U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) provided the following response to USA Today’s editorial board request for an opposing view regarding the chicken and egg industry that ran Wednesday evening, March 25.
USPOULTRY agrees chickens and other animals raised for food should be treated humanely while meeting the safest food standards for consumers. Our industry embraces animal welfare practices and sustainable production concepts that are guided by science.
The egg industry has been phasing from caged housing to newer systems that meet many consumer’s demands. This progression in animal housing provides 70 percent more space. Our industry is always looking to improve through processes that are proven and effective.
A recent activist’s video unfairly taints the entire chicken industry. Humane slaughter is important to our industry, and we are governed by requirements under the Poultry Products Inspection Act. By law, the Agriculture Department provides around-the-clock, on-site inspectors that can take enforcement action for mistreatment if spotted. When activists bring video evidence of suspected violations, The Center for Food Integrity’s Animal Care Review Panel regularly examines videos to ensure humane practices. CFI created the Animal Care Review Panel program to engage recognized animal care specialists to examine questionable video footage and provide expert perspectives for food retailers, the poultry industry and the media. Panels include a veterinarian, an animal scientist and an ethicist to assure various perspectives are represented. We’re grateful for this expert review to have a good sense of when activists are shedding light on problems and when their approach is deceptive and unfair. In the most recent video, the panel found no evidence of abuse.
We understand today better than ever that the burden of proof for the care of the birds and eggs we eat falls squarely on our industry. As such, we invite a member of the USA Today editorial board to tour a farm and poultry processing facility to see for yourself how we sustainably and safely raise, produce and process poultry for the world.