Animal welfare hot topic at Kansas Livestock Association convention

Moan on the range: Multiple speakers at the Kansas Livestock Association convention recently addressed public relations injuries to the livestock industry, thanks to animal welfare groups and others. The good news is that speakers acknowledged that the industry would fair better in the public eye if it did a better job in its animal handling — including the two-legged animals on the front lines of processing. Now that would be a step in the right direction. (High Plains Journal)

2 Responsesto “Animal welfare hot topic at Kansas Livestock Association convention”

  1. It is good to see the big ag groups finally recognizing that these are important issues. This is old news to those of us who have small family farms where we pasture our livestock. Treating our animals humanely is a cornerstone to what we do which grew out of our own desire to have meat from humanely, organically raised animals for our family to eat. We discovered we were good at it and gradually grew from there but we have never lost, nor will we ever lose, our humane treatment of our animals.


    Walter Jeffries
    Sugar Mountain Farm, LLC
    Orange, Vermont

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  2. Joe says:

    If you read the High Plains article, you realize the push-back tactics.  The emphasis is on HSUS and PETA.  Almost no discussion of what ordinary people think, when many ordinary people are on board with the humane handling issues.   The industry is treating this as a public relations problem, not a systemic problem.  And to present the poor little beef industry as being outspent and overwhelmed by the big bad nasty animal lover zealots, as at least one speaker did, is beyond ludicrous.  Still, if you don’t know the industry, perhaps they can sell that to some readers, especially in the West. 

    I love the mention of the humane treatment issues for two-legged animals.  An industry that has an annual labor turnover rate approaching 100% has a very real issue to face.  Any risk manager worth their salt should be staying up late worrying about this.  The only saving grace for the industry is that these are largely immigrants, not “real” Americans, so perhaps we will ignore the issue.

    Anyways, what they are really worried about is losing market share.  And small local and regional slaughterhouses are working deeper into the winter than we have for a while.  Where the locker beef season used to fall off after Xmas, it is still going strong in in the mid-Atlantic area, as is pork processing as well.  Part of it is the economy, part of it is the Locavore movement.  Either way, hopefully it hurts them the only place they care – the bottom line.