ASI Responds to Article on MARC Practices
The federal Agriculture Department is looking into recent media reports over controversial animal welfare conditions at its U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Nebraska, it said on Jan. 22.
The agency said in a statement that it was reviewing additional improvements in its animal science research, including in improving animal well-being. The New York Times reported on Jan. 19 that the Nebraska research facility had failed to follow basic animal welfare standards when conducting decades of research.
The research projects have ranged from making lamb chops bigger, pork loins less fatty and helping American livestock farmers fight animal diseases, the Times reported.
0I0n the process, according to the report, the center has put these animals into cruel and dangerous conditions and has operated outside of the federal Animal Welfare Act, which does not cover farm animals used in research.
ASI issued its own statement in the aftermath of the article.
“ASI believes that proper animal care is necessary and expected at all animal research facilities. As was noted in the New York Times article, research efforts at the USDA Meat Animal Research Center have contributed to important scientific advancements over the years. The article cites allegations of deficiencies and concerns at MARC and ASI expects USDA to address them.
“Sheep producers work hard every day to assure that their animals receive proper care. ASI provides educational materials designed to help sheep producers to provide appropriate animal care and good animal husbandry.”