The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cutting its cattle farming in half and expects to eliminate a fifth of the country’s herd by 2025, according to a report published Thursday by the advocacy group the Center for Food Safety.
The agency is considering moving to a “no kill” grazing policy, or letting cows graze off-leash for extended periods.
The USDA, which oversees the meat industry, estimates the current policy is contributing to a drop in the country, which relies on cattle for about half its meat.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who oversees the U.K.’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said the U,S.
must have a “new way of thinking” when it comes to grazing management.
He said the move will save money.
Vilsack said he will announce the change in a speech on Thursday.
The Department of Natural Resources will also announce its decision in a statement.
The USDA estimates that eliminating all grazing on federal land would save $12 billion over the next five years.
It also said it will cut back on the amount of land the agency spends on grazing in the first year of a no-kill policy.
In a statement, the USDA said the decision to eliminate grazing would allow the agency to focus on reducing the risk of disease, soil erosion, water runoff and other impacts of cattle grazing.
It will also help ensure that future growth in the U