LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercy For Animals is proud to applaud Sen. Cory Booker for standing up for downed animals. In October, the Senate released the questions for the record from Dr. Jose Emilio Esteban, the candidate for undersecretary of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In light of Dr. Esteban's nomination to this position, Senator Booker (D-NJ) addressed two aspects of the downed animal issue?downed pigs and their associated public health threats and a 2002 congressional mandate that the USDA submit a congressional report regarding downed animals.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture's decades-long failure to protect pigs who are too injured, sick, or weak to move and the indication that this inaction will continue, is a serious public health and animal welfare concern," said Frances Chrzan, federal policy manager of Mercy For Animals. "While facing the serious consequences of COVID-19 and in the midst of an African swine fever outbreak, Dr. Esteban stated on the record that the Food Safety and Inspection Service would not begin regulations for downed pigs until a disease similar to mad cow disease exists. Mercy For Animals thanks Senator Booker for his leadership on this issue and for supporting transparency in the federal government."
After the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry convened on September 22, Sen. Cory Booker submitted to record a series of questions regarding the welfare of farmed animals who are too sick, injured, or weak to walk or stand without assistance.
Federal regulations to protect these farmed animals, known as "downed" or "nonambulatory," have been contested by the meat industry over the past few decades. As the sick, suffering animals are kept miserably alive solely for meat producers to get them to slaughter, inspection regulations continue to be threatened by the meat industry.
Currently, pre-slaughter inspection regulations exist only to prohibit the slaughter of downed cows and calves, and no such regulations exist for pigs and other farmed animals. In 2014, Mercy For Animals and a handful of other organizations submitted a petition to the USDA to create regulations for downed pigs. After its denial of the petition in 2019, they filed suit against the USDA. This litigation is ongoing.
Mercy For Animals is a leading international nonprofit working to end industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system. Active in Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, and the United States, the organization has conducted more than 100 investigations of factory farms and slaughterhouses, moved more than 300 food companies to adopt animal welfare policies, and helped pass historic legislation to ban cages for farmed animals. Join us at MercyForAnimals.org.
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SOURCE Mercy For Animals
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