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Animal Rights Activists Voice Concern Over Farm Bill Amendment

Farm Bill this week, and animal rights groups are saying an amendment to the bill introduced by Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa undermines animal-welfare laws passed in several states, including Michigan.
Farm Bill this week, and animal rights groups are saying an amendment to the bill introduced by Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa undermines animal-welfare laws passed in several states, including Michigan.
July 23, 2013

LANSING, Mich. - Lawmakers in Washington continue to debate the 2013 Farm Bill this week, and animal rights groups are saying an amendment to the bill introduced by Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa undermines animal-welfare laws passed in several states, including Michigan.

According to Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, the King amendment jeopardizes Michigan's ability to enforce animal-welfare laws which mandated larger crates and cages for veal calves, breeding sows and egg-laying hens.

"The King Amendment stipulates that if any state imposes a condition or standard on agricultural production and if that product is used in interstate commerce, and of course veal and pork and eggs are all used in interstate commerce, then those laws would be voided," as Pacelle described the measure.

The Humane Society chief declared that the amendment could also hamper future efforts of states to pass their own farm-animal welfare laws.

"Because agricultural products are so broadly defined, any state law that imposes any standard or condition on agriculture could be vulnerable to a challenge because of Steve King's amendment," he said.

Pacelle also said animal welfare and health have an effect on food safety, and that research shows that animals raised under stress are more likely to develop illnesses that could be passed along to people.

More information is at HumaneSociety.org.

Rob South, Public News Service - MI