Dear Mr. President, please accept my sincere regards on behalf of CatttleMag. I wish to put forth our recent findings on feedlots. Sir, as you know, we have a large cattle population that is of immense importance to our economy. We are also the world's largest consumers of dairy products.The cattle products are vital to our food habits, the diary and meat products are consumed internally as well as exported and cattle are pivotal to our thriving leather business. The above only strengthen the fact that the US internal production of dairy is not enough and if we can utilize our potential, the industry can generate economical prosperity and employment.The US is the world’s largest consumer of dairy products. The US is also the largest importer of dairy products. A look into the consumption pattern shows a huge domestic demand for cattle products. The lack of cattle feedlots and their improper distribution across the country is a logistical challenge and an environmental hazard. Added to these are reports that suggest improper material management at the cattle feedlots causing serious environmental concerns. Unfortunately, these bright lights harbor darkness beneath them. The cattle feedlots that cater to the country are also a major health concern. Improper handling of livestock, poor slaughtering, and waste and carcass management has given rise to obnoxious fumes that not only smell bad but also have adverse respiratory implications. This is amid reports that in the race to have higher production, cattle are allowed to feed on grass for just 6 to 8 months. Their life at the cattle feedlots is spent feeding on grains, with loads of antibiotics, chemicals and hormones to promote unnatural growth over the next 8 to 12 months. This fattening on unnatural grain and supplemental protein diet causes of two serious digestive disorders found in feedlot-bred cattle. These call for immediate legislative actions so that the animals are treated ethically and environmental standards maintained in our culinary and economic quests
Sir, cattle feedlots are crucial to successful cattle health and associated economy management. Cattle feedlots:
1. Minimize streamline handling of cattle and reduce stress on both cattle and the workers,
2. Environmental balance is maintained,
3. Cattle feed and feeding habits are standardized,
4. Ensures scientific waste management, and
5. Ensures an efficient and profitable operation
But the above has to be achieved within scientific standards of the environment and should confirm to ethical standards of treatment to animals. This is even more important after recent revelations that the industry has also failed to implement any type of welfare audit system for cattle operations and no federal laws protect the welfare of beef cattle in the U.S., other than the Humane Method of Slaughter Act. There should be monitoring of the cattle feed in the feedlots to check use of growth promoting medications that not only sicken the cattle but also put human health at risk on consumption of dairy products and meat of these cattle.
BACKGROUND / NARRATION
Since 1980, US has been the single largest importer of dairy products from New Zealand, valued at over $1000 million in 2004 alone. Till 2003, US has been the largest consumer of cheese and butter and ranked among the highest in overall consumption of dairy products. (U.S. Dairy at a New Crossroads in a Global Setting1). Kansas ranks third in the value of live animals and meat exported to other countries at $343.2 million (CJOnline2).
A recent study suggests that in spite of the pivotal role of cattle in the economy, the cattle industry has failed to maintain meaningful standards for the care of beef cattle (Summary of Scientific Evidence Illustrates the Life of Cattle 3). It is indeed unfortunate. And that makes formulation of new policies essential. It must be appreciated by all concerned that an industry takes considerable time to lose its position and relevance. But once that happens, it will take even longer to regain the position.
In the backdrop of a global economy, our present position & success and the outlook of our counterparts, it is essential that we look at the reasons for the collective success, find our weaknesses and