Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines from March 8, 2021

by | Mar 8, 2021 | 0 comments

Ballot initiative to criminalize husbandry practices would cost consumers, limit food availability

  • A proposed ballot initiative, known as Protect Animals from Unnecessary Suffering and Exploitation (PAUSE), is awaiting an appearance before the title board after being filed with the Colorado Secretary of State.
    • The ballot initiative would include livestock and would criminalize some of the current actions that are considered acceptable animal husbandry practices.
  • Advocates Alexander Sage and Brent Johannes, said that the initiative would raise the quality of life for all domesticated animals in the state of Colorado by amending the statutes to ensure animals are “treated with more dignity” by closing what they called a “loophole in the definition of a sexual act with an animal” and requiring livestock to reach 25 percent of the natural lifespan before slaughter.
    • The initiative defines natural lifespans as 20 years for cattle; 8 years for chickens; 10 years for turkeys; 6 years for ducks; 15 years for pigs; 15 years for sheep; and 6 years for rabbits.
      • Furthermore, language in the initiative states that animals must be slaughtered in such a way that does not cause needless suffering.
    • During the initiative’s hearing, Jennifer Ritter with the Office of Legislative Legal Services informed the proponents that the proposed language would criminalize various practices most farmers and ranchers partake in. It would also affect industry rules and practices, which Ritter asked if that was the intent.
      • In response, Sage said that their intent is “that the standard of care of all animals is increased regardless of the species: dog, cat, cow, or pig.
    • According to Shawn Martini, Colorado Farm Bureau’s vice president of advocacy, criminalizing the tools and processes that livestock producers use to increase efficiencies to meet consumer demand in providing a safe, affordable and abundant food supply and minimizing the industry’s climate footprint, is foolhardy at best.
      • Martini stated that if this initiative were to make it to the ballot, it would again be a case of neglecting to accept any input from the stakeholders affected by all sectors of the livestock industry. It would also erase billions of dollars from Colorado’s economy.
    • Travis Taylor, a Colorado State University Livestock Extension Agent, explained that Colorado would realistically lose $5 billion in livestock sales, as well as thousands of jobs, which would result in the destruction of rural communities and schools.
    • Besides having domestic consequences, this proposal would also remove Colorado’s ability to export beef to countries such as Japan, who does not accept beef from cattle over 30 months of age.
      • Just in 2018, Colorado exported $50 million in beef to Japan.
    • The proposal may or may not go through the process of revisions, re-hearings and appeals to the title board before a title is affirmed and the proposal may be printed and circulated for signatures.
      • Because this is a statute change, 124,632 signatures would be required.


Iowa Cattlemen respond to introduction of cattle transparency act

  • Last week, Senator Fischer (R-NE) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021; legislation that attempts to restore transparency and improve price discovery in the fed cattle market by establishing regional mandatory minimum levels of cash trade.
    • The legislation also strives to provide more market information to producers.
  • After thorough review, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has come to the conclusion that they cannot support this bill.
    • The organization does agree with many of the aspects included in the bill, however they do not agree with the concept of using a three-year average of negotiated trade and negotiated grid purchases to determine a required baseline.
  • A regional mandate using a three-year average would halt further erosion of price discovery and transparency, but it would not address the imbalance of cash trade across the entire industry.
  • Iowa Cattlemen’s Association plans to continue to work alongside legislators and stakeholders in the development of an optimal and appropriate solution for the cattle industry.
    • The organization respects the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021, but they believe all participants in the fed cattle market should share responsibility for robust price discovery.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $231.33 (-2.55)
  • Select boxed beef: $220.85 (-0.83)



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From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
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