Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Animal-care expert says animal welfare should begin on the farm, not at slaughterhouses

Protecting the welfare of animals should begin on farms and ranches, not at slaughterhouses, famed animal welfare activist Temple Grandin told the American Farm Bureau Federation on Sunday in San Diego, Jerry Hagstrom reports for the National Journal. While she said it would be impossible to monitor all farms and ranches, Grandin suggested random audits as a way to enforce rules.

Grandin said "she is concerned with what she calls 'biological system overload'—the use of genetics and weight gain to get the maximum amount of meat, milk or eggs out of an animal," Hagstrom writes. "Breeding to emphasize single genetic traits is at the root of some of the problems, and farmers and ranchers should focus on 'optimal rather than maximum' production, she said."

She said farmers and ranchers "should forget trying to defend gestation crates for sows because consumers will not accept them," Hagstrom writes. "Instead, she said, farmers should concentrate on defending genetic modification of seeds because it makes no-till farming possible and pointing out that ranching helps the land because grazing animals keep certain plants from dominating the landscape, and wildlife drink the water provided for food animals." (Read more)

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