Farmed Animals Suffer in Cruel Experiments for Meat Industry

Posted by Kelly Levenda, Staff Attorney on January 22, 2015

The New York Times just released the shocking results of an investigation of outrageous cruelty to animals used in taxpayer-funded experiments. The experiments attempt to create farmed animals who yield more meat, cost less to produce, and have more offspring. This unregulated research benefits the meat industry’s quest to sell more meat, but the animals pay for it dearly.

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The U.S. Meat Animal Research Center building.

The U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), funded by your tax dollars through the USDA, seeks to genetically manipulate animals to increase the animal agriculture industry’s bottom line. The animals used in these disturbing experiments are largely unprotected; federal laws generally do not protect farmed animals from mistreatment or being used in inhumane research.

Animal Production in Exchange for Animal Well-Being

For ten years, MARC has been trying to create sheep that require less effort on the part of the farmer (i.e., can survive without costly barns) by making sheep give birth alone in open fields, where baby lambs are often abandoned by their mothers and killed by starvation, weather, or torn apart by coyotes. One quarter to one third of the lambs die.

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And for nearly thirty years, the facility has been genetically manipulating cows, who do not naturally have litters, to produce twins. 95% of female twins were deformed, and the death rate of twin calves was four times higher than single calves. These animals don’t even receive basic care. Thousands have starved and died from exposure to bad weather, and hundreds have died from mastitis, a painful and easily treatable udder infection.

Researchers without veterinary or medical degrees operate on and euthanize these animals. A MARC scientist was quoted as saying, “A vet has no business coming in and telling you how to [operate on animals].” MARC currently has only one veterinarian on staff, and that person and others have complained repeatedly to managers about a failure to fully consider the pain that animals suffer during experiments.

No Oversight for Animal Experiments

No federal laws govern the treatment of farmed animals used for experimentation. The Animal Welfare Act, which provides minimal protections for animals used in experiments and held in captivity, exempts the farmed animals used in experiments at MARC. Additionally, the USDA reportedly fails to enforce its own rules, which require careful scrutiny of experiments by a review committee. It also does not require MARC to keep records for treatment of all the animals. And, until now, the public had no idea that the government spends tens of millions of dollars to help the meat industry complete these horrific experiments that have caused pain and suffering to thousands of animals.

What Can You Do?

  • Do not economically support the industry that drives these experiments; instead opt for a plant-based diet.
  • Inform family and friends about the issue.
  • Sign the Change.org petition to stop these experiments.

Support ALDF in our work to fight abuses at factory farms, work with legislators to strengthen laws protecting farmed animals, and assist prosecutors handling cruelty cases.


16 thoughts on “Farmed Animals Suffer in Cruel Experiments for Meat Industry

  1. katharine Odell says:

    what is ALDF doing about the livestock abuse at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), funded by tax dollars through the USDA? Cannot ALDF work with the legislature for a law that protects such animals? A single will not do it-

  2. Ann Davison says:

    Just disgusting.. we are better then that..how do we stop this? Who is doing the monitoring and the over sight?

  3. Elsie says:

    It amazes me, just when I can’t even imagine something else man is doing to make a buck regardless of the evil unnecessary pain and suffering inflicted upon defenseless animals, here we go!!!! As a human race we have failed our living breathing creatures and we must make this right. We have much to learn from them. They are truly more humane than humans as a whole.

  4. ursula bateman says:

    please stop this evil

  5. Giuliana Rinaldo says:

    Before I say my peace on the subject, you all really need to read the the the investigation of the New York Times in it’s entirety. ALDF the citizens of the United States should be able to have a massive lawsuit against both the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) & the USDA for the misuse of funds and for morbid, torturous animal cruelty. The government is supposed to have a checks and balances and no branch of the government should be policing itself – nobody and no body of government should have that kind of power, especially in a democratic government that boasts of freedom and democracy because that is a contradiction in terms – with democracy comes responsibility, transparency, and accountability. MARC should be shut down permanently. If there is a “bowels of hell” it’s in the USDA, agricultural business, and in institutions like MARC. Oh yeh – get Vilsack out of the USDA because he is part the problem condoning all these atrocities.

    I work really hard for MY MONEY / TAX DOLLARS and I certainly don’t want my money to fund the selfish, morbid, cruel experimentation of animals. There is NO amount of scientific or any other justification for putting animals through excruciatingly physical and emotional pain and agony of any kind with no relief insight – what an atrocity!!!

    In the New York Times they reported: “In 1989 there was a teenage cow ‘head locked in a cagelike device to keep her immobile’. She was raped by a many as six bulls for hours, until her back legs were broken and her body was just torn up. Dr.Keen wanted to euthanize the animal, but the scientist in charge could not be tracked down for permission. A few hours later the cow died. In addition, NOT a single worker at the lab has a medical or veterinary degree doing sometimes multiple experiments and surgeries on the same animals over & over again !!! AND there was only one licensed veterinary they would not listen to, but who should have the ultimate authority to make humane decisions.

    I felt sick and like passing out while reading the article and then later cried profusely for all those animals. No amount of words can describe my outrage and anger over the suffering of these animals. All these people at MARC are practicing criminal behavior and the USDA is responsible – they all should be sued and prosecuted!

  6. cheryl says:

    THIS AN OUTRAGE THAT IS CRUEL AN UNUSUAL CORRUPT HITLER MAD SCIENTISTS WITH SICK MINDED STUDENTS AND THE INDUSTRY GETS ENDOWED FOR THIS GOVENORS AND PRESIDENT I PLEA FOR YOUR FUTURE’S AGE AS THEY GROW THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE ANOTHER CRIPPLED BY THE HORROR OF A LIFE WE LIVE IN!SHUT YHAT FACILITY HOUSE OF HORRORS TERRORISTIC EXPERIMENTS ON UNATURAL CRUEL TORMENT LEFT TO SUFFER ,BE MUTILATED ABANDONED IGNORED CRIES SCRAMS OF TERROR NEGATED BY THIS OH SO INHUMANE PRACTICE BE ASHAMED

  7. Patricia Cousins says:

    It is disgusting that this could happen in the US. There is NO excuse for this sort of behavior.

  8. cheryl says:

    SCREAMS NOT SCRAMS 1 THEY CANNOT GET AWAY SHACKED” I WOULD MOT WANT TO BE OF ANY ASSOCIATED TO THIS MENACING MEDIEVAL UNNECESSARY FOR FARMING ! ABUSES AS NUMEROUS ANIMALS SUFFER UPON HANDS ALIKE DR. HANNIBAL LECTOR,FOR FARMER BROWNS,UNABASHED GREED GREED IT LEAVES A TRAIL OF HUMAN ROT

  9. Gem Darling says:

    please stop this animal cruelty.

  10. Starr Goode says:

    Giuliana Renaldo says it exactly how I feel! Couldn’t have said it any better. They should be prosecuted to the fullest! And then executed.

  11. Gina Capitelli says:

    STOP THE CRUELTY. IT IS INHUMANE AND MUST STOP NOW!!!

  12. Dorothy Silva says:

    Stop all of this Austwitz, horror on all animals now!! “It is not all about us and never was!” Animals have a God,given rght to their own bodies, skins, fur, feathers and babies and to live out their natural, life, cycles as God planned them to do without the insanly, cruel, interference of humans who heartlesly exploit,them for fun and profit. Put a face on the tortured, piece of flesh that is on your dinner, plate and then see if if is still o.k. to blindly, consume them? That piece of flesh that you are about to stuff in your mouth went through a literal, hell just to get to your plate and this includes all sorts of farmed, animals including their babies. I agree with the above comments and there should be no mercy of the sick, perverted, individuals who experiment on these animals for fun and profit. Taxpayers do not want their money to go for these Sickos, preveted pleasures. Get them and make them pay dearly put them in jail without parole and make them pay for all he animals that they have tortured and killed.

  13. Lena Rigolli says:

    Disgusting, unacceptable, unforgivable and inhumane

  14. Marcia Mueller says:

    Those of use who are horrified by the torture of the animals in Nebraska should not let Washington, DC, forget about it. Too often when revelations like this occur, people get angry, and the response from legislators and authorities is just to wait until the next news cycle or until people get tired of waiting. We should not allow this to just fade away. Mr. Vilsack (Secretary of Agrigulture) should be forced out of a job. The torture chamber in Nebraska should be shut down forever, and the USDA, enforcer of the Animal Welfare Act should be monitored to see that it does its job. Furthermore, there is a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that excludes farm animals from protection. How cynical is that? We need to DEMAND changes.

    1. Marcia we need to do more than get angry we need to get human beings into our senate and legislative branches. Get rid of the inhuman that coldly passes laws that allow this kind of torture to go unchecked with no form of punishment for the abusers. We read every day about the twisted mindless sub humans that are arrested all over for the brutal cruelty they inflict upon the countless victims and yet here are federal companies that do these offal monstrous things right out in the open. There is something terribly wrong when this kind of inhumanity is allowed to go on.There should not be two sets of laws. Our world is being flushed down the toilet. The people need to do something to stop these death camps from existing and should demand that the abusers be prosecuted on felony animal abuse charges.Anyone out there know how to push this through give us all a shout so we all can help get it done. Personally I am sic to death of all the atrocities that go on and people are allowed to go on with nothing but a slap on the wrist or worse get nothing at all. I think that animal abusers need to be executed if they torture and murder any animal.No Exceptions.

  15. This is unexceptable. This place needs to be shut down and everyone of these abusers arrested and prosecuted for Felony Animal Abuse. What is wrong with these people. These are living feeling creatures and MARC has NO RIGHT doing or getting away with these atrocities. There is something terribly wrong with whom ever it is that allows this monstrous torture to go on.Who decides what can be tortured? Whom ever it was that left farm animals out of the equation, needs some serious help. What is wrong with people that can cause such devastating pain and suffering on these poor things and not even bat an eye? Are they that far gone, that they can not hear or see the pain and suffering that is going on? This planet needs a thorough cleaning and this ticks me off completely. There is no excuse for the inhumanity and indifference towards these victims, none. We are euthanizing the wrong animals especially these rabid heartless poor excuses for human beings.

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