Grandin says USDA has paid little attention to the animal welfare implications of this proposal.
A letter recently written to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack by animal welfare expert, Temple Grandin, suggests the well-being of livestock could be threatened if a proposed rule to require packers to market and sell livestock through dealers is implemented.
Grandin’s letter addressed the logistical implications of the USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) proposed federal rule: “Implementation of Regulations Required Under Title XI of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008; Conduct in Violation of the Act.” As proposed, the rule suggests prohibiting packers from “purchasing, acquiring or receiving swine or livestock from another packer or packer affiliated company.”
“I urge you to consider this rule from an animal welfare perspective before you finalize it,” wrote Grandin.
The letter pointed out that integrated beef-processing companies that own feedlots or production facilities would, for example, be required to ship cattle to either their own plant or to an independent dealer, perhaps hundreds of miles away, rather than selling to another company’s packing plant that could be in the same proximity of the feedlot or ranch.