Prevent Cruel Mistreatment of Sick and Disabled Farmed Animals

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on January 23, 2012

On January 23, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a 2008 California law that required the euthanasia of downed animals at slaughterhouses, ruling that California’s law was preempted by federal law. A state may not impose "any additional or different – even if nonconflicting – requirements," wrote the Court.

This expected decision highlights the urgent need for changes in the law at the federal level.

The Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act (H.R. 3704), sponsored by Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), would permanently prohibit all downed livestock animals – animals that cannot walk because they are diseased, injured or ill – from being used for food, and require that these animals be humanely euthanized.

The bipartisan bill would improve upon federal regulations by making the ban on downed animals permanent and apply to all farmed animals – not just cattle as is currently the case with existing regulations.  

The bill is already supported by several members of Congress including Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who is the lead cosponsor of the bill.

“Animals that are ill or injured should be humanely euthanized instead of being dragged through slaughterhouses then sold to restaurants, supermarkets or butchers for human consumption, a sick and disgusting practice,” said Rep. Ackerman.

Contact your federal legislators and ask for their support of the Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act.


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