Monday, November 17, 2008

QLD livestock producers support fine increase

QLD livestock producers support fine increase
November 17, 2008
LIVESTOCK producers in Queensland have supported moves by the State Government to increase fines for animal cruelty and agree with plans to raise the maximum fine to $100,000 for individuals. Primary Industry and Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin’s made the decision to raise the maximum fine last week. AgForce Cattle vice president Grant Maudsley said animal welfare was a core part of management decisions for all producers at all times because it was a huge influence on production efficiency, quality and handling.

yada, yada, yada

“Healthy cattle that are not stressed are the most profitable and it is important that the best outcome from a commercial production basis is achieved during the AAWS consultation,” Mr Maudsle said. Read more here.

The livestock industry is known for asserting that the well-being of an animal can be measured directly and solely by the animals' productivity. However, there is not one animal scientist who agrees with this statement. The scientific literature and my frequent conversations with scientists assures me my statement is not hyperbole. Plus, common sense is violated when producers tell consumers that sows in gestation stalls and birds in battery cages must be happy because they have lots of babies and eggs. The longer industry promotes this untruth, the more it will resemble the cigarette industry to consumers. I say that as a friend to the agriculture industry.

Here is an industry statement that would please me. "To compete in the marketplace livestock producers must adopt methods that are good for welfare in some ways and bad for welfare in others. In order for farmers to utilize practices that are good for animal welfare in all ways, consumers must first show a willingness to pay the added cost at the grocery store. Nothing would please farmers more than the opportunity to provide this extra service to consumers and the animals."

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