AMI Animal Welfare Committee Briefs Capitol Hill During D.C. Meeting This Week

Thursday, February 24, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

AMI’s Animal Welfare Committee this week briefed Capitol Hill staffers as part an effort to educate policymakers about regulatory requirements, voluntary initiatives and progress in animal handling.  The briefing was planned in connection with the committee’s annual winter meeting. 

AMI’s Animal Welfare Committee hosted a Capitol Hill Staff Briefing February 23 in Washington, DC, in connection with the committee’s annual winter meeting.  The Committee posed for a photo in the House Agriculture Committee Hearing Room.  

Committee Chairman Len Huskey, director of animal welfare at JBS, offered attendees an overview of the Institute’s animal welfare initiatives, including its 20-year-old partnership with Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal behavior at Colorado State University and its decision to treat animal welfare as a non-competitive issue.

Grandin delivered a lively overview of AMI’s animal welfare audit and detailed the significant improvements she has made in animal welfare in the last few decades. She said that 1999 was the “tipping point” when major customers like McDonald’s began requiring that their suppliers use the AMI guidelines and audit.

Former Committee Chairs Mike Siemens, Ph.D, director of animal welfare at Cargill, and Glee Goodner, corporate manager of animal welfare at Hormel Foods, discussed the industry’s use of remote video auditing, the relationship between good animal welfare and meat quality and some of the challenges on the horizon.

An American Veterinary Medical Association staff member who attended the briefing blogged about the experience:  http://www.externsonthehill.com/?p=359.

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