Urgent Action: Help Us Stop Sick and Injured Animal Slaughter

Every year, more than one million animals become sick or injured and are unable to walk to slaughter. Although a USDA regulation requires the humane euthanasia at the slaughterhouse of adult cattle who can’t walk, USDA has refused to act on petitions from the Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary requesting that the prohibition be extended to auctions and other non-slaughterhouse venues, and to other mammals. 

Additionally, the government actually fought and overturned a California law that was designed to protect downed animals, — arguing that meat companies should be able to continue to slaughter "downed" animals - animals who are so sick or injured that they can’t even walk. 

The Downed Animal Food and Safety Protection Act, H.R. 3704, would essentially take the California law and apply it nationally, under USDA oversight. It would ban the slaughter of pigs, cattle, and other mammals who are too sick or injured to walk — and it would require that they be humanely euthanized once they became non-ambulatory.

To be used for human food, animals must be kept alive until they are slaughtered. For this reason, downed animals awaiting slaughter often suffer for hours or days at a time, receiving no veterinary care. Removing the profit motive to keep suffering animals alive removes the main obstacle to humane euthanasia.

Industry experts have estimated that as many as 90% of downed animal cases could be prevented through better care and improved transportation and handling methods. Banning downed animals from human consumption would provide a strong incentive to ensure the health of livestock during all stages of production.

In addition, undercover investigations have documented appalling cruelty at facilities that are not required to euthanize sick and injured animals. At one plant investigated by the Humane Society of the United States, workers were “kicking cows, ramming them with the blades of a forklift, jabbing them in the eyes, applying painful electrical shocks and even torturing them with a hose and water in attempts to force sick or injured animals to walk to slaughter.” 

Please Take Action on Now on the Downed Animal Food and Satefy Protection Act!
Using the form below, please contact your representative and senators and ask that they co-sponsor and vigorously support the Downed Animal Food and Safety Protection Act, H.R. 3704. 

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Please Support the Downed Animal Food and Safety Protection Act, HR 3704

Dear [Decision Maker],

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[Your Address]
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