Unfunded Producer Mandates for Animal Welfare in Animal Agriculture
Author: Nicole Olynk Widmar, Associate Head and Professor, Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics and Candace Croney, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging & Director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science, Purdue University
The creation or initiation of unfunded mandates in animal welfare have become a significant burden – challenging producers, industry members, food systems, and public entities. When the language on a ballot initiative or other public referendum is worded so the intent is simply to help animals, what is often missing are the details on what changes need to be implemented, how it will be done, and who will pay for it. Essentially, it is simple and easy – and completely reasonable and well-intentioned – to support something that seeks to improve the lives and welfare of animals, but it simply isn’t simple to implement these changes in standards.
An excerpt from Dr. Candace Croney, April 6th, 2022 in the Consumer Corner Micro-Course Consumer-Driven Changes in Ag Market Channels