For a More Humane Treatment of Livestock Animals

Animal rights activists have all the reasons to raise and condemn brutality issues involving livestock animals. This is a common subject of many arguments they raise against farmers and other producers of such animals, which are raised and bred for human consumption. In 2003, California-based Ward Egg Ranch untimely killed up to 30,000 hens because the animals were no longer productive. The hens were thrown into wood chippers. This is just one of the many issues raised by activists.

In the same year, Cypress Foods started feeling the crunch of the economy. The result: it decided not to feed more than a million of its farm chickens in Georgia and Florida for up to two weeks. In that action, more than 20,000 of those birds perished and about 180,000 were euthanized. These cases are obviously extreme due to the cruelty involved. However, we should all realize that maltreatment of livestock animals in agricultural farms is not unusual at all. The fact is that it is a daily occurrence.

Broiler chickens are bred and fed with growth hormones so they would develop extraordinarily larger breasts and thighs. Such a practice is cited for the production of plumper chickens, which in turn translate to greater profits for farm producers. However, there is still cruelty to the practice because the involved birds grow much heavier that their own bones are usually not able to support them. In other words, this action makes life more unbearable and harder for those livestock animals.

Turkeys are given growth hormones so they could be butchered before they turn a year old. Pigs often are bred in overcrowded pens, making them fight with each other and possibly get untimely deaths. Pregnant sows are confined in special gestation crates, where they are prevented from turning around and lying down comfortably. Most cows do not experience getting out of barns where they are literally kept for all of their lives. Many livestock animals die amid natural disasters, heat waves, and other occurrences that are further aggravated by lack of farms’ emergency measures and facilities.

The Humane Farm Animal Care has finally decided to rise above the occasion by launching a labeling program for livestock products. Meat, egg, poultry, and dairy products are now given ‘Certified Humane Raised and Handled’ labels to ensure consumers and animal rights advocates that livestock raising adheres to objective, precise, and humane standards.

To be able to obtain the Certified Humane label on livestock products, processors and producers are required to: 1) provide appropriate nutrition to animals as well as access to fresh, clean water all the time; 2) refrain from using livestock feeds that contain artificial hormones and antibiotics that abnormally speed growth; 3) take proper disease prevention actions; 4) provide spacious shelter to animals; and 5) comply with American Meat Institute Standards especially for slaughtering.

The labeling program has been effectively helping improve lives of livestock farm animals. Thus, our agricultural and food industries are now helping ensure that livestock animals are receiving humane treatment even if they need to be butchered for food consumption of consumers.


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