Humane animal treatment: Look again
Regarding the May 5 Commentary by Joshua Balk (of the Humane Society of the United States), “Humane animal treatment makes good business sense”: I would like to highlight the US Department of Agriculture’s commitment to humane handling. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) works to prevent the suffering of animals by enforcing the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act at federally inspected establishments nationwide.
Humane handling has increasingly become an important issue to the American public, and rightly so. As FSIS’s recently appointed humane handling enforcement coordinator, I am working to ensure that a systematic approach to humane handling becomes universal in the establishments we regulate. Since 2008, we have increased the number of slaughter establishments that use a systematic approach from 28 percent to 58 percent.
To keep this momentum going, the agency has released a Compliance Guide for a Systematic Approach to Humane Handling of Livestock. As more establishments adopt these practices, the treatment of animals will be more consistent across the nation. In addition, the agency has equipped inspectors and veterinarians with practical training to improve the enforcement of humane handling requirements at slaughter establishments across the country.
FSIS believes that humane treatment of animals for food is legally and ethically necessary and that these animals must be treated with respect prior to arriving at our dinner tables.
Lucy Anthenill, DVM, PhD
Humane Handling Enforcement Coordinator
USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service
I deplore animal cruelty and support animal welfare organizations, but this piece struck me as a propaganda front for extreme animal rights advocates.
The Humane Society of the United States is an animal rights lobbying organization that the majority of Americans mistake for an umbrella group for local humane societies or as the society for protection of children and animals. It is neither. I have found that it is more closely aligned with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which effectively seeks to end all human use of animals in any form.
Vincent J. Landis