WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2011) – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Bill Donald criticized legislation introduced by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) that would codify an agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers establishing federally mandated egg production practices. Donald said the legislation would set a dangerous precedent for allowing the federal government to dictate on-farm production practices and disregards decades of work the cattle industry has undertaken to develop science-based, voluntary animal care programs. Donald issued the following statement:
“America’s farm and ranch families are committed to raising healthy animals, which are the foundation of a safe, wholesome food supply. Decades ago, our farmers and ranchers voluntarily took it upon themselves to work with veterinarians, animal health specialists, university researchers and with each other to develop animal care practices and guidelines. That is why the programs have been so successful, certainly not because politicians in Washington, D.C., mandated them.
“This legislation, while currently only affecting egg producers, could set a dangerous precedent to allow government bureaucrats in Washington to mandate how farmers and ranchers across the nation raise and care for their animals. This ill-conceived legislation could set the model for a one-size-fits-all approach to cattle production. Unfortunately, one-size-fits all doesn’t work with cattle producers, who are in diverse settings in all 50 states. This legislation won’t improve animal health or care and will result in further costly and burdensome regulations being placed on America’s food producers.
“America’s cattle producers work day in and day out, in extreme weather and at all hours of the day and night to ensure your family and families around the world have a safe, wholesome and consistent supply of beef. Instead of mandating production practices and increasing regulatory burdens on America’s farmers and ranchers, we urge members of Congress to reject this legislation and to work with food producers to empower and enable them to continue raising the healthiest, safest and most wholesome food supply in the world.”