Washington – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall issued the following statement regarding a July 7, 2011, agreement between the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to work together toward the enactment of federally mandated egg production standards.
“Cattlemen are rightfully concerned with the recent UEP-HSUS agreement to seek unprecedented federal legislation to mandate on-farm production standards. Cattlemen take very seriously the responsibility to care for their animals. Cattlemen support and actively participate in multiple voluntary, industry led initiatives aimed at ensuring the production of healthy cattle and, ultimately, the safest, highest quality and most nutritious beef. The U.S. beef industry is recognized as a worldwide leader for its proactive and responsible health and wellbeing programs.
“More than two decades ago, long before agenda-driven, well-funded animal rights extremists started spreading fiction as fact, cattlemen adopted voluntary production practice guidelines. Unfortunately, these groups have repeatedly ignored the beef industry’s many cattle care programs, including Beef Quality Assurance program and the Cattle Industry’s Guidelines for the Care and Handling of Cattle. These programs set specific guidelines and provide hands-on training based on decades of practical experience, research and the most up-to-date science and education. They are updated regularly to ensure the use of the newest scientifically sound information and provide flexibility to meet the diversity of the industry.
“The cattle industry’s successful programs were not the result of a government mandate. They were developed by industry for industry to ensure cattlemen constantly improve handling and management techniques. And we will continue working to ensure our standards – not just animal care and handling, but food safety and environmental stewardship as well – are based on the latest knowledge. Unlike the UEP-HSUS agreement, our cattle care programs should never be weakened by being misused or construed as the basis of a regulatory or government mandated program.”