Decision Maker

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal government policy on farming, agriculture, forestry, and food.

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Petitioning President of the United States, U​.​S. Department of State, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United Nations, WHO


We implore you to call for a worldwide ban against one of the most horrifying atrocities known as the dog and cat meat trade in Asia. Receiving global condemnation, one of the largest petitions ever recorded in history was that against this trade, as millions of Asian citizens scream for outside help. An estimated 30 million dogs and 10 million cats (mainly STOLEN PETS) are taken and purposefully, sadistically and mercilessly TORTURED prior to being barbarically killed by means of being blow-torched, skinned and boiled ALIVE for human consumption every year. It is based off a misguided belief that the more and longer you torture them, the more adrenaline rushes through their bodies therefore, making the meat tastier and increasing mens virility. The footage will bring you to your knees. As these animals are filmed screaming in unfathomable, incomprehensible pain, they are mocked, laughed at and even urinated on as they writhe in agony. On 9/12/18, the USA had taken a stand against this trade with the passing of both; H.R.6720 - Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018 -                                  A federal bill that prohibits the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption in the United States.               Thank you President Trump for signing this into law.                               H.Res.401- A global resolution which urges all nations to outlaw the dog and cat meat trade and to enforce existing laws against such trade. Though every continent upon this earth rejoiced over this news, sadly, that is where it ended. The USA unfortunately did not follow through (utilizing these legislations) to in fact "urge" anyone. Now we have the Coronavirus to deal with which, is only the beginning of numerous infectious diseases that could potentially spread when you have lawless, unrestricted nations in regards to animal protection, their slaughter and consumption. Like the wildlife trade and live markets, the dog and cat meat trade is unregulated, violates every food and safety regulation and is associated with various transmittable diseases such as Rabies (killing 39,000 people in Asia annually), E. Coli, Salmonella, Anthrax, Brucellosis, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Cholera, Trichinellosis, putting us all at risk heading straight towards catastrophe.  The time is now, to call upon China and the rest of the world to ban the consumption of not only wild but domesticated animals too. To act solely upon one, without the other, permits only the next global pandemic to take root. The dog and cat meat trade is not about culture. It is not about eating meat. It's about prolonged, systematic torture. This brutality committed upon the innocent is so vile, so unconscionable, so shocking, it's an outright abhorrent abomination to millions of people,  to humanity and to God. Please call for a worldwide ban and the enactment of animal welfare laws.              After all, they only put the entire world in jeopardy.    Thank you

Amy Alexander
476,599 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Tell USDA: Stop Excluding 98 Percent of Animals from the Humane Slaughter Act!

Did you know that the United States Department of Agriculture has decided that the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act doesn’t apply to poultry, who make up 98 percent of all land animals slaughtered for food? As a result, nearly 9 billion animals each year are killed in the most horrific and brutal ways. Please take 20 seconds to speak out against this unconscionable animal abuse by signing Mercy For Animals’ petition calling on the USDA to start protecting chickens, turkeys, and all other poultry under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Investigations by Mercy For Animals, including shocking hidden-camera exposés of slaughterhouses owned by Tyson and Foster Farms, have repeatedly documented birds violently shackled upside down, painfully shocked with electricity, cut open, and sometimes even scalded alive in hot water tanks. These abuses must end! But we need your help. Mercy For Animals has filed a historic petition urging the USDA to start including poultry under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. The USDA needs to hear from as many Americans as possible that we want meaningful regulations that end the cruelest slaughter practices.   Please sign our petition calling on the USDA to include protections for poultry under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Once you’ve signed, please share this petition on social media!

Mercy For Animals
260,648 supporters
Petitioning Mark Herring, Jim Husband, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Send Asha the African Elephant to Sanctuary

Asha, a 35-year-old female, African elephant has been alone at the Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia for an accumulative 22 years. She is forced to give over 10,000 rides a year, despite active tuberculosis findings in monkeys held at the zoo. This is a huge risk to the public who are in close proximity to her on a daily basis. Her toenails are cracked due to lack of foot care, and the zoo has been cited for failing to provide adequate veterinary care across the board. These are just a handful of the issues she faces on a daily basis. In April 2015, the Natural Bridge Zoo's permit to publicly exhibit wild animals was suspended by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF). The zoo has since reopened despite numerous, ongoing complaints and inspections. To call this zoo anything short of a roadside attraction would be an injustice to those animals who have suffered and died during the many decades it’s been allowed to operate. The zoo has made it in the list of top 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants by In Defense of Animals for the last four years, and after public pressure and undercover footage from the Humane Society of the United States was released, the zoo has been cited uncountable times by the USDA for issues including, but not limited to, contaminated food, sanitation issues, rodent infestation, and improper containment. Due to the nature of these citations and disregard of many of them, we are asking that the DGIF step up and take permanent action. The DGIF has fallen short in assisting the USDA despite the fact that these issues are entirely within their jurisdiction. We ask the Attorney General to hold the DGIF accountable to taking appropriate action. Please consider sending Asha to a sanctuary, revoking the zoo's license permanently, and finding placement for the zoo's remaining animals that will meet their needs as a species.

Voices for Asha
227,556 supporters
Petitioning Irwin Edelson, Cory A. Booker, U​.​S. Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Linda Bobo, Kareem Pritchett, Stephen Steglik, Mayor & Council

Save Paws Discovery Farm in Mt Laurel, NJ

Paws Farm and Nature Center was first founded in 1979 by the Tweety family as an animal sanctuary, education, and nature center. It has since stayed open as an education center with animals on site available for education programs and for the community to enjoy parties and activities for all ages. Paws Farm and Nature Center has been a backyard gem of this community for over 40 years. Not only is this property treasured for the capacity in which it runs, but because of its historical significance. The pillar of the property is the Darnell home first constructed in 1782. The Darnell’s originally owned most of the land in Mount Laurel in the 1700s. Along with the home is the restored family ice house, blacksmith, smoke house, and Darnell family graveyard on the wooded trail of the property.Over the last couple months, the Mount Laurel Township and Garden State Discovery Museum has not allowed adequate, if any, time for those that cherish this property to find ways to keep it running. Instead, they have announced the fate of Paws Farm and Nature Center to the public today, February 25th, without thought of how this would affect the community. The township is trying to rehouse all the animals by end of the week. The time to act is NOW if we want to save this unique, historical, family friendly property. If you see value in this farm, please help in any way that you can; sign, share, or assist in any other way.  

Nicole Morgan
140,740 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Sonny Perdue, Paul Kiecker, Ben Harrison, Dr. Mindy Brashears

Tell the USDA to Halt High-Speed Slaughter Horrors!

Most chicken slaughter plants in the US kill up to 140 birds each minute. That’s more than two birds every single second. I’d seen the haunting footage, and I knew that even at these speeds, suffering is rampant. But then I worked undercover for Compassion Over Killing (now known as Animal Outlook) inside an Amick Farms slaughterhouse, which operates under a dangerous USDA high-speed slaughter program, where many government inspection duties are placed in the hands of the plant itself. At Amick Farms, birds are killed at a reckless pace, putting their welfare, along with workers and consumers, at risk. The cruelty I documented inside this high-speed house of horrors was a living nightmare.At Amick, which kills more than one million birds per week, violence and critical errors were rampant as workers struggled to keep up. I saw birds being punched, shoved, and thrown down the recklessly fast-paced kill line. Other birds slowly drowned in the electrified stunning baths during equipment breakdowns. I also captured footage of “red birds,” with blood visible under their skin—a sign that they were scalded alive.Throughout the chicken industry, birds endure egregious abuse, severe overcrowding, filthy conditions, and the crippling effects of unnaturally rapid growth—all before being trucked, sometimes for several hours, through all weather extremes to a gruesome death. And even at the already staggering rate of 140 birds killed per minute at most slaughterhouses, workers are forced to keep birds moving down the rapidly running kill line as quickly as possible, risking their own safety and animal welfare. At even higher speeds, these dangers are alarmingly exacerbated.Amick is one of 24 chicken plants that the USDA allows to run at these incredibly high speeds.  The National Chicken Council recently petitioned the USDA to completely eliminate any speed caps for plants nationwide—and although the USDA denied that request after hearing from more than 100,000 concerned consumers, it is now granting waivers to individual plants to run at up to 175 birds per minute, like at Amick Farms. Up until recently, there were 20 increased speed plants, but the government just handed out four more individual waivers, with plans to give out more.At such speeds, animals can endure even greater suffering. Not only do machines break down, trapping birds in electrified water baths where they drown, but workers are forced to take inhumane and dangerous shortcuts to maintain the fast pace, often causing harm to themselves in the process too. Working at Amick even for just a short time, my knuckles were swollen and my hands were in constant pain. I couldn’t close my hands, and my fingers would not touch when extended. In the filthy and fast-paced assembly-line environment, many workers also removed their shirts in the extreme heat, putting themselves at further risk as they operated dangerous machinery without even basic protection.This is the second time in just a few years that a COK investigation has exposed the horrors of high-speed slaughter, yet instead of abolishing this inhumane and dangerous program, the USDA drives it forward.In late 2015, a COK investigator worked inside Quality Pork Processors, a high-speed pig slaughter plant supplying Hormel Foods, revealing pigs shocked, dragged, and pulled to the kill floor; pigs covered in feces and pus-filled abscesses processed for human consumption with a USDA seal of approval; and much more. COK has since hand-delivered over a quarter million signatures against high-speed slaughter to the USDA’s offices.Slaughterhouses are already hell on earth for birds, who aren’t even afforded the minimal protections granted to other animals under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA). And now, instead of taking steps to reduce the suffering of these animals, the USDA wants to speed up kill lines to boost industry profits under the guise of “modernization.”Please join me in urging the USDA to put the brakes on cruel and reckless high-speed slaughter today—and instead grant these birds bare minimum protections under federal law.In solidarity,“Jordan”Undercover Investigator, Compassion Over Killing P.S. The easiest way you can protect chickens, and all animals, from this abuse is to try healthy and delicious vegan eating. Click here to get started!

Animal Outlook
125,641 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, Marco Rubio, Gavin Newsom, California State House, Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff, Tulsi Gabbard, Brian Schatz, Hawaii State Senate, Ted Cruz, Texas State House, Texas Gov...

Save The Sharks

My goal with this petition is to create awareness about sharks and hopefully create better laws to protect them.  More than 100 million sharks are being killed every year for their fins.  They have their fins cut off, and are thrown back into the ocean to die slowly.  Sharks are needed in the world because they serve a massive part in our ecosystem.  They balance out the oceans and remove the weak and the sick.  They ensure species diversity.  Their disappearance can set off a chain reaction throughout the ocean and even effect the people who are on the shore.  Many shark species are being threatened with extinction because they don't have the chance to reproduce quick enough with the amount that are being killed each year.  Sharks are “functionally extinct” in one of five of the worlds coral reefs.  This finning of sharks will affect the environment, and the food chain massively.  Keep our sharks safe and in the water where they belong.  Every signature helps and is beneficial to helping these magnificent creatures repopulate and get off of the endangered list.  It is estimated that by 2040 sharks will be completely extinct.  Lets help reverse this, and change the world one step at a time.  Save the sharks.

Katie Vordenberg
69,432 supporters
Petitioning Leslie Auriemmo, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Forest Service, Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters, Michigan State Senate, Kathleen Atkinson

Ban has been temporarily delayed - Stop ban of Alcohol on Michigan Rivers

Update 2/12/2019: Our 53,000+ voices were heard! “Freedom is when the people can speak; democracy is when the government listens.” Your stated reasons for signing the petition: Local communities and businesses – Genuine support for our communities and local businesses. A ban like this has been shown to reduce tourism by 70% America – Over reaching government taking away our freedoms Enforce the existing laws Overwhelming love of our river trips – For many, a summer float has been a family and friend tradition for decades. On 02/12/2019, the federal government announced that they are temporarily delaying the order banning alcohol from our rivers. There will be a ‘working group’ formed and chaired by the forest service consisting of businesses, municipal officials, and private citizens with the intention of identifying and correcting issues on Our Rivers. This working group has the opportunity to provide an example to the entire country that it is possible for groups with different agendas and concerns to come together and collectively resolve issues. They can insure our beautiful Michigan Rivers are available to everyone and our freedom is protected. We have decided to keep the petition up and going. We are confident that the working group will formulate a solid plan; however, we want to make sure that our 53,000+ voices are included in the conversation. We have passed along our suggested ideas to the group. We will let you know if there are substantial updates. See you on Our River!   Original petition: Repeal the ban on Alcohol in Michigan Rivers. Specifically, ORDER NO. 09-04-19-01, which was signed by Leslie Auriemmo, forest supervisor, on 02/01/2019. Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months! Order no. 09-04-19-01   Update 2/11/2019: Awesome work everyone. We have over 39,000 signatures! They haven’t repealed the ban YET. CALL TO ACTION!! Please post the following to your Facebook page and social media. Share it. Everywhere! U.S. Federal Government just banned alcohol on Michigan Rivers. Punishable by a $5000.00 fine and up to 6 months in jail! Are your state’s rivers and lakes next on the list? “If we do not have the freedom to have a beer while fishing or floating on our waterways, we are not free.” Please sign this petition to stop the abuse of power and federal government overreach.   Call and email the following: (Please be respectful and civil, this is not personal) Leslie Auriemmo, USDA Forest supervisor, Phone: (231) 775-2421, Email:  Kathleen Atkinson, Regional Forester of the Eastern Region of the U.S. Forest Service, Phone: (414) 297-3765, Email: How did we get here? On 02/02/2019, Leslie Auriemmo, USDA forest supervisor (Phone (231) 775-2421), signed ORDER NO. 09-04-19-01 banning alcohol on the most popular sections of three Michigan rivers and their surrounding areas. Violation of this prohibition is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months in jail! The order was released to the press without contacting local businesses, or authorities. There was no public notice, discussion, comment period, or vote. Apparently a single federal bureaucrat has the authority to impose an order of this magnitude. Why is this happening? As news of our petition reaches the media, the Government is making up new reasons for the ban every chance they get. Nate Peeters, public affairs officer for the Huron-Manistee National Forests, told the news that they have seen “… a number of issues that have damaged the water systems themselves and put people's safety at risk”. This statement is not substantiated with facts or data and is meant to tug at our collective love of our rivers and our environment. People floating on the river are not harming or polluting it. Fishing charters from the Ausable have commented that our rivers are significantly cleaner than in decades past. We are all aware that our actions have consequences, we practice ‘No trace left behind’. Does the Government want to start discussing the actual threats to our rivers such as municipal treatment plant accidents, fisheries, PCBs, Mercury, deforestation or CAFO farming practices? The Government also stated alcohol users are "potentially dangerous to other people and sometimes dangerous to themselves.". Again, vague and non-factual scare tactics. They point out some alleged poor behavior by individuals on the river that “they’ve seen”. Each of these infractions they pointed out already has a LAW to address. Why do we need broad-sweeping new infringements on our freedom rather than just enforcing the laws that already exist? Let the Michigan DNR enforce the laws already on the books. Work on improving infrastructure such as recycle and trash stations, restrooms, etc. The reality is for about 40 hours a year on the eight Saturdays in July and August (70%+ of yearly livery business) Michiganders and out-of-state tourists flock to our beautiful rivers to spend the day floating down in canoes, kayaks, and tubes for 2-5 hour trips. During these few busy days each year the river is full of people relaxing and enjoying their time with family and friends, and some partake in adult beverages during their float. For many, these trips have been family gatherings for decades. During these busy days if anyone gets out of hand with their drinking, there are already laws in place to deal with them (ie. drunk and disorderly, littering, etc). This is no different than how we manage festivals, local beer tents, concerts etc. What does this ban hurt? This ban will have a devastating effect on local economies and businesses. It’s not only the liveries that will suffer; outfitters, hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, bars, hardware stores and others will suffer greatly. If businesses close, jobs will be lost and the tax base will be lowered - this will effect senior services, schools, parks, and other city services. Families are already canceling their summer reservations in the affected towns. Property values in the surrounding communities will be impacted. Our rights as Americans! A couple of Federal bureaucrats working in Cadillac and Chicago, who are not even native to Michigan, have signed an order to ban alcohol in America. Prohibition was repealed December 5th 1933 with the passage of the 21st amendment. Who are they to take away our rights? We want to be free Americans and have fun with our friends and family on the river! This aggression will not stand man! On a personal note: We float the Ausable dozens of times a year, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. We’ve been doing this for 35 years. Our children started when they were in diapers, and now continue the tradition as grown adults. Sometimes we go out with the large groups and sometimes we follow behind them. The liveries last drop in is around 2:30 PM. We rarely see any litter, and if we do it’s a rogue flip flop or empty plastic water bottle. We always pick up anything we see. We have never witnessed a fight or anyone getting out of control. When we are in the mix of the larger groups, we see people truly having fun and enjoying themselves. Laughter, fun conversations, and friendly waves with a lot of great people. There are kids swimming, having water fights, and playing. There are young and old, all ethnicities, family reunions, and bachelorette parties. We even know a couple that got married on the river. WE LOVE IT! News articles and supporters of our cause: Rep. Cole: Feds overstepped the line with alcohol ban NBC 25 News   FYI: Funds collected by are not going to ‘Our rivers’. The donations go towards moving the petition up on the site only.     

Our River
57,184 supporters