To the editor of THE EAGLE:
In response to the May 8 letter "End factory farms," can you imagine how silly it would be to create laws against something that doesn't exist in the first place? That's exactly what is suggested in a bill that seeks to end the use of certain agricultural practices (hog gestation and veal crates) that don't exist here. It just doesn't make sense.
I'm a fifth generation dairy farmer [Proctor's Bel-Air Farm] and have farmed all of my life. I'm a member of the state Board of Directors for the Mass-
achusetts Farm Bureau and the Berkshire County Farm Bureau, a member of the Livestock Com-
mittee, the Dairy Committee, and a member of the Mass-
achusetts Association of Dairy Farmers. I don't know a single farmer that uses these practices; they're just not suitable for small farms. It bothers me that an outside lobbying group comes into our state trying to create fair and distrust between consumers and farmers.
If you really care about animals, a better bill is HB 4008 which would create a Livestock Care and Standards Board made up of veterinary organizations, local humane groups and farmers to create regulations to address any humane issue related to livestock. It's supported by Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association and virtually every agricultural organization in the commonwealth, including the Farm Bureau and the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association.
Supporting HB 4008 is the common sense approach that is in the best interest of animals.
CHARLES W. PROCTOR