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Food For Thought

on May 7 | in Kim Cooper | by | with No Comments

Farm animals require proper care

Last week, we began our discussion on farm animals. This week, we continue with the area of care for the animals that are raised on our farms.

I want to thank the Farm & Food Care Ontario for their assistance. You can visit their website (www.farmfoodcare.org) for all kinds of information regarding agriculture and the business of farming.

Our livestock producers primarily raise animals for human use or benefit, such as cattle, hogs, and sheep for food or clothing and horses for entertainment. Farmers and animal owners are morally and legally responsible to care for their animals. They provide them with appropriate food and shelter, and must also ensure their animals are not subjected to unnecessary pain, suffering, or excessive stress.

These producers are responsible for the well-being of the animals in their care and should not tolerate animal neglect or abuse.

As farmers and animal owners, they take pride in the fact that they believe in animal welfare because it is the right thing to do and they chose to care for animals.

Farmers, 4-H members, animal owners, and animal caretakers are all responsible for providing their animals with these five freedoms:

  • Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  • Freedom from discomfort by providing a suitable environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  • Freedom from pain, injury, and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal’s own kind.
  • Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions that avoid mental suffering.

It’s important to understand the difference between animal welfare and animal rights. Animal welfare is what most people support – where humans have a right to use animals for their benefit, but also a responsibility to care for them. Animal welfare supporters agree that animals should be treated with respect and have the five freedoms met.

Animal rights is a philosophy that believes it is not acceptable to use animals for human benefit – for food, clothing, entertainment, or medical research. Many people support animal rights groups unknowingly by sending them money for animal welfare causes.

If people want to support groups to help animals, they should be sure to investigate that their donation really goes to help the animals (i.e. such as a local animal shelter).

Farmers raise livestock because they like working with animals, and properly cared for animals are more productive, which means a better income for them and their families.

Next week, more on the farm animal sector.

Think about this – Hope that has its foundation in God will not crumble under the pressures of life.

Just some food for thought.

Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’.

Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 35 years. He can be reached at: kim.e.cooper@gmail.com

You can also follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/theAGguy

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