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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
174,011 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 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
11,108 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
7,683 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Find Kerrigan Law - Vets Must Scan All New Patients for Microchips

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 is an overlooked flaw in the system that could hinder the chance your pet will be returned home. Currently, it is not a requirement for veterinarians to scan all new patients. If 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, it has now been four weeks and 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. Please, scan a new patient that fits this description.” 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. So please, sign this petition to help end the nightmare every pet owner fears by demanding all vets be required to scan all new patients for microchips to check if it has been flagged as lost or stolen.       

Bobby Lynch
3,598 supporters
Petitioning Merial , RABORAL.COM , USA.MERIAL.COM , Donald Trump, President of the United States, Mike Pence, Melania Trump, nasphv.org , United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), WhiteHouse.gov, aphis.u...

Require the USDA and Merial to add wildlife to the label of RABORALV-RG Rabies Vaccine

I am requesting that the U.S.D.A require Merial Inc., whom makes and produces the rabies vaccine, RABORAL V-RG (License # 298) to list the wildlife animals, Skunk, Raccoon, Coyote, Fox and Bat,  that the U.S. government has been giving this rabies vaccine to since 1990, on the label of the vaccine Imrab3 and also make it available to U.S. certified and licensed Veterinarians to also be able to administer the vaccine to these same animals and to be able to give these animals a certificate of rabies vaccination, as is done with all other vaccinated animals, so that these animals will be treated as fair as vaccinated cats, ferrets, horses, dogs etc. are, and given a quarantine time, the same as other animals listed, if they happen to nip/bite someone. Rabies is an infectious disease of warm-blooded animals, including man. The rabies virus is thought to have originated in bats. The virus survives only in living animals and does not exist in the environment. The virus does not infect birds or cold-blooded creatures such as reptiles and amphibians. Although small mammals, such as rabbits, squirrels and mice can be infected with rabies, these species are considered a low risk for transmitting the disease. Rabies is more likely to infect mammals such as dogs, mongooses, skunks, coyotes, raccoons or foxes. In all species, the saliva of infected animals contains live rabies virus particles, which can spread to a new host via bites or scratch wounds. Rabies can also be spread by aerosol (saliva droplets in the air) in caves inhabited by large numbers of infected bats. In the United States, humans are most often infected with the rabies virus by bats. Infected domestic animals, including cats, dogs, horses and cattle, can also transmit rabies to man. Protecting your pets from rabies via regular vaccination is important to reduce the potential of transmission of rabies to your pets and to humans. While extremely rare in the United States, human deaths are still caused by bites inflicted by unvaccinated rabid dogs in many countries. It is very important to seek post-exposure treatment immediately if ANY animal bites you, especially while traveling outside the United States. Post-exposure treatments for humans are no longer a series of abdominal injections and these treatments are very successful in preventing rabies if begun immediately following exposures. Travelers are often unaware that in certain countries the risk of rabies exposure, even from what seem to be pet dogs, can be very high. RABORAL V-RG is an oral rabies recombinant vaccine that protects raccoons and coyotes against rabies, thereby reducing the risk of exposure to rabies to humans and domestic animals. It is only sold to government agencies conducting rabies control programs. RABORAL V-RG immunizes the animal during the eating process. While they eats the bait, the vaccine is exposed to the tissues inside the animal's mouth and the vaccine causes an immune response against rabies.This vaccine is a highly specialized and safe vaccine because it has only one genetic element (i.e., gene) of the rabies virus (NOT the complete virus) so the vaccine will not cause rabies. After eating the vaccine, in approximately 10-14 days the raccoon or coyote will be protected against rabies, should it get exposed to a rabid animal. Each year in the United States, approximately 5 million doses of RABORAL V-RG are distributed into wildlife habitats by public health officials.The bait-units containing the vaccine are distributed by airplane, helicopter or by hand to reach the target species. The location and number of baits used depends on the severity of the outbreak and the specific public health official's goals for their rabies control efforts. Radio messages, TV announcements and posters are used in communities to alert citizens of upcoming baiting programs. As of today, November 3, 2017, the US government, will not allow Merial to sell this vaccine to licensed veterinarians to administer to these animals, even though the government has been using them, successfully, since 1990, on these animals. Merial will not add the animals names to the label either. The IMRAB3 vaccine is the intravenous version.      Every year the federal government distributes ORV (oral rabies vaccine) across the US, by the thousands. They have concluded the cost benefits of the efforts showing that it does eliminate wildlife rabies, saves lives, and the taxpayers pays for this. They say that "To eliminate rabies in our county, like other countries have done, we need to prevent the disease in the wildlife. As a result of the ORV program, in 2004, the dog/coyote strain of the rabies disease has been eliminated  in Texas. The World Health Organization declared the US free of canine rabies in 2007. This an similar success in Canada and several other European countries demonstrate that using ORV for wildlife can manage and eliminate rabies. ORV programs reduce Epizootic related pet and livestock vaccination, quarantine and euthanasia, Lessens the burden on state services (paid by taxpayers) for animal diagnostic testing, lessens livestock and wildlife losses. By combining the expertise of human health care providers, veterinarians & wildlife professionals rabies management can improve the health and well being of all species impacted by this disease. The partners for Rabies Prevention meeting held in August 2017 in Switzerland, brought together over 40 representatives from 27 organizations to discuss international efforts to support countries as they move forward to eliminate rabies. They have came up with a slogan 'Zero by 30' . They want to eliminate rabies worldwide by the year 2030. It CAN be done and this is just my way of helping, because as long as rabies is in the wildlife, we will not eradicate this disease. Making this Change happen will not only help save wildlife, but also domestic animals, people and it will help rehabbers and people that own exotics and wildlife. If we don't put these names on the label and make this vaccine available to vets, then I do not see us ever getting to the point of eradicating this disease. It will save taxpayers money, by letting the rehabbers and owners take the animals to their vet and getting the vaccine. It will save these animals lives if they bit someone, they wouldn't have to be killed and decapitated and will save money all around. Also, it just isn't fair to not have these animals names on the labels of the vaccine that the government is giving them, IT WORKS, let the vets buy it from the Merial, let the people buy it from the vets. The main reason that this is close to my heart is because of a skunk that I rescued at around 4 days old when the mother and siblings got killed by a tractor. I raised her on an eyedropper, got her descented, spayed and vaccinated with the IMRAB 3 rabies vaccine. That did not save her life when she supposedly nipped someone at the age of 6 months old. She was confiscated by the Fish and Wildlife and the Health Dept, took to a local vet, euthanized and decapitated. The person, a relative, that said they got nipped DID NOT EVEN GO TO THE DOCTOR. All they had to do was make a few phone calls to a few places. There was not any proof that my Pepe even bit her. No evidence even was shown for Pepe to be taken away because "That is the Law. She is a Skunk, even though she had the rabies vaccine that is given in the wild by the government, it is just like she has not had it because Skunk is not listed on the label... they have no rights." You can read her full story at PromisesForPepe on Facebook, Instagram, GoFundMe and  .com  Pepe was born on or about May 2, 2016 and was killed Nov. 2, 2016 The day that they came to take her away I promised her that I would not let her death be in vain. That is when I made this promise to her that I would do what I could to help her kind. I will never forget the health dept person bringing her headless body back to me, still warm, and I held her for 4 hours crying. I do not want any person and especially and animal to ever have to go through this again. It was uncalled for, barbaric, outdated. rabiesalliance.org  raboral.com  nasphv.org endrabiesnow.org usa.merial.com usda.gov aphis.usda.gov    

Tonya Poindexter Vaughn
3,491 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Animals are living things, not laboratory specimens

The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to regulate treatment of animals in research. It was designed to offer protection to warm blooded animals used in laboratory experimentation; it sets minimal care standards that must be adhered to by every registered and licensed scientist and laboratory. These care standards include consideration of an alternative, such as in vitro systems and computer simulations; design and performance of experiments with consideration to animal health; use of appropriate quantities and species; avoidance and minimization of pain and discomfort; appropriate anesthesia and sedation; creating humane limits as to how far the experiment can go; adequate veterinary care; appropriate transportation conducted by qualified and trained personnel; and in carrying out the experiment, a trained professional must be monitoring nearby. While these are all important, these regulations are only in place for 5% of all animals used in laboratory testing; of the 95% of animals not included are mice, birds, and rats of the genus Rattus. The USDA is the organization that enforces the AWA and enacts the rules and regulations. We are petitioning the United States Department of Agriculture to amend this act to include ALL animals used in testing because you cannot just pick and choose which species you want to consider animals. 

Jessica Raskauskas
1,479 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Government, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Make Forced Molting ILLEGAL in the United States

Forced Molting is a process allowed in the United States Egg Production where hens are subjected to being starved and given no water for a period of 10-14 days. This "shocks" the hens into starting a new laying cycle and it is therefore done when egg production declines. This is a cruel and inhumane process that leads to a number of hens losing their feathers as well as dying from the starvation. It has been rightfully banned in the United Kingdom but it continues to be legal in the United States. Forced Molting has been linked to salmonella contamination in the eggs due to the weakened immune system of these animals. Forced Molting is not only unbelievable cruel but it is also a huge health hazard. Please sign this petition and help me ban this practice forever!! 

Maday Rodriguez
1,459 supporters
Petitioning Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Stop Animal Abuse and Antibiotic-Resistant Disease Spreading in U.S. Factory Farm System

During the 1950's the U.S. food industry began a shift to higher efficiency production techniques, eliminating the small, green pasture farms that many people still envision today. Of the 10 billion animals that are tortured every year, 97% of these animals are on farms. Unfortunately, due to weak laws and guidelines, the factory farming industry has been able to mistreat and harm animals in many unethical ways that the American public is unaware or negligent of. Factory farming does not only hurt the animals being slaughtered, but also puts consumers of the meat being produced by these farms at risk as irresponsible handling of antibiotics has led to severe growth of resistant diseases. 76 million people in the U.S. become sick due to food borne illnesses and 90,000 of those infected will die each year. Sign this petition to express your dissatisfaction with the gross misconduct taking place in the U.S. factory farm system and to demand reform.

Luke Post
1,344 supporters
Petitioning U.S National Park Services, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), John Delaney, Chris Van Hollen, Ben Cardin

Stop the Mass Killings of Innocent Deer in Maryland National Parks

From December in to March, the National Park Services intends to carry out a mass killing of innocent deer at Antietam National Battlefield, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Catoctin Mountain Park. The killings are to be carried out using sharpshooters supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture. Last year, this genocide killed more than 600 deer within these three parks. Deer are gentle, peaceful animals, and there are viable alternatives to this senseless killing. Megan Nortrup from the National Park Services was quoted by the Herald Mail in saying "And, efforts to reduce deer impacts, like new fencing and plastic tree tubes around saplings, can impact the visual quality of the landscape." By making this statement, Nortrup admitted that non-lethal alternatives were available, but landscape vanity is more important to the NPS than the lives of innocent deer. Relocation is another avenue which could be utilized, but the NPS has failed to address this option. Lethal force should never be utilized against humans or animals when other viable alternatives exist. Tell the NPS that we the people do not support this genocide.

Amanda Lucky
507 supporters