ARS ‘looking into’ Neb. livestock center |

ARS ‘looking into’ Neb. livestock center

The Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service said it is ”looking into” the conditions at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska, which was the subject of an article in The New York Times last week.

The article said that an attempt to increase the birth rates of cattle, pigs and sheep resulted in pain, suffering and death.

“USDA takes seriously the welfare and well-being of all animals, and we are looking into recent reports about the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska,” Tara Weaver-Missick, the acting director of the Agricultural Research Service information staff, said in an email.

“Before the recent article was published, we were in the process of reviewing the role of animal science research in all USDA facilities, including the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska,” she said.

“Over the last five years, the Agricultural Research Service, which oversees USMARC, expanded and upgraded facilities at the USMARC to better accommodate animals and also improved training and technology for staff,” the statement said.

”USDA is now in the process of reviewing additional improvements in our animal science research, including in improving animal well-being.”

Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle reacted to the story in a blog post.

“The front page of yesterday’s New York Times revealed a house of horrors at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, situated on the plains of western Nebraska,” Pacelle wrote.

“In a superb but deeply disturbing piece of investigative, long-form journalism, Times reporter Michael Moss told the story of scientists performing ghoulish experiments on farm animals, trying to get cows to produce twins or triplets, and pushing sows to produce even more young, with all too apparent disregard for the animals’ welfare…

“The USDA needs to stop serving as the R&D arm, surplus buyer, feed subsidizer, and advertiser for the factory farming industry,” Pacelle wrote.

–The Hagstrom Report

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