Booker announces legislation to hold large factory farms accountable and improve animal welfare
Legislation would require industrial operators to prepare for disasters and use more humane practices
WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (DN.J.) announced the Industrial Agriculture Liability Act, legislation that would place the responsibility for responsible disaster mitigation on businesses and industrial operators by requiring these entities to register with the USDA, submit disaster preparedness plans and pay a fee to establish a fund disaster-focused. This new fund, the High Risk AFO Disaster Mitigation Fund, will be used to enforce disaster mitigation plans and ensure that the most humane practices are used if depopulation is absolutely necessary.
The legislation would also ensure that industrial operators do not use inhumane methods in other aspects of the food system by ending line speed increases and self-inspection programs by meat packers for food processing. animal slaughter, removing regulatory loopholes to prohibit the slaughter of all slaughtered animals, and requiring more humane treatment of livestock transported for long periods.
Finally, the legislation would invest resources for higher welfare slaughter technology in meat and poultry processing facilities and establish a pilot program to train and employ more part-time inspectors to small processing plants.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, amid slaughterhouse closures and the rapid spread of the virus, the USDA and other public health officials helped industrial livestock and poultry farmers depopulate millions of animals, often in incredibly cruel conditions. The total number of animals killed and under what conditions remains unclear, as companies are not currently required to report on depopulation actions.
“We have seen several recent crises that have highlighted the threat that meat producers and their network of factory farms pose to workers, animals, the environment and rural communities. Built by agribusinesses, the industrial livestock and poultry system is designed to maximize production – while outsourcing risk and liability – to ensure corporate profits even when the system fails,” said Senator Booker. “The Factory Farming Accountability Act would place the blame for disasters where it belongs – on the companies and industrial operators who profit most from factory farming and ensure that farmed animals are not subjected to cruel and inhumane practices.”
“Most Americans would be shocked to learn that taxpayers often foot the bill when factory farm animals are cruelly killed, and billions of chickens and turkeys are not legally protected from suffering at slaughter. “, said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “We commend Senator Booker for introducing the historic Factory Farming Accountability Act, which would provide new protections for farmed animals and hold companies accountable for the true costs of factory farming.”
“When natural disasters like bird flu and extreme weather events strike, factory livestock operations suffer huge losses. These losses are too often borne by contract farmers, rural communities and the government,” said Craig Watts, Former Contract Poultry Farmer and Field Team Operations Manager, Socially Responsible Agriculture Project. “It’s time we stopped allowing multi-billion dollar corporations to outsource the cost of their high-risk operations. The Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act shifts the burden where it belongs: the backs of big agribusiness. »
“Since its inception nearly 100 years ago, our country’s Farm Bill has become a tool that the factory farming industry uses to do nothing but maximize its profits, to the detriment of consumers, environment, food system workers, farmers and farmers. animals,” said Leah Garcés, President and CEO, Mercy For Animals. “As a result, we stand at a pivotal moment in reforming America’s food system: the meat industry has created deep-rooted problems that exploit and harm the most vulnerable. It must be the industry’s responsibility to The IAA recognizes this responsibility and offers the industry an opportunity to begin to right these wrongs.
“This bill (the Industrial Agriculture Accountability and Office of High-Risk AFO Disaster Mitigation and Enforcement Act) promises much-needed improvements throughout the supply chain. from meat and livestock, from food safety to animal welfare and labor standards“, said Devin Cornia, executive director, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey. “Furthermore, it will ensure that more finance is made available to family farms compared to industrial agribusiness, thereby improving the resilience of the regional and local food system.”
The full text of the bill is available here.
The list of supporting organizations can be viewed here.
(Visited 6 times, 6 visits today)