Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday evening filled the amendment tree of the farm bill – leaving a lot for the Senate to sift through. However – Reid says the farm bill is too important to just walk away from it as it affects the lives of millions of people. One amendment was to reform the current sugar policy – but Reid tabled that. Another amendment – by California Senator Dianne Feinstein with support of 12 other senators – would set federal standards for how egg-laying hens should be treated and how eggs should be labeled.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee Chairman Tom Talbot says Feinstein’s amendment would take animal care out of the hands of experts and place it in control of the government. Throughout changes in the beef community in years past – Talbot says the commitment to raising healthy cattle and providing animals with the best care possible hasn’t changed. He says the egg legislation opens up Pandora’s Box on Capitol Hill – and though it currently applies to the egg industry – it’s not a far stretch to see it applied to all animal ag.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman looks at it from a consumer standpoint. Stallman notes conventionally produced eggs represent more than 90-percent of eggs purchased by consumers and farmers who produce for these markets are already providing consumers a marketplace choice by producing their eggs in a variety of housing systems. He says eliminating conventionally produced eggs would raise the price for everyone – denying cost-conscious consumers the opportunity to purchase eggs that are humanely produced and more affordable. Stallman reiterates the people who work with farm animals keep their responsibility to raise healthy animals as their top priority. He says this legislation creates a precedent for pointless federal government intrusion on all livestock and poultry farms across the country. Stallman and Talbot urge all senators to reject the amendment.
Source: NAFB News Service