be assumed based only on the absence of disease or productivity outcomes.
Intensive confinement (e.g. gestation crates for swine, battery cages for
laying hens) often so severely restricts movement and natural behaviors,
such as the ability to walk or lie on natural materials, having enough
floor space to move with some freedom, and rooting for pigs, that it
increases the likelihood that the animals suffer severe distress.
Good animal welfare can also help to protect the safety of our nation's
food supply. Scientists have long recognized that food safety is linked to
the health of the animals that produce the meat, dairy, and egg products
that we eat. In fact, scientists have found modern intensive confinement
production systems can be stressful for food animals, and that stress can
increase pathogen shedding in animals.
Life in rural America has long been challenged by persistent poverty.
The causes are many, but among them is the lack of economic diversity in
rural economies. Workers have few options in the event of a plant closure
or other dislocation, and unemployment rates are high. Consequently, IFAP
is frequently considered an attractive new source of economic opportunity
by local economic development officials, but with this transition comes
significant change including public health threats.
The industrialization of American agriculture has transformed the
character of agriculture itself and, in so doing, the face of rural
America. The family-owned farm producing a diverse mix of crops and food
animals is largely gone as an economic entity, replaced by ever-larger
operations producing just one animal species, or growing just one crop, and
many rural communities have fared poorly.
As the food animal industry shifted to a system of captive supply
transactions controlled by production contracts, economic power shifted
from farmers to livestock processors or so-called integrators. Farmers
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Related medicine technology :1
|SOURCE Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production|
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved
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