Most NOFA members automatically support strong animal welfare standards. Many of us keep poultry or livestock and track their health and condition as carefully as we might that of our children or grandchildren.
But big changes are happening in the world of animal welfare and we need to be up to date on them.
- First off, important, tighter changes in organic standards have been proposed. As organic producers, we need to understand them and help them be-come the best standards for us all.
- Second, a number of the major poultry and livestock brands are voluntarily abandoning cages, crates and antibiotics in favor of pasture, free-ranging, and probiotics
- Third, a Massachusetts ballot initiative in November calls for a vote on livestock standards for cows, pigs and chickens that could well ban Massachu-setts sales of some animal products produced in other states and shipped here for sale in our markets.
In this issue we look at the details of some of these proposals, examine how they are changing agriculture, and what the future is likely to require of us. We look at two farms that are successfully meeting high animal care standards while maintaining farm viability. We look at the animal care suggestions of world-class animal handlers, read a short history of the animal care movement in America, and consider the thoughts of various people on the topic of what a world without livestock might look like.
We hope it gets you thinking and acting on your own values!