Topic

USDA

11 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Carmen Rottenberg, James Snee, Luis Marconi, Sonny Perdue, Paul Kiecker, Hormel Foods

Not So Fast, USDA: Stop the Unhealthy & Inhumane High-Speed Slaughter!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to expand a flawed pilot program that allows select slaughterhouses to dramatically speed up their slaughter lines, while simultaneously pulling back on government oversight. I recently worked undercover at one of these pilot facilities, and captured on video the shocking ways this program fails to protect animal welfare—and American food safety. Please join me in telling USDA and Hormel it’s time to stop this high-speed, reduced-inspection pilot program, known as HIMP. By shifting key inspection responsibilities to the slaughterhouses themselves, while also allowing these plants to operate at extremely high kill speeds, this program is allowing animal abuse and food safety problems to increasingly go unchecked. Consumers deserve more, not less, oversight in food production. Before going undercover at Quality Pork Processors in Austin, Minnesota, I knew that I would see appalling abuses and nightmarish animal suffering—that’s unavoidable at a slaughter plant, especially one that processes 1,300 pigs each hour. But what I didn’t expect was how rare it would be to encounter a government inspector, or how many pigs would be processed into SPAM or other Hormel products despite being sick, injured, riddled with pus-filled abscesses, or covered in feces. Even knowing what I did about animal cruelty, I naively believed that the government was at least making sure that the food supply was safe—but I don’t believe that anymore. Now, I know that our government has rubber-stamped a program that gives the profit-driven pork industry free reign to “monitor” itself. I documented plant employees, under pressure to keep up with the facility’s high operating speeds, dragging, kicking, beating, and excessively shocking pigs. I even saw pigs regaining consciousness on the slaughter line—a major violation of federal law. Let’s demand that USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service live up to its name and do just that—meaningfully regulate and inspect our nation’s slaughterhouses. It can’t continue to bow to pressure from industry giants like Hormel. We must end this high-speed slaughter program, which replaces highly-trained inspectors with untrained, industry employees—with devastating results for animals, workers, and consumers. In Solidarity, Scott David (former Compassion Over Killing undercover investigator) October 2017 Update: With a proposal to expand the dangerous HIMP pig slaughter program on the horizon, chickens and turkeys are facing a similar threat. The industry has petitioned the USDA to lift the current maximum line speed of 140 birds per minute (that’s already more than 2 birds every second!). Such a waiver of the cap would essentially allow plants to operate at any speed—a serious danger to animals, workers, and consumers.In 2015, I worked inside Mountaire Farms in North Carolina—operating at speeds of up to 140 birds per minute. I saw live birds being thrown into piles with the dead as workers only had time to perform split-second checks of their condition, fallen birds being thrown across the room, and birds having their heads caught in the shackles as workers rushed to keep up. As investigations and government inspection records reveal, improper shackling can even lead to the kill blade slicing birds open in places other than their throat, and the birds then entering the scalding tank alive. Yet the industry has ignored these risks in a sly attempt to line its own pockets by trying to make slaughter lines run even faster. Please join me in telling the USDA, “Not so fast!”

Compassion Over Killing
245,660 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives

Ban Puppy Mills

      When I was a kid I wanted a puppy so badly. So naturally the easiest thing to do was to go to our local pet store and buy one. Only years later would I find out where our dog truly came from: a puppy mill.       When I looked up what a puppy mill was, I felt sick to my stomach. A puppy mill is a commercial dog-breeding facility that cares very little about a dog's well being and more about the money. In less opinionated words, they care about increasing profit with very little overhead cost.       Everyday in puppy mills across America, and the world, puppies are abused, neglected, and often get very sick from the horrid conditions they're left to live in. The minimum amount of space for a dog that is 11 inches is 2.01 square feet and only 6 inches above the head of every size of dog That's pretty small. Outdoor/ sporty types of dogs are even worse off in these conditions. They need room to run around and play.       Most of the time the food can be contaminated, leaving disease ridden puppies as well as malnourished ones. For female dogs breeding could be deadly. They're bred at every opportunity they can get. They often get little to no recovery time at all between litters. When they physically cannot reproduce anymore they are often killed.       Puppy mills have limited or even no regulation at all for clean up control. This means puppies could be living in their own and other's urine and feces. Most puppy mills also don't have veterinary care, climate control, or protection of the animals from the weather.       I could go on and on about the horrible conditions these puppies are left in, but I'm going to cut this short. I beg of you please, adopt don't shop! Let's all work together to adopt animals from shelters and put puppy mills out of business!         

Madison Young
1,461 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Alex Melvin CEO at Rural King, Rural King Corporate, Rural King Inc, Alachua County Animal Services, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County

Rural King Please Stop Selling Domestic Rabbits

We the Petitioners respectfully request that Rural King stand with Tractor Supply who made the compassionate decision to cease all rabbit sales in their stores in 2012. We also respectfully request a USDA statewide investigation into the cruelty of the animals at Rural King stores, having over 100 stores in a twelve state area. Rural King not only sells domestic rabbits at Easter but all year long while contributing to the unwanted and dumped rabbits in both shelters and in the wild, where they rarely survive either fate. Unwanted rabbits also end up on Craigslist where they are given away Free often resluting in live dog bait, live feeding to snakes, eaten by humans or killed by animals abusers.References can be found all over the internet of baby rabbits being purchased as pets from Rural King while they supply the public with animals appearing to be purchased from questionably inspected back yard breeders. Because of over population, over a million cats and dogs are euthanized each year. Additionally, many pet rabbits are rendered homeless when they are gifted to individuals who later abandon them after their "novelty" has worn off. Restricting the retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits will increase the demand to adopt animals from animal shelters and rescue organizations, which will in turn help more shelter animals find loving homes. It will also reduce the number of pets that are gifted to owners who may not want them and who may not be knowledgeable about the care and cost of keeping a companion animal. Finally, it would reduce the financial burden on taxpayers for the care and euthanasia of unwanted animals left at an animal control facility, or picked up by animal control agents because they are abandoned.There are also valid concerns over the welfare of the animals in the Rural King stores across the state. Several instances of alleged sick or dead animals reported online being seen in store cages, animals dying shortly after purchase and claims of a back room "hospital" where rabbits and chicks are left without Vet care, food or water to suffer and die as well as news reports of live chicks thrown in dumpsters.  Some Baby rabbits appear to be under 2 months old often seen in the store photos. March 2017 -Concerns over Animal Welfare at Local Farm Supply Store Back room "chick hospital" was a galvanized tub with quite a few dead chickens in it. "Hatfield said this is not a new problem. Last year, she received reports of bunnies dying daily at Rural King in addition to chicks". May 2017 - Mistreatment of animal allegations March 2015 - Sick live baby chicks seen thrown into garbage dumpster at Rural King. July 2014 - Alleged Consumer complaint: Carbondale Illinois store is selling sick and dying baby rabbits and the manager refuses to acknowledge complaints. July 2014- Alleged investigation by Illinois Department of Agriculture Animal Cruelty Department into the death of two dutch rabbits purchased at the Carbondale Illinois Rural King store.  One laying sick in store died within 2 hours of purchase, the mate 72 hours later.  Alleged report of Ileus -gastrointestinal shutdown, deadly bloat, bacterial infection, and parasitic infestation (contagious).  Described as malnourished and skeletal . (Referenced in petition photo). May 2017 - Complaints - of baby pigs 8.5 weeks and 9.5 weeks old still trying to nurse for sale at Rural King. Adopt Don't Shop References New York City Council outlawed the bunny trade to help curb a glut of unwanted rabbits at city shelters by people who had second thoughts about caring for the rabbits.  Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles also have laws banning the sale of rabbits by pet stores.  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-newyork-rabbits-idUSKBN0JV2SD20141217 Retail pet store sales bans are a welcome trend, here is a list of the jurisdictions in the United States and Canada which have passed such legislation. https://bestfriends.org/resources/jurisdictions-retail-pet-sale-bans California bill would ban selling pets bought from breeders. https://calcoastnews.com/2017/04/california-bill-ban-selling-pets-bought-breeders/

Linda Sue
2,644 supporters