Animal Agriculture Encouraged to Respond to Animal Activist Attacks01 February 2013
CANADA - The executive director of the Center for Food Integrity USA says those involved in animal agriculture need to be continually responsive to attacks by animal activist groups, writes Bruce Cochrane.
"Consumer Perceptions of Today's Food and Agriculture" was among the topics discussed yesterday as part of Manitoba Swine Seminar 2013.
Terry Fleck, the executive director of the Center for Food Integrity USA, observes we've seen a dramatic increase in the use by animal activists of undercover video to draw public attention to their cause and those involved in animal agriculture need to be prepared to respond in a timely manner.
Terry Fleck-Center for Food Integrity USA
Most of the undercover videos right now are being released by animal activist groups that are wanting to exercise more social control, particularly about how animals are handled.
There's some questionable issues out there about what their true agenda is.
Some of them have been very vocal that they would like to eliminate meat from the diet although I think at the end of day they probably realize that will never happen.
Never the less they are exercising their right to put out information.
Many times it's misinformation that does need to be corrected.
At the Center for Food Integrity we've implemented an independent review panel to actually take a look at those videos and context them appropriately so that retailers, the public, the media understands what it is that they're seeing.
Are these industry practices, is there abuse that's going on and those issues as they are looked at by that independent panel are called out for what they are.
Mr Fleck says animal agriculture needs to recognize these videos are effective for the activists to get attention called to their cause and they need to be responded to, in most cases, within 24 to 48 hours.
He says where there are abuses they need to be called out for what they are and where there are standard practices they need to be explained for what they are, why they are done and the ethics behind them.
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