In January, Iowa became the latest state to have its ag-gag law overturned by the courts, a victory for free speech and animal-rights advocates. But the victory was short-lived. This month the state’s legislators revived ag-gag with a new law that targets undercover investigations into livestock farms — and it comes as ag-gag supporters across the country are looking to craft laws that will survive constitutional challenges.(No paywall)
U.S. red meat and poultry production will climb by 2.3 billion pounds in 2019 from this year’s level, says the first USDA forecasts of meat production for the coming year. Pork output will be up by nearly 3 percent, to 28 billion pounds.
Cattle, hog, and broiler chicken producers should expect lower market prices during the first half of 2018 than they saw during the first six months of this year, said USDA economists.
Tyson, the largest poultry company in the U.S., has failed at its second attempt to find a location for a new meatpacking facility in Kansas. Last week, an economic development group in Sedgwick County withdrew its bid for the $320 million plant. The decision came amidst an outpouring of public backlash, and follows Tyson’s squashed attempts earlier this year to build the same facility in Tonganoxie, Kansas. (No paywall)
Since the FDA began moving three years ago to control antibiotic use in meat animals — an effort that culminated in January with a ban on growth-promoter antibiotics, which fatten livestock inexpensively — farmers have wondered whether anything can take the drugs’ place.
One of the world's largest food processors, privately owned Cargill announced sale of its two remaining feedlots, holding 155,000 head of cattle, to ethanol maker Green Plains. The transaction will make Green Plains the fourth-largest cattle feeder in the nation with a feedlot capacity of 255,000 head, said Drovers Cattle Network.
The author of a UN report on food production and the environment says governments should tax meat production to slow the global rise in consumption and the accompanying environmental damage, says the Guardian. "If we are all to copy-cat the way in which we feed ourselves in North America or Europe, the planet would be in deep trouble," said Maarten Hajer, a member of the International Resource Panel.
There are three times more cattle, hogs, sheep and chickens on earth than people, says Ensia, and with meat consumption on the rise around the world, the trend is toward mutton and chicken.