Subcommittee Reviews the Welfare of Animals in Agriculture

May 8, 2007

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.

Witness List

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