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 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
261,983 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
229,487 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
140,743 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
128,684 supporters
Petitioning Jim Dean, Thomas C. Farnsworth III, Jim Strickland, Memphis Congress Rep Steven Cohen, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Tanya Steele, CEO: WWF-UK, World ...

End Pandas YaYa & LeLe’s suffering and send them back home now!

[Portueguese|French|Germany|Italian|Japanese|Korean | Russian | Spanish | Greek | Dutch|Thai] Update: Click n fill  IDA's dedicated PETITION FORM for YaYa and LeLe Update2: Yaya shows SELF-ABUSE behaviours Update3: Join Billie Eilish and Support Yaya/Lele with one-click! End Pandas YaYa & LeLe’s suffering and send them back home now! In 2003, Giant pandas YaYa and LeLe travelled to Memphis Zoo in Tennessee US, as lovely, impressionable little furballs. After 18 years serving the zoo, today, they look extremely malnourished and sickly. YaYa, the female panda’s fur has been shedding profusely. Yet Memphis Zoo claims they are perfectly healthy. I am asking you, my fellow animal lovers, to encourage the Memphis Zoo CEO Jim Dean to return YaYa and LeLe back to their hometown where food is abundant and medical care is accessible. From 2007, the zoo performed 4 artificial inseminations on Yaya in 5 years, none of which were successful, possibly causing irreversible health damage to her. As early as 2008, YaYa was already shedding patches of fur. 13 years later, YaYa’s shedding has spread throughout her entire body. Beijing Zoo has confirmed that as early as 2014, YaYa has parasite infections that are causing her skin disease. Yet Memphis Zoo continues to claim that YaYa has a seasonal hormone fluctuation that causes hair thinning and that she looks thin due to her small frame. They also told fans YaYa is just “not photogenic”.  Both the Zoo and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums who credited the zoo stated that “she is perfectly healthy!” Panda’s diet is 99% bamboo and only eat certain species. The Zoo only provide 4 species from its 10 acres bamboo farm for BOTH pandas. Research has shown that at least 17 acres (100 mu) bamboo is sustainable for ONE panda. From 2013 - 2016, Memphis Zoo’s bamboo were sold to Toronto Zoo. This no doubt caused shortage, since Memphis Zoo asked for bamboo donations from public. The bamboo quality is also questionable, Yaya LeLe often rejected the bamboo provided. Even the panda in Toronto Zoo rejected the bamboo purchased from Memphis zoo. YaYa and LeLe not only suffer physically from disease and hunger, which is already incredibly heartbreaking, they also suffer psychologically from being caged in a small “den” every day for up to 18-HOURS! In the past 4 weeks, YaYa was allowed to go outdoors only 4 times!  Consequently, both YaYa and LeLe show severe signs of stereotypical behaviours, an irreversible mental impair caused by abnormal environment.   These unspeakable sufferings of YaYa and LeLe was not just a recent discovery but have lasted for more than a DECADE! Years of apparent neglect on pandas as well as other animals, and the lack of transparency seems to indicate that the zoo has little interest, if any, on animal welfare. We ask you to encourage Memphis Zoo CEO Jim Dean to send YaYa and LeLe back to their homeland China immediately! They have already sacrificed their entire lives to entertain humans. Now they are senior pandas reaching to the end of their life span, YaYa and LeLe deserve a retirement life without sufferings! Please sign and share this petition to help bring YaYa and LeLe one step closer to a healthier and happier life.  On behalf of Yaya and LeLe, we sincerely thank you for your support! For detail on YaYa and LeLe’s condition, please visit this article More ways to support the cause: Fill out IDA's fast action form Join our FB Group Visit Pandavoices.org Ins: @PandaVoicesOrg Twitter: @PandaVoicesOrg   *DISCLAIMER: Any monetary donation made when signing this petition goes to Change.org. Panda Voices have no donation activities. All the information provided by Panda Voices and its affiliated media channels are published in good faith. We encourage viewers to exercise independent judgment and due diligence.

PandaVoices.Org
84,051 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
74,596 supporters