Animal welfare takes center stage in D.C.

By Kevin Waetke

One of the We CareSM principles closest to Illinois pig farmer Patrick Bane’s heart is a commitment to caring for his pigs. In November, he took his message directly to the national leaders focused on the humane treatment of animals.

Bane, a guest of American Humane, addressed those assembled for the Congressional Humane Table Hill Event in Washington, D.C. Progress in animal welfare practices among the country’s farmers was showcased. The event also directly supported the bipartisan Congressional Humane Bond Caucus.

Bane joined other farmers in sharing their stories about raising livestock today.

“Many people are unfamiliar with agriculture, and where there is lack of knowledge and insight, there is confusion and concern,” said Bane, the 2018 America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM. I want to provide perspective to those who may not have it.”

The event was hosted by American Humane, the first animal welfare organization established in the United States. A facet of its work is to improve living conditions for farm animals.

“One billion animals in livestock are raised on certified humane farms. Farm animal welfare is the last, great frontier,” said Robin Ganzert, American Humane chief executive officer. “Too often farmers are criticized when things go wrong and are not praised when things go right.”

Since its creation in 1877, American Humane has been behind virtually every major advance in the protection of animals in this country. Today, it is the largest third-party animal welfare organization with a farm animal program that supports humane conditions for livestock under verifiable, science-based standards.

Similarly, the Congressional Humane Bond Caucus was formed to recognize the role animals play in providing companionship and comfort in times of need, as therapy partners, and in protecting people at home and in times of war.

“By strengthening the humane bond between us, the well-being of people, animals and the world can be significantly improved,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX). “This caucus is devoted to bringing a common-sense, scientific and rational dialogue to the issues surrounding the physical, emotional and even medical connections between humans and animals.”

“We want to give thanks – not only to those who work every day to put food on our tables – but to those who do it humanely, raising their animals under the best conditions possible,” said Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).