"LMA shares everyone’s interest in promoting the proper care and handling of all livestock, at all stages of their life. Over the past several years, LMA has provided our market members with a variety of written and visual materials on appropriate handling.

The latest is “Focal Point: An Auction Market Beef Quality Assurance Guide,” produced by LMA in cooperation with NCBA’s Beef Quality Assurance Program. LMA provided free copies of this DVD to its member and non-member markets across the country.  LMA is currently working on a comprehensive assessment/certification program on animal handling, for market owners and employees.

We immediately requested a meeting with HSUS officials when we learned of the materials they furnished to the Secretary of Agriculture. Apparently, HSUS is not interested in having a meeting to discuss their findings with us, since they scheduled a news conference for May 7, prior to responding to our request.

We intend to work immediately with the businesses where the improper handling reportedly occurred, as soon as they are specifically identified.  We presume this will happen at the HSUS news conference, because they have not shared that information with us or the Secretary.

HSUS admitted, in their letter to Secretary Schafer, that those filming the reported mishandling observed and did nothing about animals in distress, sometimes for several hours. They did so rather than bringing the matter to the attention of the market operator, calling into question their genuine concern for animal welfare.

HSUS is clearly not supportive of the livestock and meat industry. Their advocacy of a meatless diet is well known, totally ignoring the work of the livestock and meat industry in providing wholesome, nutritious meat products to global consumers.

America’s 1,200 livestock marketing businesses annually handle an astounding number of livestock.  In 2006, according to government figures, 35.6 million head of cattle and calves moved through those markets. The overwhelming majority of those markets practice appropriate handling of all livestock moving through their businesses – because proper handling is both a humane, and economic necessity."

Source: Livestock Marketing Association