Do animals raised for food live in bad conditions? Shana Beattie can answer this question. Shana and her husband, Bart, run a family farm in Sumner, Nebraska, where they raise roughly 8 million pounds of pork annually, which can feed at least 40,000 Americans for a year. To find out more about Shana and her family farm, click here.
- Do animals raised for meat live in inhumane conditions?
- Healthy, content animals are simply good business for farmers and the well-being of their animals is a very high priority. Farmers and ranchers are constantly exploring new ways to raise their animals in the best way. Many participate in stewardship and certification programs that ensure the good care of their animals, according to the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
- All production systems have advantages and disadvantages, but all have been designed with the health and well-being of animals and humans in mind. Housing protects animals from predators, disease and bad weather. Housing also makes reproduction and birth less stressful, protects young animals and makes it easier to care for healthy and sick animals. Modern animal housing is well ventilated, warm, well lit, clean and scientifically designed to meet specific needs for temperature, light, water and food, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. On a well-run farm or ranch, the animals’ well-being is a part of all considerations.
- Are animals treated compassionately at processing plants?
- In 1978, Congress enacted a law that protects animals at the time they are harvested or slaughtered. The law requires federal USDA inspectors, who are always present in meat plants, to monitor livestock treatment and ensure compliance with key federal requirements like providing access to water at all times and providing food if livestock are at a plant more than 24 hours.
- The law states livestock may not be handled in a way that causes pain and must be made numb to pain before processing. Oversight and strong penalties for violations help ensure humane treatment of the animals.
- Why are chickens kept in small cages?
- The modern cage production system has eliminated most diseases, provides environmentally controlled housing and protection from predators. Science-based industry standards in the United Egg Producers Certified program today provide sufficient cage space for each hen. The birds can stand comfortably, turn around, lie down, groom and stretch their wings.
- According to the United Egg Producers (UEP), research has proven that modern cage systems allow for cleaner, safer eggs with lower shell bacteria levels than free-range systems. UEP research shows that hens in modern cages do not have any greater levels of stress than free-range hens.
- The USDA, FDA, Federal Trade Commission, Food Marketing Institute and National Council of Chain Restaurants all recognize and approve the modern cage certification program.
- Why are cattle grown in feedlots rather than green pastures?
- Nearly all beef cattle, whether raised organically or conventionally, spend the majority of their lives in pastures eating grass.
- When mature, cattle are sold or moved to feedlots where they typically spend 4-6 months. Feedlots allow ranchers to raise beef more efficiently with fewer natural resources like land, feed and water. Feedlot cattle live in fenced areas that give them plenty of food, fresh water and room to move around. Veterinarians, nutritionists and cattlemen work together to look after each animal every day, according to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association.