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National Survey of State Animal Confinement Policies (2000)

Program Team: Andrew F. Seidl, Colorado State University; Mark A. Edelman, Iowa State University; Mellie Warner, Clemson University; Hal Harris, Clemson University; Nelson Bills, Cornell University; Charles Abdalla, Pennsylvania State University

During the Spring of 1998, the Farm Foundation facilitated the organization of a national task force to discuss the public policy education needs regarding animal confinement issues and concerns. The task force concluded that each state appeared to approach an increasing number of concerns differently given their unique resource constraints and political context. Policy educators concluded that virtually no policy education materials were available—not withstanding a few attempts by single states, organizations, and agencies to collect multi-state data on selected swine producing states. As a result, $33,000 from Extension Services in 12 states, the Farm Foundation and USDA-CSREES were allocated to the Task Force for purposes of designing and implementing a survey of state animal confinement policies. The objective was to identify the big picture of what states were doing in response to the growing number of animal confinement concerns raised in the media. The survey process identified appropriate university and state agency expertise to complete the surveys. A national Internet Web site was created at Clemson University to provide a summary of survey results as well as detailed results from the 48 states by state and/or by topic. A summary of the results has been published and distributed widely to policymakers, state and federal agencies and interest group leaders nationally and in several states. Survey results have been presented in a wide range of policy development discussions and policy evaluation settings at the state and national level, including Congressional and USDA briefing requests, state legislative briefings, interest group requests and conference programs. The project epitomizes the value of the national policy education network by showing how policy educators can pool time and resources while partnering with USDA and Farm Foundation to develop a more comprehensive set of policy education and information resources for enhanced understanding of issues that are of local, state, and national concern.




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