Urging Enforcement of the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act
Petition for Rulemaking
In 2015, the Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, calling on the agency to fully enforce the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act.
In 2015, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and a coalition of other animal protection groups submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, calling on the Agency to properly enforce the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (HMSA).
Relying on two years of enforcement records obtained through ”Freedom requests, records from undercover investigations, and reports from the Government Accountability Office and United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General, our petition called out a disturbing trend of inconsistent enforcement of the federal statute meant to protect animals from painful slaughter and abuse during the slaughter process.
These sources showed animal abuse occurring in violation of the law, and a pattern of lax enforcement that allowed slaughterhouses to continue business as usual even after federal inspectors found multiple instances of “egregious violations” of the humane slaughter law.
Our coalition sought to formalize a definition of “egregious violations” in federal regulations, along with enforcement protocols for such violations. We also called for regulations requiring referral for criminal prosecution of intentional, reckless, and egregious abuse. Finally, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and our coalition partners sought to reverse the agency’s practice of doling out endless get-out-of-jail-free cards to repeat HMSA offenders.
Groups cite two years of enforcement records released through FOIA in demanding changes to USDA’s humane slaughter oversight.September 1, 2015 Press Release
Federal Appeals Court to Hear Arguments in Lawsuit Concerning USDA’s Secrecy on Animal Welfare RecordsOn Monday, Dec. 17, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear oral arguments from the Animal Legal Defense Fund in the lawsuit against the USDA for removing tens of thousands of animal welfare records from the agency’s website.December 13, 2018 Press Release