Consumers Agree Modern Production Yields Quality Beef - It's Animal Welfare That Concerns ThemMon, 22 Oct 2018 11:40:45 CDT
Dr. Janeen Salak-Johnson currently serves as part of the Oklahoma State University Animal Science faculty as the Temple Grandin Professorship in Animal Behavior and Well-being. She believes up until now, beef producers and especially cow/calf producers, have gotten relatively the “kid-glove treatment” when it comes to animal wellbeing or animal welfare issues. But, in a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, that may be changing in the days ahead.
“Really I think that they’ve been kind of immune to animal welfare issues that some of the other segments of the industry such as poultry and swine have faced for quite some time,” she said. “So, it becomes a big concern for the industry, because on one hand, they are producing this safe, quality product- and the beef industry isn’t really communicating very well to (consumers) about how their product is being raised and cared for and the consumer is like, ‘we don’t trust you because we consider you to be just like big ag and don’t have animals’ welfare at the front of the equation.’”
The challenge for producers, Salak-Johnson says, is to let consumers know they are taking proper care of their animals and to offer some transparency in how that is done.
“For the consumer, food safety and a quality product is important to them, but also what’s really important to them is where and how that product ended up on their dinner table and I think that’s the part of the narrative that the industry hasn’t really focused a whole lot on,” she said. “I don’t think they are ensuring their consumer that they’re doing the right thing. Yes, they have a quality product, but once again, the consumer today is much more concerned with animal welfare- regardless of what their definition of animal welfare is.”
Listen to Salak-Johnson and Hays discuss her position on how effectively the beef industry is communicating with its consumer on animal welfare practices within the profession, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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