Jan 152015
 

The Forrest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administer our public lands grazing program. This program allows 3% of our nation’s cattle, horses, goats and sheep to graze on public lands including our national parks. This arrangement mostly benefits large commercial ranching operations, or about 2% of all our ranchers. Fees collected from these ranchers do not cover the cost of administering the grazing program. Not counting the damage done to ecosystems, the annual cost to taxpayers of this program is estimated to be at least $100 million. Expired grazing permits are usually renewed automatically without financial or environmental review. Grazing opponents cite substantial environmental damage caused by grazing and claim that low fees encourage misuse. BLM officials recently announced that federal grazing fees will stay at the minimum allowable level for an eighth consecutive year.

Pending Legislation:

S.258 & H.R.657 – Grazing Improvement Act

I support doubling from 10 to 20 years the period of a term for grazing permits and leases for domestic livestock grazing on public lands or lands within national forests in 16 contiguous western states, and wish to pass S.258 & H.R.657

I support establishing a voluntary grazing permit and lease buyout program for commercial livestock operators, and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce H.R.3324 – Voluntary Grazing Permit Buyout Act (108th Congress 2003-2004)

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill phasing out existing grazing agreements and prohibiting new agreements that allow livestock to graze on public lands

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Today’s factory livestock operations generate huge amounts of hog, chicken and cattle waste. Most of these feedlot operations store and evaporate this waste in large open lagoons, some of it to be eventually used as fertilizer. However, these manure pits can leak if retaining walls fail or if flooding or overfilling occurs. Advocates warn of serious health problems resulting from pathogens invading our water supply, not to mention the damage to air quality, fisheries and ecosystems. According to the EPA, feedlot waste discharges have been blamed for polluting at least 35,000 miles of our nation’s rivers and streams, as well as contaminating groundwater supplies in at least 16 states. The EPA believes there are more than 20,000 large feedlots now operating in our country, but less than half have federal effluent discharge permits. It reports that 75% of these operations are allowing pollutants into our waterways. Critics say the EPA has failed to enforce the 1972 Clean Water Act’s requirements on large animal feedlots. They claim the implementation of these regulations has been severely handicapped by legal loopholes and agribusiness influence. In 2011, as a key first step toward increased oversight, the EPA proposed a plan to collect information to determine the extent and responsibility of this pollution problem. However it soon withdrew its plan due to political pressure.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current livestock feedlot waste accountability policy

I support establishing an animal waste management program which requires animal owners to have an approved animal waste management plan designed to prevent the discharge of animal waste into surface or ground water; prohibiting the application of animal waste to land where the nitrogen or phosphorus would increase the risk of soil toxicity or surface or ground water pollution, and wish to identify a legislator to reintroduce S.1407 – Concentrated Livestock Existing Alongside Nature Act (108th Congress 2003-2004)

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Our beef industry slaughters at least 35 million animals each year. Cattle that are unable to stand, or walk to slaughter, are called “downed animals.” Some of these animals are scared, tired, suffering from old age, or have been injured during transport to the processing plant. Slaughterhouses often assume that these causes, not illness or disease, are the reasons these animals are immobile. It is illegal to process animals that are ill or diseased. Downed animals are often physically pushed or pulled, often by tractor and chain, to their inevitable destination. It is estimated there are about 130,000 downed animals slaughtered for food every year. Animal rights advocates say there is no way to humanely move downed cattle without causing injury. Health advocates say downed animals should not be used for human consumption since the animal may be diseased.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current downed animal usage policy

I support prohibiting slaughterhouse inspectors from approving any nonambulatory livestock, carcass, or carcass parts and requiring these inspectors to label such material as “inspected and condemned,” and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce H.R.3704 – Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act (112th Congress 2011-2012)

 Posted by at 12:00 am