Urging USDA investigation of Meat Animal Research Center
The Animal Legal Defense Fund sent a letter to the Office of Inspector General urging an investigation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Research Center’s animal cruelty.
July 1, 2016
In 2015, a New York Times investigation exposed horrific animal cruelty at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska. The Times detailed deeply disturbing incidents of cruelty at this taxpayer-funded facility for farmed animal research. The investigation uncovered cruelty like pigs locked in steam chambers until they died, and newborn lambs left alone in pastures to die of exposure or starvation.
In response, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project sent a joint letter to the Office of Inspector General urging an investigation into the allegation that the Center was failing to meet even minimal standards of animal welfare.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund also urged Congress to support the Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors Act. This bipartisan legislation would have extended the federal “Animal‘s protections to farmed animals used for agricultural research at federal facilities.
The Office of Inspector General released a report in 2016 finding no evidence of cruelty beyond industry norms, but did call for more oversight and enforcement of existing animal welfare standards.
The Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors Act stalled in the Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
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