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
260,986 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
218,820 supporters
Petitioning Publix Super Markets, Walmart, Target, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S, United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Florida Department of Health, Environmental Protection ...

Stop McArthur Dairy Farms from torturing cows by terminating their contracts now.

After watching the investigation conducted by ARM at McArthur Dairy Farms, a company of Dean Foods, we as consumers and non-consumers demand Publix, Walmart and Target to stop dairy supply from McArthur Dairy Farms. We refuse to purchase products or support any organization that has a business relationship with a company that commits these terrible atrocities to cows. Suspending the receiving of milk is not enough as we do not want to see inhumane companies in the market, which is why we request a termination of contract.  In addition, we urge Publix, Walmart, and Target to raise the standards for their dairy suppliers requiring them to protect dairy cows by treating them humanely and giving them a quality of life. We would also like to see the State of Florida and the FDA write laws and statues that protect dairy cows from living inhumanly on dairy farms. 

Andrea Palacio
212,763 supporters
Petitioning USDA

Stop Online Puppy Mills

Do you want to stop puppy mills? I'd love y'all to support my campaign to help close a USDA loophole which currently is very bad news for puppies. As an active member of the rescue community I have seen the effects of puppy mills first hand and would appreciate your support. I was originally planning to submit this on July 16, but just heard the comment period has been extended until August 15 - that means we have even more time to sign and share this! The problem is that right now many puppy breeding facilities that sell puppies are not licensed or regularly inspected for basic humane treatment of animals. These places sell online, on the phone, or through the mail without even giving people a chance to see the animal like you would in a regular, inspected and licensed store. While I'm a rescuer and would always encourage you to adopt an animal, the fact is that this huge USDA loophole is being exploited by those who breed and sell animals without being held to basic animal welfare standards. Please join me and sign the petition. Let's work together to take this step forward for animal welfare. Comments will be part of a Proposed Rule on Animal Welfare; Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions (Document ID APHIS-2011-0003-0001) -Anne

Anne Teicher
143,871 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Puerto Rico State Senate, Puerto Rico State House, Ricardo Rossello Nevares, Estrella Santiago, Kenneth Gruver, Oneil Candelaria

URGE the USDA not to Shoot and Kill the Stray Pot-Bellied Pigs in Puerto Rico

  Not only did Hurricane Maria impact the stray dog problem in Puerto Rico, but it also displaced many Pot-Bellied pigs that residents had kept as pets. This has led to an over-population of stray pigs living on the streets of El Cano, with an estimate of 360 in total. The USDA has "quietly" decided to trap all the pigs, take them to a landfill and SHOOT them! This includes pregnant moms and their babies! (see video above) The USDA needs to know that this is unacceptable. Puerto Rico is NOT a third world country, but rather a commonwealth of the United States and we need to set precedence where HUMANE solutions are required and implemented.  Please URGE the USDA and the Governor of Puerto Rico to designate a piece of land to use as a sanctuary for the pigs. Local rescue groups, along with WUFAW, can then better manage the situation by providing spay and neuter to control the population and start an adoption program locally and internationally.  Please email us if you want more information or know how you can get involved or to DONATE to our cause at  

Women United For Animal Welfare
65,263 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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 (COK) 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!

Compassion Over Killing
18,883 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture/Animal and plant inspection services, City of Columbus


When you walk by a pet store and see an adorable puppy or kitten waiting for a home, it can be tempting to go inside, we know. Grove City Reptiles will be one of the worst pet shops you will ever enter. They Don't Keep The Animals Clean. The animals have coats that look matted, wet or as if they haven't been given a bath in a long time! The owner isn't worried about keeping the animals clean. The owner isn’t paying much attention to the conditions from which they came. Animals should never be left to roll around in their own waste and in THIS pet store you might see feces sitting in a pile right next to the animal. The majority of the animals at Grove City Reptile are showing symptoms of being sick. The puppies show symptoms like sniffling and sneezing. (Common symptoms for kennel cough). These animals are in desperate need of medical attention. Not only are the majority of animals showing signs of being ill, the cages are too small. (Small housing and unsanitary housing leads to this outbreak in the animal’s health and wellbeing). THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ROOM for the animals to roam around, without having to sleep in their own fluids! YOU CAN ACTUALLY SMELL the lingering aromas of animal excrement, urine. Just more proof to the animals unsanitary conditions and upkeep. This pet store is keeping the animals in tiny tanks, cages that are too small for one animal to fit inside comfortably, yet in the pictures below you’ll see two or three animals stuffed inside together. This is a sign the store is about profit, not about finding its animals good homes and humane living arrangements. The cages are typically wired to allow feces and urine to fall through (except for the parts that get stuck on the wiring which hurts the animal’s paws. GROVE CITY REPTILES will not make any changes; they are only in it for the money. All of the animals there are suffering and it’s up to us to make a change. They don’t have a voice so we must speak up for them. I know there are so many of you that have gone into Grove City Reptiles and witnessed firsthand every thing I have been talking about. Thank you for the support. Let’s make a change.   P.S Please submit a complaint to the united states department of agriculture , visit their website at use their online complaint form .

Meghan Poirier
13,299 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Why would animal shelters make euthanasia CHEAPER then the cost to relinquish a pet!

November 8, 2017 was an eye opener for me. I’m calling this  “Change For Chopper”  in honor of this sweet dog above with the sad cofused eyes. I'm so grateful I was in the right place at the right time to help this beautiful dog from a terrible fate. That day I discovered something that broke my heart. Relinquishing a pet at the shelter is more costly then euthanizing it. While the story below is “Choppers story” sadly this is the reality for many other beautiful animals that are taken to the shelters by their owners. I was at the animal shelter picking up an emaciated stray dog in need of help when a man and woman walked into the front office. I turned around and complimented their beautiful Shiba Inu dog, my daughter has one so I recognized the breed. He shocked me by saying he was there to euthanize his 5 year old dog simply because it didn’t listen to him. He went on to say he'd euthanized three other dogs this year for similar reasons. My heart sank, I pleaded with him to relinquish the dog instead and give him a second chance. He responded with “it’s cheaper to put him down, why don’t you pay for it then.” So I did, I paid the $80 for Chopper to get that second chance. That's more then double what it cost to euthanize. He was willing to put down his devoted, loving, healthy 5 year old dog simply because euthanasia is cheaper then relinquishing. I immediately called my daughter who put Chopper and his story on Facebook. The response was tremendous! People everywhere wanted to save him. Chopper didn’t even spend 24 hours at that shelter before getting his new forever home.  We can’t stop those that make a rash and very cruel decision to give up on their pet, but we can make euthanasia the less desireable choice by having a relinquishing fee LESS money then the euthanasia fee.

Sue Val
8,215 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Roy Cooper, Governor Phil Murphy, Andrew Cuomo

Stricter laws against animal cruelty and tougher sentencing for convicted abusers

Recently an yellow Labrador puppy, was adopted by an woman. While away, the woman's boyfriend attack the poor innocent puppy. The puppy was kicked to death.   The man was charged with felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty. Under North Carolina’s “Susie’s Law,” The man faces prison time, though it will likely be less than a year. The maximum sentences 39 months in jail. But that’s still indicative of a troubling leniency in how state law treats animal abusers.  Animals do not have a voice.  Animal Abuse leads to other forms of abuse.  Stop the Animal Abuse, and you can stop abuse of children, elderly, and other people who can not defend themselves. Stronger Laws and Enforcement of them is needed everywhere!  

World Animal Rescue
7,234 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), David W. Pershing

Shut Down University of Utah

The University of Utah is no better than a torture chamber. It is a lab that has run experiments on vulnerable shelter kittens and puppies. It is a lab that has racked up over a dozen federal animal welfare regulations. It is the lab that ran the following experiments: - Chemical injection into the brain of 7-week old kittens - Drilling a hole into the skull of a cat and    attaching electrodes to it- Burning a macaque monkey to death- Killing multiple rabbits and mice by running   unapproved experiments - Heart experiments that involve the removal of a beagle's heart The University of Utah after numerous and repeated violations has received an official letter of warning from the government, yet the facility is still running and still experimenting on helpless animals who deserve better. To make matters worst, non of the experiments yielded any tangible result.  With your help, we can invoke the facilities experimentation licenses and finally shut this torture chamber down. Please sign and share, the University of Utah's animal experiments must end.

World Animal Rescue
6,981 supporters