[The following statement was issued by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation and the North American Meat Institute.]
The recent jury verdict against a North Carolina hog farm is a blatant assault on animal agriculture and on rural America. If replicated, it will raise the price of food for consumers. It also will adversely affect farmers at a time when they are adopting innovation and technology to increase sustainability. It also set a dangerous precedent that already is being used in other cases.
The U.S. animal agriculture industry agrees with Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s characterization of the verdict as ‘despicable’ and with his opinion that it should be overturned. This miscarriage of justice must be rectified to ensure that the anti-agriculture advocates can’t continue to attack America’s farmers and ranchers.
Farmers and ranchers are among the best stewards of the environment and strive to be good neighbors. They shouldn’t be hauled into court for trying to do the right thing on their farms every day.