Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), also known as factory farms, dominate animal agriculture in the U.S., where billions of animals are raised in crowded, inhumane conditions. This system, created and controlled by a handful of multinational corporations, is powerful politically but incredibly fragile in reality.
As we’ve seen repeatedly—when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, during multiple avian flu outbreaks—the factory farm system is not set up to withstand disruptions or disasters. Over the past few years, these corporations have ordered millions of animals to be frantically culled on factory farms: not for food, but just to get rid of what the industry termed “excess” animals. This often involves incredibly cruel methods like “ventilation shutdown,” where animals are essentially cooked alive.
Many of the corporations forcing their farmers to kill animals inhumanely have also jeopardized worker safety throughout the pandemic—and in return, have received support for these cruel activities from the federal government, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, these multinational corporations saw 300% growth in profits. The factory farming model puts efficiency and profits above all else, posing a huge threat to animals, farmers, workers, public health, the environment and rural communities.
Thankfully, Congress is taking action! Today the Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act was officially introduced after being announced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) last week. The ASPCA worked closely with the Senator’s office to draft the bill and is proud to be part of this momentous effort to reform industrial agriculture.
“Most Americans would be shocked to learn that taxpayers are often footing the bill when animals on factory farms are killed in cruel ways, and that billions of chickens and turkeys are not legally protected from suffering at slaughter,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “We applaud Senator Booker for introducing the landmark Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act, which would provide new protections for farmed animals and hold corporations accountable for the true costs of factory farming.”
The Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act (IAA) offers solutions to address the animal cruelty and devastation caused by the factory farming system, including:
- Requiring industrial operators to register large, high-risk CAFOs, submit disaster preparedness plans and pay to cover the costs of preparing for and responding to disaster events.
- Ensuring that industrial operators aren’t using the worst depopulation and slaughter practices, including dangerous line-speed increases and meatpacker self-inspection programs.
- Protecting billions of farmed animals by passing new requirements for more humane transport and slaughter, including phasing out cruel live-shackling of chickens and turkeys.
- Investing significant new resources for higher-welfare slaughter technology in meat and poultry processing facilities and establishing a pilot program to train and employ more part-time inspectors for small processing plants.
Help us hold industrial agriculture accountable and create a better world for farmed animals by advocating for the Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act. Contact your two U.S. senators TODAY and urge them to support and cosponsor this important bill.
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