Congressmen Adrian Smith (Neb.) and Joe Courtney (Conn.) hosted a briefing with animal agriculture representatives for congressional staff about their concerns with legislation introduced in the House that would codify an agreement between the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP). H.R. 3798 mandates production practices for the egg industry, particularly regarding housing and treatment standards.
A coalition of agricultural organizations working to stop the legislation hosted the briefing Wednesday. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), the Egg Farmers of America, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Milk Producers Federation, the American Sheep Industry Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation are coalition members.
"My biggest concern with H.R. 3798 is that outside groups with no knowledge of the industry will be dictating my livelihood and potentially compromising the welfare of my livestock," J.D. Alexander, NCBA president said. "This legislation creates a slippery slope. Today, its egg farmers but tomorrow it could be any other segment of animal agriculture and we're not going to let that happen."
Smith said science must be the driving force behind public policy decisions and that "modernized health and nutrition products are the result of generations of investment and research into raising high quality animals."
Reprinted in part from Agri-Pulse Communications