Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Goal: End cruel and abusive slaughterhouse practices by enforcing the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.
Every hour, approximately 1,000,000 chickens, 13,000 pigs, and 4,000 cows are slaughtered for human consumption in the United States. These animals are beaten, dismembered, and boiled alive in slaughterhouses across the country. Quicker production demands mean that production lines do not stop for sick, disabled or improperly stunned animals, causing these animals to be brutally murdered while fully conscious.
From a factory farm where many live in disgusting cages or too-small pens, animals are beaten and forced onto a truck for the long journey to death. They are dehydrated and hungry and many perish along the way. Upon arrival, the animals are again beaten and coerced into a building with terrifying sights, sounds and smells. Animals are then struck with a bolt gun then hung upside down until their throats are cut. Others are submerged in scalding water. About 40 percent are not effectively stunned and endure the torture fully conscious.
Animals on factory farms are not treated as sentient creatures. Rather, they are deemed production units. Thousands are raised at a single farm and are confined to such small areas that they can barely move, let alone live their lives. Besides not being properly stunned before being killed, many undercover organizations have provided video proof of animals being tortured and abused by workers. Workers have been documented beating animals, throwing animals into walls, dragging animals by their legs, ears and tails, burning animals with cigarettes, beheading conscious chickens, and shocking animals with electric prongs on their cheeks, tails, and legs.
The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) was created to protect animals at slaughter. The HMSA, however, is rarely enforced by the USDA. The HMSA applies to more than 147 million livestock killed each year at federally and state-inspected plants. It does not protect the billions of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and rabbits slaughtered each year. It also does not apply to animals slaughtered on a farm.
The HMSA was enacted for a reason–to ensure that animals are killed humanely. Abusing, torturing, and inhumanely killing them while still conscious is a direct violation of the HMSA. By signing this petition below, you will urge Secretary Tom Vilsack of the USDA to ensure that slaughterhouses adhere to the HMSA through increased inspections, fines, and prosecutions for those in violation of the act. Please stop the torture of animals already condemned to die.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
The United States slaughters an abundance of animals for human food consumption. Animals destined for slaughter deserved to be treated humanely and live a life free from cruelty. There have been many documented incidences of animals in slaughterhouses being abused, tortured, and killed while still conscious.
The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act was enacted to protect animals from precisely the torture they are being forced to endure. The USDA needs to provide a sufficient number of staff to inspect and enforce the HMSA. Further, the HMSA needs to be expanded to cover the governance of slaughter of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and rabbits and animals killed on farms. Slaughterhouses and workers found to be in violation of the act need to be brought to justice. It is unconscionable that this level of animal abuse is tolerated against any sentient being.
We, the undersigned, urge you to end the cruel and abusive treatment these animals are enduring before being slaughtered. They give their lives for us–it is up to us to ensure they do not suffer undue inhumane treatment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ledmark 31