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
260,411 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
216,710 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
212,435 supporters
Victory
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 Missouri Governor, Missouri State House, Missouri State Senate, Chris Chinn, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

It’s time to ban dog auctions

Missouri is the top state in the nation for puppy mills in 2018 according to the Humane Society of the United States. 23 of the worst 100 puppy mills in the country call Missouri home -- some of whom are repeat offenders. These puppy mills continue to produce dogs, although over 3,200 dogs are euthanized every day, according to the ASPCA. Why do puppy mills keep producing so many puppies? Dog auctions make it possible for puppy mill operators to quickly sell as much of their “inventory” as possible. They create a financial incentive to overproduce puppies for pet stores and online vendors across the country. An infamous Missouri breeder, who owned pet stores in New Jersey, was allowed to auction all of the animals held in his Missouri kennel after he was charged with 267 counts of animal abuse by the New Jersey SPCA. No one inspected the dogs sold at the auction for signs of abuse or illness. This lack of accountability is shameful and unacceptable. But it will continue as long as long as a financial incentive exists. We ask the Missouri Department of Agriculture to require state inspectors to inspect the health and monitor the stress of the dogs, before, during and after all dog auctions while working to ban dog auctions! Help us fight puppy mills by eliminating a key financial incentive -- the dog auction. Take the first step by signing this petition today urging our lawmakers to ban dog auctions now.

maxine reeker
125,045 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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. By MID SEPTEMBER - 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 info@wufaw.org

Women United For Animal Welfare
53,861 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture/Animal and plant inspection services, City of Columbus

SHUT DOWN GROVE CITY REPTILES

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 www.aphis.usda.gov use their online complaint form .

Meghan Poirier
13,231 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
8,179 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Find Kerrigan Law - Vets Must Scan All New Patients and Microchips Prove Ownership

The anguish of a lost or stolen pet can be a nightmare for any family. Every day that passes without finding your pet only drives that nightmare further - perpetual grief of your pets unknown fate with no closure. If your pet has been microchipped, you should have solace, but unfortunately, there are overlooked flaws in the system that could hinder the chance your pet will be returned home. Currently, microchips are not proof of ownership, and it is not a requirement for veterinarians to scan all new patients. If microchips proved ownership and every vet was required to scan all new patients, the chances of every stolen pet being found would increase drastically, so would the likelihood of a decrease in pets being stolen or kept after being found. My family is in dire need of this rule, as we are living that nightmare right now. On Oct 26th 2017, my family's beloved pet escaped our backyard. After constant searching, we still have not found him. We have been door-to-door handing out flyers to neighbors, posted flyers in public locations, stores, and called local shelters and vets. We were even featured in a local news story. After such time with no results, we are now afraid that our beloved family member has been taken in and kept by total strangers. Anyone who has lost a pet knows the nightmare my family and I have been enduring for the past month. And anyone who owns a pet can certainly imagine that nightmare, and fear it. One precaution we take is to get every pet microchipped. So you would think since our dog is microchipped that he would have been reunited with us by now, right? Well, he hasn't, and that's because there is a missed opportunity to increase the benefit of a microchip. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year. One in three pets will become lost at some point during their life. Of that 10 million, 2 million are stolen. Out of that 10 million, only 15 percent have been reunited with their owners by identification through the use of a microchip. That 15 % was only possible because the pet found was taken to the proper facilities by a good Samaritan. Unfortunately, as my family has learned, not everyone is a good Samaritan. Even worse, there has been a 33% rise in pet thefts. There are many horrible reason why criminals would steal our beloved fur babies, but as PAWS explains, "Common reasons pets are stolen. The most common victims of pet theft are purebred dogs. Their pedigree has street value that can fetch thousands of dollars with little effort from or expense to the dog napper." To complicate the problem, pedigree dogs, or even cats, can be stolen in one state, then shipped and sold to someone in another state. Most likely a state clear across the country where there is a high chance that the pet will not be recognized as stolen. Better yet, an even higher chance that the grieving owners will not know to call vets in such a large search area or look in classified ads in search of their missing pet being advertised for sale. Owners spend their time calling vets, shelters and post flyers in a very localized area where the pet was last seen or known to be. This is the nightmare my family lives in now - where do we begin to look? We have called every vet and shelter in our local area, spanning a 25 mile radius, totalling 75 vets 5 shelters. With each call lasting 5 or more minutes. That's almost 7 hours spent calling vets. That time should have been spent pounding the pavement in search of our baby. Instead, I had to suspend my active search just to stay glued to a phone. If I knew it were mandatory for every vet to scan new patients, I wouldn't have had to repeat the following info for every call made: “Our French Bulldog went missing on Oct 26th. He is a black brindle male with a thin white strip of hair on his chest. He has a serious stomach issue and may have seen a vet, or will definitely be needing to see a vet. There is a $5,000 reward. Tips are anonymous with no questions asked. Please, scan every new patient that fits this description and call me at (708)606-8925. ” Surprisingly,  only a handful of the vets called said they scan all new patients. One of those vets even included, "We scan every new patient because we feel it is what's best for the pet, and that's why we are here." I wholeheartedly agree with that veterinarian.  Since none of those calls have produced any results, my family can only assume now, Kerrigan has been taken to another city, county or even state. But, where do we even begin to look?! With the The American Veterinary Medical Association stating there are 107,995 veterinarians in the U.S. as of 2016, then it would be impossible to call each and every vet. The problem is, why should we if our pets have been microchipped. To me, that census should mean there are 107,995 additional people helping to reunite us with our lost pets. They would be if the Animal Welfare Act, expanded the Public Law 101-624 under SEC. 2503. PROTECTION OF PETS, to include that all veterinarians are required, and to be reinforced by the USDA , APHIS and AVMA, to scan all new patients. This law would drastically increase the chances of stolen pets to be reunited with their owners. It would also be a great deterrent to people who decide to keep found pets, or even better yet, thieves who target purebred pets, since they will know that pet will be scanned for a microchip by every veterinarian. The laws of the American Welfare Act have set the foundation for this provision to be possible. It increases the utilization of microchipping pets. It puts our vets, the very same veterinarians that swore an oath to do what is best for our pets, at the forefront of helping relieve us grieving pet owners with the uncertainty that our beloved pets will be found. And If a car's VIN number, or a Tv's serial number can prove ownership, why can't a microchip number not prove ownership of a pet? There is something seriously wrong with our current system if a car or TV has more rights than a pet to be reunited with its owner! So please, sign this petition to help end the nightmare every pet owner fears by demanding microchips prove ownership and all vets be required to scan all new patients for microchips to check if it has been flagged as lost or stolen.   

Bobby Lynch
6,747 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
6,670 supporters