The key statement is the last sentence.
NCBA and most other organizations let no one off the hook. If you see abuse – whether you be a ranch hand, a farmer, a passerby or an MFA/HSUS/PETA undercover agent – do everything you can to stop it immediately.
Two comments sent in my direction were what I call Aha! moments when it comes to those ridiculous bills several states are trying to pass that would outlaw the kind of undercover video MFA released.
DavidMashton on Facebook said, “It's pretty clear why they are trying to pass laws to outlaw undercover farm videos.
Ed Yaffa Twittered, Chuck, I believe it’s probably more widespread then we hope...the problem is that often bad behavior is considered industry accepted practice. That is why there is big ag in many states supporting a bill to make undercover filming illegal.
About those bills: The industry would be better served by improving their hiring and training practices and operating as though an undercover MFA agent is standing amongst us 24/7. Hiring a sadistic son of a bitch to help manage your livestock is insane. Hiring anyone and not giving them adequate training in how to handle animals is like saying to PETA, “Thank you sir, may I have another.”
It has to be abundantly clear and underlined emphatically every day that abuse of any kind will not now, not ever, be tolerated. Period. I know it’s done in most animal ag arenas but as long as the abuse continues to surface, the message has to be made – more loudly and clearly until everyone understands.
Leading animal agvocate, Michele Payn-Knopfer used her Cause Matters blog to shed some genuine tears over the abuse while cautioning everyone outside the industry not to paint the business with the same fecal-stained brush of shame. She wrote: “All I have to do is look at the pictures in Mercy for Animals (MFA) propaganda and I shed a tear for images that can be likened to prostitutes representing all females. Some would describe it as gross, others are sickened, while some of the population tries to ban it. But in both cases, the images are not a fair representation of the population. My girlfriend who milks my cows is no more of a prostitute than she is an animal abuser. Nor am I. And it breaks my heart to know that some think that’s all there is to farmers. Isn’t it time we change that with a conversation? Take responsibility today!”
Her call for comments resulted in this from Ray-Lin Dairy in California
“This afternoon I learned of another undercover video of animal abuse in agriculture and quite honestly I feel let down by a fellow farmer. I am as horrified as ever that some of the things caught on tape are even happening in agriculture today. There are proper means to euthanize animals to end their suffering, using a hand tool to prolong that suffering is not proper or ethical.