Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack defended the livestock industry against a lawmaker’s allegations that crowded conditions and antibiotic usage in modern farms are endangering human health. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) told Vilsack at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday that livestock are “jammed together” in “very, very nasty circumstances.” In response, Vilsack said the “vast, vast, vast majority of farmers who are raising livestock are very sensitive” to the need to be careful about the management of their animals. “First and foremost, they’re concerned for the safety of their consumers. Without consumers, they don’t have a market, and without a market they don’t have money,” Vilsack said.
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