The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed livestock procurement rule, if finalised, would have major animal welfare consequences, said Colorado State University Professor Temple Grandin, Ph.D., in a guest column published on the Huffington Post.
Grandin notes that as proposed, the rule would prohibit meat packers from purchasing, acquiring or receiving swine or cattle from another packer or packer-affiliated company, which means additional shipping time for animals.
Adding shipping time was stressful to livestock and stands to increase injury and potential death losses, particularly among pigs because they are more subject to transport stress, Grandin went on. Companies that don't want to ship the livestock the additional distance would be forced to sell their livestock to independent dealers, who serve as middle-men, to facilitate transactions. This also would present unnecessary animal welfare risks, because the dealers likely would not have the animal handling programs and standards in place that have become the standards among production and processing facilities, Grandin wrote.
She also expressed concern that the proposed rule would complicate and compromise the effectiveness of many established animal welfare-certification programs by requiring another level of paperwork and recordkeeping to track the additional transactions and premiums paid to producers for higher quality or niche raised animals.
Source: AMI - American Meat Institute