A decision by Earls Restaurants to ditch Alberta beef in favour of hormone-free U.S. meat has prompted online threats to boycott the Canadian chain.
Earls announced Tuesday that it would become the “first restaurant chain in North America” to serve beef with the U.S.-based Certified Humane designation.
The program means cattle are raised without the use of antibiotics, steroids or added hormones and includes abattoirs designed by animal-behaviour expert Dr. Temple Grandin.
Dave Solverson of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says there is no equivalent certification in Canada, but the restaurant’s suggestion that growth hormones are inhumane is “misleading marketing.”
He says hormones allow ranchers to raise leaner cows and produce more sustainable beef because fewer acres of land are required and animals are ready to be slaughtered at a younger age.
The announcement from Earls incited anger on social media, with Opposition Wildrose party Leader Brian Jean tweeting he was disappointed with the decision and that Alberta farmers work hard to produce the best beef in the world.
(The Canadian Press)