Mich. House panel passes animal treatment bills

LANSING, MI – A legislative panel has approved bills that supporters say would protect farm animals from being mistreated in Michigan.

Critics testified against the legislation before Thursday's vote by the House Agriculture Committee. The committee chairman stresses the measure is a work in progress.

The proposed law would have farms follow the ag industry guidelines for animal's health and welfare. Opponents says those standards are too weak and would harm animals.

Supporters say the legislation aims to ensure people's food is safe in the wake of a series of recalls around the country.

The debate is especially contentious when it comes to industrial livestock farms that house and feed thousands of animals in enclosed spaces.