USDA To Release Summary Of Animal Welfare Issues

January 08, 1998

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Experts in 14 areas of animal welfare and animal health have compiled a comprehensive anthology of discussion papers for the U.S. Department of Agriculture detailing how animals are raised and cared for on the nation's farms.

"The discussion papers are helpful in answering criticisms from animal protectionists about different practices used in animal production," says Lowell Wilson, Penn State professor of animal science, who co-wrote the anthology's papers on special-fed veal and animal exhibits, fairs and shows. "In addition, the papers should help answer questions from the general public about how animals are raised on the modern farm."

The papers also address management practices that need to be researched further or perhaps changed to enhance animal well-being, ethics of animal production systems and the quality or wholesomeness of animal products.

The publication includes sections on care and maintenance of fish in commercial aquaculture; beef, dairy, equine production and performance; fur farming; handling of crippled or nonambulatory livestock; hunting and conservation issues; poultry; rabbits; sheep; and goats, swine and veal. There is an additional section addressing animal exhibits, shows and fairs.

Each paper is authored or co-authored by acknowledged experts in the field. For example, the section on the handling of crippled or nonambulatory animals was written by Temple Grandin, a renowned animal scientist from Colorado State University, who is an authority on animal handling and welfare issues.

Each discussion paper also lists literature citations and suggested readings. The lists include not only scientific publications for specific animal production practices, but also books and articles that criticize specific animal production practices. "An overview of the argument for and against vegetarianism is presented within one of the more comprehensive papers," Wilson says.

"The purpose of the publication is to give cooperative extension personnel across the country a resource from which to draw information to answer questions or provide advice on animal welfare issues," Wilson explains.

To receive a copy of the compendium, write the Animal Welfare Information Center, USDA/National Agricultural Library, 1301 Baltimore Boulevard, Beltsville, MD 20705-2351, or call (301) 504-6212.

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EDITORS: For more information, contact Lowell Wilson at 814-863-3659 or John Wall John_Wall@agcs.cas.psu.edu 814-863-2719 814-865-1068 fax

Last Updated March 19, 2009