Stop Suffocating Injured Animals in Slaughterhouse Transport Vehicles

Target: Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States

Goal: Tighten animal transport regulations and stop torturing farm animals on their way to slaughter.

It is, by now, common knowledge that animals suffer immensely for the meat we consume. In slaughterhouses, frightened cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, and other animals are led into rooms filled with the scent of blood and screams from other victims that share their same fate. Though animals are usually stunned upon entering the slaughterhouse, this is typically done improperly or wears off by the time an animal is to be killed. Animals are often still fully conscious as they have their necks slit open and blood drained out onto the killing floor.

This suffering, however, starts long before animals even arrive at slaughterhouses. The journey to the slaughterhouse is just as stressful as the actual slaughterhouse itself. Animals are rallied into trucks by the hundreds, kicked and prodded and shoved if they fall out of line. These animals, not used to such intimate human contact, are extremely afraid of the people who haul them into the vehicles. To speed up the processes of loading and unloading the trucks, workers will use electric prods, sometimes targeting sensitive areas such as an animal’s eyes, abdomen, and genitals.

It is not uncommon for animals to die during transit. Extreme heat conditions–as trucks are not ventilated and are subject to overheating,– mixed with the cramped quarters, terrible air quality, and rampant disease spread contributes to premature deaths. Others suffer heart attacks brought on by the extreme stress they face during the ride–not knowing where they are going or why. These animals have no access to food or water throughout the duration of the trip, which might last for upwards of 28 hours. Animals sustain painful injuries and broken bones when fighting one another for the limited space, or from being jostled around, thrown against the side of the truck everytime the driver hits a bump or a dip in the road.

Birds like chickens, ducks, and turkeys are transported together in crates with barely enough room to even stand upright. Animals at the lower end of the pile typically suffocate due to lack of oxygen and overheating, while those on the top suffer from exposure to extreme weather conditions. As workers are expected to load about 1,000-1,500 animals onto trucks every hour, birds are carelessly thrown and packaged, held by the leg, wing, or whatever other body part the workers happen to grab. These birds are fragile, and succumb to a series of injuries including internal hemorrhaging and bone fracture.

Legislation to protect farm animal welfare during transport is already underway in five EU countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Among the changes these countries plan to make are to reduce the maximum transit time to 8 hours, restrict live exports of animals to countries without legislation to uphold the same levels of animal welfare as the EU, and define intervals for providing animals–specifically unweaned animals–with food and liquid. These countries are also considering making changes to ensure certain space allowances for each animal during transport, educate all transport drivers and attendees on proper animal handling and protocols, and set standard temperature ranges for transport vehicles.

Sign this petition to encourage the U.S. to create similar legislation and to do more to ensure the comfort of animals as they are transported to slaughter.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Biden,

Changes must be made to legislation regarding animal welfare standards and protocols during the transport of farm animals to slaughter. The journey from farm to slaughterhouse, as it currently stands, is extremely traumatizing for the billions of animals that are forced to embark upon it, and inflicts severe physical and psychological damage upon these innocent creatures. During loading and unloading procedures, animals are kicked and shoved, clubbed with electric prods and tormented by workers who take their frustrations out on individuals who fail to cooperate. Chickens, ducks, geese, and other birds are lifted by their wings, legs, and necks, carelessly thrown into overcrowded crates where they barely have enough room to stand.

Many of these animals die slow and painful deaths during transport. Animals suffocate due to extreme heat, as trucks are not ventilated; are stomped to death by other animals as they compete for space and air; starve to death since they are forced to go without food or water for upwards of 28 hours; succumb to injuries sustained from being thrown around by workers and moving vehicles; die of heart attacks brought on by the stress induced by the whole process, among other things.

Several other countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Sweden, have acknowledged the horrific cruelty of current animal transport standards and have already started taking steps towards better protecting their animals. Protections will be extended to include an 8 hour maximum transit time, restriction of transport to countries that do not have the same animal welfare standards as the EU, and require interval provision of food and liquid to–specifically unweaned–animals. Additional considerations include enforcing legislation to educate all transport drivers on proper animal care and handling protocols, set standard temperature ranges for vehicles, and define space allocations for each animal during transport.

We are asking you, President Biden, to please consider adapting our current legislation to include some–or all–of these modifications. Farm animals suffer enough as is, it is important that we do our best to ensure they are comfortable and–at the very least–not deathly afraid and stressed out during their final moments.

Sincerely,

{Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nom d’util


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