Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's going on?

A copy of an editorial from The Beef Site on welfare for farm and share what you think...

Editorial: Animal Welfare Questioned?

Animal welfare was highlighted at the Worldwide Food Expo, with Temple Grandin addressing the issue of vigilance regarding welfare on farm and in the slaughterhouse. This comes as a report in the US shows abuse on infant veal calves, which has shocked the industry.

A Canadian MP in now fighting for animal welfare rights in transit. Currently ruminants can be confined up to 52 hours without food or water. Alexandra Mendes, Quebec MP is asking for this to be lowered to 12 hours.

In the US, a coalition of food and consumer groups, backed by McDonald's Corp, the nation's largest restaurant user of beef, has asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban the practice of feeding poultry litter to cattle. The group believes this practice increases the risk of cattle becoming infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

In Northern Ireland beef prices paid by some processors have increased, however, there is still a difference of 33 pence a kilo between NI and mainland UK prices. The National Beef Association has said that they have tried numerous methods to increase income to beef farmers in NI, however, plans are thwarted by processors and the government. Ulster Farmers' Union recently met with Sainsburys to highlight the difficulties faced in the NI beef industry.

With the past few disastrous months for the Australian beef industry, it is little surprise, that AAco, Australia's largest cattle company has said that they do not expect any significant earnings this financial year. The company says each one per cent fall in AAco's herd valuation costs it A$4 million.

Charlotte Johnston

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