In April, Mercy for Animals released their latest undercover investigation, revealing horrific abuse at the E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas. Workers were shown bludgeoning calves with hammers and pickaxes, throwing still-conscious calves onto piles of dead ones, kicking calves and standing on their necks, and committing other acts of shocking cruelty.
The American Veterinary Medical Association responded to the investigation, calling for video in slaughter facilities and zero tolerance for abuse. Executive Vice President W. Ron DeHaven said, "We're seeing this happen much too often, and it's time we take a stronger stance against such abuse ... If producers were treating animals in a humane manner, there would be no need for undercover filming. Frankly, we can't understand why responsible producers would object to being filmed ..."
Yet at least three states -- Florida (SB 1246), Iowa (SF 431) and Minnesota (SF 1118/HF1369) -- are currently considering bills that would make undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses illegal. If the AVMA really wants to take a zero tolerance stand against abuse, they'll take a stand against these bills.
While video monitoring of slaughterhouses is a great idea, the footage would have to be regularly reviewed and regulatory agencies (which rarely crack down on factory farms) would have to act on them. The reality is that undercover investigations are the only way factory farms are currently being held accountable for animal cruelty and consumer safety risks.
Tell the AVMA to stand behind their strong words condemning the inhumane treatment of animals on factory farms by opposing the bills that would make undercover investigations illegal.
Photo credit: Mercy for Animals