Tell the USDA to Stop Propping Up the Factory Farm Industry
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is urging Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, to stop bailing out the cruel and unsustainable factory farm industry. While it is always irresponsible for the government to support this industry—which spreads antibiotic resistant bacteria and zoonotic diseases to workers and the public—it is especially irresponsible during a global pandemic.
In mid-April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted requests for federal funding from the dairy, cattle, and pig industries. As part of the “Coronavirus Food Assistance Program,” USDA will make direct payments of $1.6 billion, $5.1 billion, and $2.9 billion to the pig, cattle, and dairy industries respectively. In addition, USDA will purchase factory farmed animal products to dump into food assistance programs—such as the National School Lunch Program—which will jeopardize the health of marginalized communities.
Factory farms are industrial-scale agricultural facilities that keep hundreds to thousands of animals in high-density confinement, which causes animal suffering on an unimaginable scale. In addition, factory farms harm the environment by using massive amounts of water and producing vast quantities of animal manure and air emissions. These environmental impacts fuel the climate crisis and pollute our air and water, while also generating environmental injustice by sickening surrounding communities.
USDA’s decision to spend federal taxpayer dollars to support the factory farm industry further enriches wealthy corporations—rather than assisting small family farmers—and fuels the industry’s expansion at the expense of animals, the environment, marginalized communities, and public health.
Join us in asking Secretary Perdue to stop using our tax dollars to support this cruel and unsustainable industry by sending a polite email or letter today.
Use the bullet points below as a jumping off point.
- Stop using my tax dollars to support the cruel and unsustainable factory farm industry.
- These payments don’t support “small family farmers.” They further enrich gigantic, wealthy corporations at the expense of animals, the environment, and public health—particularly in marginalized communities.
- USDA should provide nutritious food (rather than animal products) to food assistance programs.
- Animal agriculture is a major contributor to the climate crisis, responsible for 14.5% – 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
- Factory farms keep animals in dirty, cramped conditions that require regular antibiotic use to prevent the spread of disease. This reckless use of antibiotics is leading to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria—drug-resistant “superbugs.”
- Farmed animals have few protections under state and federal law. The vast majority suffer terribly before they are killed. In most states, animals raised in factory farms are routinely confined to spaces so small that they cannot lie down comfortably, turn around, or spread their wings.
Sonny Perdue, Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250
A coalition, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed an emergency petition with the USDA to prevent COVID-19 relief funds, resources, and any other forms of support from facilitating or compensating for the costs of ventilation shutdown or water-based foam “depopulation” — the mass killing of animals on factory farms.August 25, 2020 Press Release
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the preeminent legal advocate for animals, released the first in a series of white papers providing policy recommendations to reduce our heightened risk from zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 and the next global pandemic, which need only a human-animal interaction to arise.June 30, 2020 Press Release
As the pandemic leads to reduced capacity at slaughterhouses, prolonged use of drug increases risk of harm.June 4, 2020 Press Release