On June 12, US Sen. Dianne Feinstein filed an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill.
This amendment, No. 2252, is joint legislation created by the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers.
|HSUS and UEP legislation could be a dangerous precedent for other agricultural industries|
Josh White, executive vice president of Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, is putting the call out for YOU to call your state senators and ask them to oppose the amendment. Neither of Georgia’s senators (Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson) have come out publicly with a stance on the amendment, and we are not sure at this time when it will hit the Senate floor for a vote. At the earliest, it could be this Thursday — tomorrow.
Passing this “one size fits all” legislation will take away producers’ freedom to operate in a way that is best for their animals and it will ultimately limit consumer choices and increase food costs for American families. Cattle industry leaders believe such legislation will set a dangerous precedent and will encourage other special interest groups who want to influence animal production practices without scientific bases, resulting in higher production costs and job losses.
Commodity organizations including the Egg Farmers of America, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, American Farm Bureau and others have serious concerns about any federal legislation mandating production practices.
“Bottom line, we don’t want the federal government passing specific animal production mandates into law!” White said.
To contact Sen. Chambliss, call 202-224-3521 or visit his website.
To contact Sen. Isakson, call 202-224-3643 or visit his website.
We encourage YOU to contact your state senators in Washington. Here’s some bullet points you can share with them:
· More than 90 percent of all US farms are owned by individuals, families or family corporations. Any legislative mandate will add financial burdens on these family businesses.
· Government mandates will negatively affect niche producers who receive premiums for their chosen more expensive production practices.
· The World Association for Animal Health is developing international species-specific animal care standards guided by scientists and veterinary experts. The guidelines are based on outcome requirements, not prescriptive housing, which US industry guidelines are also based on. It is important for US guidelines to be consistent with those of this organization.
· Farmers recognize and follow their moral obligation to provide healthy and humane environments for farm animals by utilizing the latest research and modern techniques and training.
· Federally mandated animal welfare production practices in other developed nations haven’t shown a measured improvement in animal welfare. Many of these countries have over-regulated their farmers out of business and are now net importers of meat protein to feed their consumers.
· Legislation such as this will limit scientific research and industry innovation that could benefit animals.
· Commodity groups have developed animal care standards, such as Beef Quality Assurance, based on science that are continuously updated and are audited by trained third-party assessors. They can be quickly modified and improved, unlike a legislative mandate.
Additional pertinent information can be communicated via this prepared handout courtesy of NCBA. It’s got great facts about the cattleman’s commitment to cattle care, the effects of the European Union’s mandated production practices and more details on the future of animal agriculture if this legislation passes. Click HERE to access that PDF online.
For questions or assistance about contacting your government leaders, call the GCA office at 478-474-6560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.