Animal Welfare Approved, the nationally recognized certification program and food label, is pleased to announce the selected projects for the 2010 Good Husbandry Grants cycle. This cycle’s funding priorities include genetics, outdoor access, and welfare improvements in the slaughter process. Twenty-eight projects in 14 states were awarded funding.
Selected projects include mobile housing for pigs, sheep and poultry, and stunning equipment for humane slaughter. A number of proposals were funded to incorporate breeding stock that is better suited to pasture-based management. “Choosing from among the many worthy proposals was a difficult task,” remarked Program Director Andrew Gunther. “But we are confident that the projects that have been selected for funding will contribute to positive developments in high-welfare pasture-based farming.”
People who eat meat are putting aside their cookbooks to explore the very beginning of meat preparation—slaughtering and butchering. OregonLive.com’s recent article “Conscious Carnivores, Ethical Butchers are Changing Food Culture” is a great look at the burgeoning movement to get really hands-on with your meat. People are signing up in droves to learn to butcher meat themselves and to learn about the slaughter process so that they can be assured their meat really comes from humanely raised animals. Of course, this is music to our ears—AWA has long advocated for the highest birth-to-slaughter standards and believes people should be well-educated about every step of the production process. Thoroughly knowing how meat gets from farm to table is the responsibility of everyone who enjoys a grassfed hamburger or pastured bacon.
A new report by the United Nations has added credence to the view that sustainable grazing and pasture management can significantly contribute to the fight against global climate change. Entitled, "Review on Evidence on Dryland Pastoral Systems and Climate Change," this paper offers much-needed discussion about the role that pasture can play in our efforts to mitigate carbon emissions and preserve these important carbon-sequestering ecosystems.
Pasturelands are under increasing pressure from development, salinization, overgrazing and transition to annual cropping for grain production (much of which goes to livestock feed). However, if properly managed they represent a carbon sink that could be even greater than forests.
Tyson Foods’ recent agreement to settle a lawsuit for falsely advertising its “raised without antibiotics” chicken brand has received limited media coverage – no doubt to the relief of the company’s boardroom. And with an annual turnover of nearly $27 billion, they probably won’t sweat too much over the $5 million that the company must now shell out as compensation to unhappy customers.
In falsely marketing its chicken meat as produced from birds “raised without antibiotics” while still feeding them antibiotics, Tyson Foods was shamelessly exploiting the growing public concern over the excessive use of antibiotics in industrial farming, particularly in the form of non-therapeuticgrowth promoters.
But while the intensive meat industry continues to vigorously oppose any attempts to reduce antibiotic use in farming, the irony is that Tyson Foods may well have inadvertently shot itself in the foot by publicly admitting that the overuse of certain antibiotics in industrial farming really is a threat to human health.