Your Opinion: Detractors use defamatory labels

Dear Editor:

“Ag-gag” another one of those defamatory labels that certain groups who want to eradicate animal agriculture have hung on us to make us sound evil.

Mr. Timonn must really think that the livestock industry as a whole is a sadistic, barbaric trade and he wants you to believe as he does.

The legislation in Iowa and Utah that he referenced has nothing to do with keeping anything hidden from the public eye.

What it does address are people who trespass and vandalize livestock facilities in order to disrupt business and give animal ag a black eye.

These pictured and videos are taken out of context, misused and have no other use than a smear campaign.

These people are worse than the paparazzi who dog famous people in hopes of catching them off guard.

Let’s face it. Animals can be unpredictable and you don’t have to be doing anything wrong for things to go terribly wrong. Much of what is taken as an act of cruelty is not. But then the whole story is seldom told.

I’d like for Mr. Timonn to define “atrocious” in the treatment of livestock at “factory farms and slaughterhouses.” Be specific Mr. Timonn, I’m sure you have a working knowledge of livestock production and harvesting.

I never thought I would be defending “factory farms” because I am that small family farmer who competes against them but that is an economic issue not an animal welfare one.

Animals on “factory farms” are not given less care than those on small farms. “Factory farms” because of their size, have resources that the small farmer cannot access, a full time vet, employee training, better facilities and bigger markets.

The pork and beef industries require all producers and employees to complete quality and animal welfare courses (PQA and BQA) that cover all aspects of livestock production including sanitation and antibiotic use.

I’d love to elaborate more on each issue and will. The antibiotic is a whole other letter. The end of modern medicine debate at the WHO is as much about the overuse of antibiotics in humans since the ‘70s as anything carried over in a meat product.

I hope Missouri does pass a law making it criminal to harass and stalk a livestock enterprise for the purpose of ruination.

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