CLA supports an effective, permanent and mandatory animal identification program that is technology-neutral and that is developed by industry partners who agree on an acceptable plan that can be implemented in the most cost-efficient manner that does not limit, inhibit or prevent commerce and is uniformly accepted and eliminates variation from state to state.
State Board of Stock Inspection
As an organization, we support brand inspection for range cattle but believe there is reduced value in the inspection of cattle in confinement especially when they do not change ownership. CLA has a longstanding involvement with the brand laws in Colorado. The Association led the effort to develop the Certified Feedyard Program by directly engaging with the Brand Board and other users of the system. The Certified Feedyard Program reduces fees by allowing a feedyard to self-inspect cattle that are not changing ownership. The feedyard is subject to an audit by the Brand Board on a quarterly basis to verify that all cattle were inspected accurately.
Animal Activism in Colorado
The Colorado Livestock Association has a long-standing presence in the area of animal well-being and husbandry. CLA is proactive in developing coalitions amongst those who both support and oppose current livestock management practices.
In 2008, a law known as Senate Bill 08-201 was passed in Colorado which banned gestation crates for sows and crates for veal calves. Prior to its passage, CLA engaged in a collaborative process that included other livestock organizations in Colorado as well as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The parties were assisted in negotiations by Dr. Bernard Rollin, a well-known animal ethicist from Colorado State University.
In 2013, House Bill 13-1231 was introduced which would have prohibited the routine practice of docking dairy cattle tails. Ultimately HB 13-1231 did not pass, but the effort was continued by the Humane Society of the United State with the introduction of several ballot initiatives in 2014. On behalf of the livestock industry in Colorado, CLA led the effort by seeking legal counsel and supported filing an appeal and the supporting briefs with the Colorado Supreme Court challenging the validity of the initiative’s language. In May of 2014, this headline appeared in a press release from the HSUS, “The HSUS to Defer Ballot Initiative to Protect Dairy Cows from Abuse this Election Cycle.” Although this might sound like it, this effort was not about winning and losing. It was about making sure that livestock producers were not saddled with unreasonable regulations that would inhibit their ability to operate according to generally accepted husbandry practices.
Animal Care Code of Ethics
We have all seen ugly videos showing unacceptable and inexcusable animal abuse or neglect. The Association has been at the forefront in the adoption of policy on the proper handling and care of livestock. CLA members are committed to adhering to the Animal Care Code of Ethics adopted by the Association.
It is vital to prepare for, control, and mitigate livestock disease outbreaks. The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division’s preparedness and response plans for the different livestock sectors are great tools for producers to use to create farm-specific plans in the event of a disease outbreak.
View helpful resources from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
THE CLA POLICY BOOK
The CLA Policy Book is written and updated by CLA members. The policies within the book dictate the position that CLA takes on numerous issues throughout the state and within the regulatory arena.