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Legislative Roundtable seeks favorable environment for livestock

by 5m Editor
12 January 2007, at 9:01am

ILLINOIS - Along with existing concerns about rising feed grain prices and environmental regulation, livestock producers face a growing threat of federal policies spurred by animal rights activists and consumer perceptions.

The Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable last week opposed “efforts to limit animal agriculture production and handling practices.” Members opposed a congressional equine slaughter ban and any effort to classify manure as a hazardous material under federal environmental “Superfund” law.

Illinois Pork Producers Association President Gary Asay noted the U.S. House last fall passed a horse slaughter ban, amid emotional debate that forced many farm state lawmakers to set aside concerns about the action’s potential impact on future livestock activity. The lame duck Senate did not act on the equine measure, but it is expected to resurface this session.

“This is a step we don’t like to see,” he told FarmWeek.

Further, Arizona voters in November passed a ballot initiative requiring larger sow gestation stalls, following a similar 2004 Florida ballot measure, and Asay is concerned Illinois could be a “target” for future efforts.

Jim Wiesemeyer, Informa Economics vice president for policy and trade, also predicts a greater thrust toward animal welfare in 2007 farm bill debate similar to socially driven re­ ­ ­ strictions imposed on European livestock producers.

Source: FarmWeek

5m Editor