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Police Your Own

To protect animal ag, you must enforce care standards

If you’ve seen the latest dairy video expose by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA, for short), you were probably sickened. The clips showed wet manure-covered dairy cattle filmed on a Pennsylvania farm.


Of course, PETA maxed out the publicity value by broadcasting it, trumpeting animal abuse as justification for consumers to go vegan – no meat or dairy products.


It didn’t matter whether the animals were subjected to inadvertent abuse or intentional meanness. As always, the actions of a few mar the image and reputation of many. The case gave PETA and every other animal rights organization fresh ammo for their fight.


Your obligation is . . .


When you see someone committing a crime, what are you supposed to do? Report it to the sheriff, constable or law enforcement. Right – unless maybe the perpetrator is a friend. But that’s a whole different issue.


When someone dumps trash on your roadside or property, you’re incensed. It diminishes your property’s perceived value and means someone will have to take time to clean it up.


Fortunately, agriculture has multiple means of addressing inhumane animal care.


The veal industry learned long ago that they had to fix the perceived problem. They developed a program that certified producers following the standards. Those that didn’t were not certified.


That process has been adopted for other animal species. Some developed into market incentive premiums.


While milk inspectors may not have legal authority to recommend changes, state ag departments and even cooperatives can exert substantial influence.


Today, there’s too much at stake to let even infrequent animal abuses continue – especially when PETA and other groups are pushing consumer referendums aiming at pinching animal agriculture. 


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