Michigan Legislators Pushing for Livestock Standards

Proactive approach in regard to livestock standards taken by Michigan legislature.

Published on: Jul 2, 2009

Lawmakers in Ohio aren't the only ones taking a proactive approach to livestock care standards. Michigan State Representatives Mike Simpson and Jeff Mayes introduced a group of bills last month to standardize livestock care requirements by establishing the Department of Agriculture and Agriculture Commission as the sole authority in regulation of livestock health; implementing science-based standards farmers must use by 2020 and more. Two state senators have introduced identical bills. They were referred to the Senate Ag and Bioeconomy Committee.

 

Mayes said these new standards will ensure people think of quality products when they think of Michigan agriculture; however certain animal rights organizations such as Farm Sanctuary say they would be harmful to livestock for many reasons. Farm Sanctuary Director of Legal Campaigns Delcianna Winders says the legislation would create a council dominated by the agricultural industry and codify the procedures that Farm Sanctuary believes are inhumane.

 

Winders says Farm Sanctuary will probably work with the Humane Society of the United States to reach out to people to oppose it. But that could be a challenge since the legislation has the support of more than 15 ag organizations, including Michigan Farm Bureau. Michigan Farm Bureau President Wayne Wood says these bills provide a balanced approach that is good for animals, people, rural communities and the state of Michigan.