Free-range Poultry Paper Adds Credible Info to the Debate

CAST EVP Kent Schescke welcomed audiences at three sessions in the nation’s capital on July 18 to roll out the organization’s latest issue paper: Impact of Free-range Poultry Production Systems on Animal Health, Human Health, Productivity, Environment, Food Safety, and Animal Welfare Issues.
The events included a morning panel discussion cohosted by the Food Marketing Institute, a lunch program at the Longworth House Office Building, and an afternoon program at the Senate’s Capitol Visitor Center. 
Above: Anthony Pescatore presents at a CAST rollout on the Hill. He and cochair Jacqueline Jacob (both of the University of Kentucky) led three sessions. Click here to access a video/PowerPoint presentation of the key findings.

As farmers in the United States try to develop new poultry operations that meet consumer demand and continue to make sustainability strides, they often deal with confusing definitions and confounding research related to this field. Led by Task Force Cochairs Jacqueline P. Jacob and Anthony J. Pescatore, the authors of this issue paper bring attention and clarification to the topic as they assess various aspects of multiple poultry production systems.

A Feedstuffs article says the paper shows that “while many perceive free-range poultry production systems to be more animal-welfare friendly, the research comparing the different production systems is inconclusive and often contradictory.” An analysis in AgriPulse agreed and noted the research shows that “The safety of poultry meat and eggs is determined more by management than by whether the birds are in confined facilities or outdoors.”
The full text of IP 61 is here, and its companion Ag quickCAST is here.  

Help Support CAST

Your donation to CAST helps support the CAST mission of communicating science to meet the challenge of producing enough food, fiber and fuel for a growing population. Every gift, no matter the size, is appreciated.