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Tell regulators new ‘humane’ rules don’t fly

i Oct 21st by

The U.S. government wants factory farms that use unanesthetized castration, debeaking, dehorning and prolonged extreme confinement to be able to label their meat as “humane.”

As the Huffington Post puts it, “Up is down, black is white, and this meat was ‘raised with care.'”

Please let the U.S. Department of Agriculture know that the truth actually means something to consumers in this country. We’re in a public comment period for proposed new guidelines from the department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and you can leave your comment here.

Here’s what I sent: “You seriously think meat farms should be able to define ‘humane’ on their own? How can you call yourselves regulators any more? The truth actually means something to consumers and to farms that do bother to treat animals with some humanity. Please do your job.”

For context, here’s part of the toothless new proposed guideline:

“For animal welfare claims, such as ‘Raised with Care’ or ‘Humanely Raised,’ FSIS will only approve a claim if a statement is provided on the label showing ownership and including an explanation of the meaning of the claim for consumers, e.g., ‘TMB Ranch Defines Raised with Care as [explain the meaning of the claim on the label]’ or ‘TMB Ranch Defines Sustainably Raised as [explain meaning of the claim on the label].'”

How is that even regulation? Sounds like somebody’s taking a page from bank regulators, who have allowed financial institutions to do way too much self-regulation.

That kind of laziness hurts consumers and, in this case, would hurt farms that have more humane practices. If factory farms can charge higher prices because they’re pretending to treat animals better than they actually do — and have the blessing of regulators in doing so — it could put the smaller, more humane farmers out of business.

Perdue Farms and Kroger have settled lawsuits about such labeling, and now the goverment wants to make it okay.

One Perdue chicken farmer turned against Perdue, a company he’d done business with, because of its misleading claims, as The New York Times reported.

The farmer invited Compassion in World Farming to make this video to show the truth of these chicken’s miserable lives, which include lameness, filth, raw skin and a lack of sunshine and fresh air: