Hidden camera investigations of livestock facilities are nothing new, but how the public reacts and the attention they receive has become more and more of an issue. The Center for Food Integrity has now created an Animal Care Review panel. Charlie Arnot, CEO for CFI:
“The Center for Food Integrity has been working to create a process that will encourage continuous improvement in on-farm animal care and also provide a mechanism for more informed, balanced, public conversation about what’s on the undercover videos.”
Arnot explains the goal of the CFI in offering this service:
“We’ve worked to establish an undercover cover video animal care review panel. Today, we have that established for the pork industry, we’re certainly welcome to look at that for other sectors of animal agriculture as well. But, the goal is to make sure that we have an animal scientist, ethicist, and a veterinarian to review undercover video, and then without any input from the industry or the Center for Food Integrity to issue their findings, so that there is the opportunity for the public, for food customers, and of the media to have another perspective, and to be able to look at the information and the insight from those credentialed experts.”
Some of the frustration with these videos is that they are heavily edited so as to convey a particular message. Arnot says in that regard, they’re also asking for the assistance of the activist group involved:
“We are also encouraging the animal activist groups to participate as well by giving us more of the video. Because, one of the frustrations that the experts had was seeing only two or three second clips it’s very, very difficult for them to assess what is actually taking place on farm.”
CFI’s only role is to facilitate the review process and release the panel’s findings. The opinions expressed in the review are solely those of the expert panel.