-being, food safety, and product quality in mind.
Most farmers and ranchers follow species-specific animal welfare guidelines to ensure that their animals are comfortable and healthy. Recently, the National Milk Producers Federation launched a comprehensive animal care guide for dairies called the National Dairy FARM Program . The program was developed by veterinarians and animal care experts and includes on-farm audits that showcase producers’ commitment to animal welfare.
The Alliance encourages those interested in learning more about America’s dairy industry to use social media tools to learn the facts from the farmers themselves. Many members of the agriculture community have used Internet forums to strongly speak out against the actions depicted in the recent activist video. A compilation of their reactions can be viewed here.
The Ohio Dairy Producers Association has also taken a stand against the video’s violence, stating: “The actions shown in the footage absolutely do not reflect how Ohio’s dairy farmers as a whole care for their cows and calves. Our farmers have a moral and ethical obligation to provide excellent care of our herds every day, and they do so, because it is the right thing to do and it ensures they can continue to produce safe, wholesome, quality milk and dairy foods.”
The Alliance has many concerns with the ways that these types of videos are presented to the public. It is often difficult to determine the authenticity of the images shown. Undercover activists seek illicit employment with the goal of securing video- at any means necessary- to portray food producers in disparaging ways. Many times, the videos are held for months until they can be released at a politically-opportune time, thereby allowing any alleged animal suffering to
continue. In this case, the activist organization, Mercy for Animals, claims that an undercover activist documented horrendous animal cruelty for more than one month before alerting authorities.
The attention created by such videos represents a major political and fundraising tool for animal rights organizations. Like MFA, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) use clandestine videos to facilitate their final goal of eradicating animal agriculture entirely. The ultimate objective of these groups is not to improve animal welfare but to promote their vegan agenda while running food producers out of business with legislation and bad press.
The Alliance wishes to remind consumers that unfounded criticisms of the agriculture industry as a whole threaten both America’s farmers’ and ranchers’ way of life and our nation’s food security. The Alliance believes 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 all workers 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