View from the top: Cattle, climate change and animal welfare

Cattle, climate change & animal welfare

There are a lot of myths about leather, particularly concerning the process of cattle rearing, and International Leather Maker aims to debunk the biggest ones in a two-part podcast episode.

In the first part, Isabelle Griffiths is joined by Steven Sothmann, President of the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA), Julia Herman, Beef Cattle Specialist with the National Cattleman’s Beef Association in the U.S., and Ashley Lembke, Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at American Foods Group. They discuss the topic of animal welfare standards and the leather industry. They discuss the zero-tolerance expectations the sector is subject to and how continuous innovation keeps pushing the standards. One example is the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, which requires farmers to recertify every three years to the latest guidelines. There are complex frameworks in place in the meat industry, to ensure that all processes are monitored closely.

In the second part, Stephen Sothman and Frank Mitloehner, Professor in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis, discuss methane emissions. One of the biggest misunderstandings in the carbon footprint debate is the impact of agriculture. Understanding this topic is not an easy matter, as certain ‘created’ standards have heavily skewed the way we measure emissions. Frank Mitloehner has for years agitated against an incorrect standard, in the form of CO2-eq. By equating every emission to a CO2-like standard, important factors are overlooked, which is a dangerous thing if we look at challenges like climate neutrality in contrast with veganism, anti-meat and leather propaganda.

Listen to the podcast and find out from the horse’s mouth what’s really going on in the leather industry.