Texas is one of twelve states that have begun pre-filing bills for the 2011 legislative session. This week, Texas pre-filed HB 334 which would establish the Texas Livestock Care Standards Advisory Committee.
The committee would be required to research and develop standards governing livestock and poultry care, food safety, local food availability, food affordability, and best farm management practices for animal well-being. In developing the standards, the committee would be required to consider a number of factors, including generally accepted veterinary practices, livestock and poultry practice standards, and ethical standards established by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The committee would be composed of 16 members, including: (1) the Commissioner of Agriculture, who would serve as chair of the committee; and (2) members appointed by the governor, composed of the following: (a) three family farmers; (b) two veterinarians; (c) a food safety expert; (d) a representative of a local humane society; (e) two members representing statewide farm organizations; (f) the dean of a Texas agriculture college; (g) two members representing Texas consumers; and (h) three members from the agriculture industry.
Texas HB 334 would become effective on September 1, 2011. If the bill is adopted, Texas would join the thirteen states that have adopted bills, regulations and ballot initiatives relating to livestock care standards and/or local government authority over livestock care. Click here for a summary of recent livestock care standards legislation.