Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
Subcommittee Reviews the Welfare of Animals in Agriculture
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Leonard Boswell, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry, held a hearing to discuss the welfare of animals in agriculture.
The subcommittee heard testimony from various representatives from animal health groups, the animal agriculture industry and animal welfare organizations about the status of animal welfare in American agriculture, steps that animal agriculture producers have implemented to improve animal welfare, and new proposals related to these issues.
"The Committee gained insight not only on the issues facing animal welfare but also the solutions that industry is working through to ensure that we have a safe, plentiful, and affordable food supply," Chairman Boswell said. "It's evident that livestock producers are vigorously addressing animal welfare issues."
"Today's hearing demonstrated that the animal agriculture industry is committed to ensuring the humane treatment of animals in its care. Farmers and ranchers, not activists, should be dictating animal husbandry practices. Passing legislation based solely on emotion goes against the Committee's responsibility to use science and best management practices that are designed to improve animal welfare practices," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Robin Hayes.
Witness testimony is available on the Committee website. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.
The Honorable Charlie Stenholm, Olsson, Frank, and Weeda, P.C., Washington, D.C.
Mr. Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO, The Humane Society of the United States, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Gail C. Golab, PhD, DVM, Associate Director, Animal Welfare, American Veterinary Medical Association, Schaumburg, Illinois
Mr. Steven L. Leary, DVM, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Veterinary Affairs, Director of Comparative Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Mr. Gene Gregory, President, United Egg Producers, Alpharetta, Georgia
Mr. Guillermo Gonzalez, Sonoma Foie Gras, on behalf of Artisan Farmers Alliance, Sonoma, California
Mr. David Martosko, Center for Consumer Freedom, Washington, D.C.
Mr. Gene Baur, President, Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, New York
Mr. Paxton Ramsey, National CattlemenÆs Beef Association, Devers, Texas
Ms. Barbara Determan, National Pork Producers Council, Early, Iowa
Ms. Leslie Vagneur Lange, American Quarter Horse Association, Greeley, Colorado
Ms. Karen Jordan, DVM, National Milk Producers Federation, Siler City, North Carolina