Last week’s announcement by the United Egg Producers (UEP) that they were backing a bill pushed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a worrisome move that many in animal agriculture have termed a “dangerous precedent.”
The flawed legislation, known as H.R. 3798, is further proof of some politicians’ willingness, and the federal government’s desire, to regulate more aspects of our lives than at any point in our nation’s history.
Show me where the Constitution says that the government must establish amount of space required by a laying hen. The proposed legislation would effectively remove the subject from the hands of those who know the most about the topic and deliver it into the hands of those who are clueless.
Yet groups like UEP line up for the prospect of allowing the government to remove the consumer-controlled market forces that have made the United States the world’s most successful and efficient producer of safe and affordable food. But, according to UEP, HSUS has promised not to produce any more undercover videos of egg-laying operations. What a deal.
The UEP seems to be saying it is incapable of managing its egg producer constituents on its own and that it trusts a radical animal rights group to tell them how it should be done. The UEP also seems to be throwing overboard years of expertise offered by scientists and veterinarians and aligning instead with a group focused on total elimination of animal agriculture.
By backing H.R. 3798, the UEP is surrendering its self-governing status in favor of strict government control—a move that baffles other animal agriculture groups. The National Pork Producers Council, for example, calls the bill a “one-size-fits-all farm takeover bill” describing it as government intrusion on family farms at its worst.
The American Farm Bureau Federation strongly criticized the bill which will result in mandated animal care standards warning that the legislation will undoubtedly be used to bully other livestock producers.
Calling H.R. 3798 “ ill-conceived legislation,” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association warns that the proposed rules will result in further costly and burdensome regulations being placed on America’s food producers.
To justify its action, UEP eagerly points to a survey of 2,000 registered voters that indicated, by a 4 to 1 margin, respondents approved of the legislation. In actuality, the poll shows how the UEP is being manipulated by HSUS and UEP’s willingness to roll over for an anti-animal agriculture agenda.
Instead of trying to placate the HSUS with costly consumer surveys, the UEP should devote the funds to educate egg consumers about HSUS’s deceptive television pitches that conceal the animal rights group’s hidden agenda. Their customers would be much better served.