February 8, 2016
When Fair Farms launched in December, we had two top legislative priorities for the 2016 Maryland General Assembly:
- antibiotics legislation (SB 607/HB 829) that would restrict the routine use of human antimicrobials in livestock that is not sick; and
- the Poultry Litter Management Act (SB 496/HB 599), a bill that would place the responsibility of manure removal on corporate integrators (and take the responsibility off of family farmers, also known as “contract growers”).
Two new polls show widespread public support for both of these bills. Our partners at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) conducted a poll that showed 68 percent of Marylanders favor the Antibiotics Bill, due in large measure to its potential impact on public health.
Each year, 2 million people in the U.S. contract antibiotic-resistant infections, with 23,000 dying as a result, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is widespread recognition among public health officials that drug-resistant superbugs pose a significant risk to humans. One of the reason for the rise in these superbugs is the routine use of antibiotics in farm animals.
The antibiotics legislation is working its way through the Maryland General Assembly right now. If you would like to write your legislator to support this legislation, please click the button below:
In fact, an overwhelming majority (76 percent) of Marylanders are concerned about contaminants in their food, while just 19 percent fear that the poultry industry will leave Maryland as a result of regulations. In polling conducted by Cornell University on behalf of Fair Farms and other partners, the survey showed that Marylanders on the Eastern Shore, urban areas, suburbs and Western Maryland are widely supportive of legislation to hold big poultry companies responsible for their manure.
Very few Marylanders, just 2 percent of those surveyed on both sides of the Chesapeake Bay, think that taxpayers should shoulder the costs for manure transport.
These numbers are very encouraging and show that the foundations for this legislation are solid across a wide cross-section of residents.
If you’d like to show your support for the Poultry Litter Management Act, please click the button below to write your legislator:
Thank you for your time and attention to these urgent legislative matters. Your voice counts.