Last week United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States announced an agreement to work together toward the enactment of federally mandated egg production standards. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says cattlemen are rightfully concerned with the recent agreement. He says cattlemen take very seriously the responsibility to care for their animals. Unlike the UEP-HSUS agreement Woodall says cattle care programs should never be weakened by being misused or construed as the basis of a regulatory or government mandated program.
"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," Woodall said. "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."
Woodall says 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. He says the U.S. beef industry is recognized as a worldwide leader for its proactive and responsible health and well-being programs.
Woodall adds 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. Woodall pledged the cattle industry will continue working to ensure its standards, not just animal care and handling, but food safety and environmental stewardship as well, are based on the latest knowledge.