Animal Agriculture Alliance advocates for proper “animal welfare”, not “animal rights”

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The AAA is an alliance of large agricultural industries and related drug industries, suppliers, packer-processors, scientists, veterinarians and retailers to help the public appreciate large industry animal agriculture’s current science-based practices. They write and speak out against the enactment of animal rights legislation.

– Gameness til the End

Animal Agriculture Alliance

Animal Agriculture Alliance (Alliance) is a non profit animal agriculture large industry interest organization in the United States. It was founded in 1987 as the Animal Industry Foundation. Kay Johnson Smith currently serves as the Alliance’s president and CEO.

The AAA is an alliance of large agricultural industries and related drug industries, suppliers, packer-processors, scientists, veterinarians and retailers to help the public appreciate large industry animal agriculture’s current science-based practices. They write and speak out against the enactment of animal rights legislation.

The mission of the Alliance is to provide a united voice for those involved in large animal agriculture and food industries to communicate science based information to consumers and media. The Alliance addresses matters of animal welfare, food safety, and environmental conservation in animal agriculture.

The Alliance hosts an annual Stakeholders Summit, where leaders from numerous industry organizations discuss upcoming issues and opportunities facing animal agriculture.

Funding

Funding for the Alliance is not clearly described in their website but “includes support from livestock and poultry producers, individuals who make their living in animal agriculture, retailers, producer associations, feed and other input supplier companies, animal health (drug)companies…”

Organized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt national organization, the Animal Agriculture Alliance mobilizes support from livestock and poultry trade associations, individual animal producers, vertically integrated food companies, retailers, and the general public.

History

The Animal Industry Foundation was originally founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to educate consumers about U.S. animal agriculture and its contributions to the public’s quality of life. In 2001, the organization formally became known as the Animal Agriculture Alliance. According to its website, the Alliance is funded by “livestock and poultry producers, individuals who make their living in animal agriculture, retailers, producers and their associations, feed and other input supplier companies, animal health companies, and consumers who want the truth based on sound science and the freedom of choice about their food.”

The Alliance operates with a Board of Directors composed of leaders from across the science-based agriculture industry.

The organization is based in Arlington, Virginia.

Issues

The Alliance advocates for proper “animal welfare”, not “animal rights.” It promotes guidelines for farmers and ranchers to follow to ensure science-based animal wellbeing, including: food and water, health and veterinarian care, environment, husbandry practices, handling and transportation.

Pew Commission “unwilling to engage with” AAA

The Alliance joined a group of other key agricultural organizations in 2006 to form the Animal Agriculture Alliance Coalition to provide information about large agriculture industry to the The Pew Charitable Trusts Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. A statement from the Alliance revealed that it was disappointed when the commission did not consider its input and became “unwilling to professionally engage with” the coalition.

The commission was funded by $3.4 million from the Pew Charitable Trusts and was managed by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Livable Future (CLF). CLF organizes an ongoing Meatless Monday campaign to reduce meat consumption. CLF has also funded the GRACE Factory Farm Project which tries “to eliminate factory farming” and helped produce the Meatrix videos.

Seven of the commission’s 15 members had a public track record critical of modern animal agriculture, which they indicated in books, articles and letters to newspaper editors they wrote and/or gave in public presentations. Only one commission member had first-hand experience with mainstream modern animal agriculture, but that member resigned.

Diet

The Alliance promotes the eating of meat in moderation as part of a healthy diet. In 2008, the group uploaded videos of Brad Johnson, a film and television actor speaking in support of animal agriculture and omnivorous eating.

Alliance Executive Vice President Kay Johnson appeared on the radio program Agritalk in March 2009 to discuss “the increase in attacks on retailers by animal rights groups”, warning that “intimidation and monetary damages are used by activists to fight for their ultimate goal of ending humans’ use of animals”.

Animal Agriculture Alliance Communications Manager Karen DeQuasie write an article for the Summer of 2003 issue of Manure Matters entitled: The Myth of Factory Farms. In April 2009, the Alliance criticized radio personality Rush Limbaugh when he lent his voice to public service announcements supporting the Humane Society of the United States to religious organizations. The group continues to stand against the use of religion to advance the animal rights movement.




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