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- January 1, 2007 - December 31, 2007
has contribution area
has academic priority
has USDA Area
- Animal Welfare Reform
- Enhance Economic Opportunities for Agricultural Producer
- Enhance Protection and Safety of Agriculture and Food Supply
- Improve Nutrition and Health
- Protect and Enhance Natural Resource Base and Environment
- Support Increased Economic Opportunities and Improved Quality of Life in Rural America
impact statement impact
- The impact of this project will be far reaching and will probably require significant changes in animal agriculture in the coming years. One example, already accepted by the industry, is the reduction in the number of egg-laying birds per cage, i.e., greater square footage for each animal. Another involves increases in the size of gestation cages. The changes being proposed are not inconsequential changes with both management and economic implications. Many kosher and halal processors will also have to make significant investments to meet these new requirements, although both upright and upside down slaughter have been recognized. A tentative agreement on religious slaughter issues has been negotiated with the fervently Orthodox Jewish community.
impact statement issue
- Animal welfare in modern agriculture has come under attack. Some charges are relevant; many are not. However, until animal agriculture takes a strong leadership position in dealing with animal welfare issues, they leave themselves open to strong attacks by groups whose agenda often includes the elimination of all animal agriculture. The supermarkets and chain restaurants realized that this would be a continuing problem unless a stronger approach was initiated, so they have put together a committee of scientists to review guidelines and work with production agriculture to come up with a third party auditable system for dealing with animal welfare.
impact statement response
- The FMI/NCCR Animal Welfare Committee has been working with production agriculture to create scientifically defensible guidelines. Where the data is not clear, further research is recommended and is being monitored. One area of great success has been in changing molting practices with egg layers -- the industry did intensive research to determine that this important production process could take place without total feed and water withdrawl. At the same time an audit system and the training of auditors is being developed. The unique contribution of this Cornell faculty member has been in undertaking to deal with kosher and halal slaughter. Working with Dr. Temple Grandin, an expert on animal handling and slaughter, he has written a kosher/halal slaughter guideline based on the American Meat Institute guidelines, that religious slaughter be done properly in an upright position. These guidelines have been published in the IFT Religious and Ethnic Foods Division Newsletter and widely circulated in the religious community. In addition this committee has tackled the issue of pre-slaughter handling of animals for religious slaughter – an issue that has generated a great deal of controversy in the Orthodox Jewish community. These standards are now on the FMI/NCCR web page. A subsequent modified paper, including discussion of problems with the UK Farm Animal Welfare Committee's stand on religious slaughter has been prepared. Recent efforts following the release of the PETA undercover video have required modifications of the guidelines to permit the use of the upside down type of pen for those circumstances where the rabbis insist this is necessary. Recent requests have included an invitation to defend religious slaughter from the Muslim Council of Britain and the staring of a new course on Animal Welfare.
impact statement summary
- This is a major national attempt to raise the level of animal welfare compliance in animal agriculture both at the production and slaughter level.
Other private funding
- Food Marketing Institute\nNational Council of Chain Restaurants\nMuslim Council of Britain
- American Meat Institute; Washington, DC Partner (American Meat Institute)
- Brown-Rosen, Karen Researcher
- Food Marketing Institute; Washington, DC Partner (Food Marketing Institute)
- Gradin, Temple Researcher
- Muslim Council of Britain; London, UK Partner (Muslim Council of Britain)
- National Council of Chain Restaurants; Washington, DC Partner (National Council of Chain Restaurants)
- Riley, Janet Researcher
- Shafi, Shuja Researcher
- Applied Research
- Regenstein, Joe Mac Cornell Faculty Member
USDA area other
- Animal Welfare Reform