The executive committee of the National Turkey Federation has adopted a resolution to oppose any legislation that would allow the federal government to enforce on-farm animal welfare standards.
The decision, made at the federation's Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., was in response to the recently announced agreement by the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers in which both groups pledged to lobby Congress to adopt legislation covering housing and some husbandry practices for laying hens.
The resolution to oppose any federal legislation allowing on-farm enforcement of animal welfare standards was also approved by the NTF's legislative and turkey health and welfare committees. During discussion of this resolution, NTF executive committee members and NTF staff stated that NTF would not typically take a position regarding specific standards the egg industry has chosen to impose on itself, but the HSUS-UEP agreement seeks federal legislation to enforce these standards. The NTF's position is that federal legislation for egg layer welfare would establish a precedent for the federal government to come onto the farm to impose animal welfare standards in other industries, as well.