Protect the Welfare of Farm Animals


Target: USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Goal: Protect livestock from the incredibly cruel and abusive conditions on factory farms

The vast majority of pigs, chickens, cows and other livestock spend their lives in unimaginable conditions and are the victims of severe cruelty. Call on the USDA to establish regulations for the care of farm animals.

The Animal Welfare Act is in place to protect the basic rights of animals; however several types of animals, such as livestock, are excluded from the mandate. This means that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is under no requirement to enforce standards of care for chickens, pigs, and cows, though these animals suffer daily and by the billions at the hands of the meat, dairy and egg industries. In fact, 97% of the 10 billion animals that are tortured and killed annually are farm animals.

Animals on factory farms are confined to incredibly small spaces, are subject to disease and suffering due to poor sanitation and neglect, endure shocking amounts of abuse, and many never see the light of day. Living in this way, animals are denied normal social interactions and suffer not only physical pain, but psychological trauma as well. Farm workers routinely beat, torture and drug animals to elicit compliance to these unnatural, harsh conditions. Sick or lame animals are usually left to suffer and die because it is considered a waste of resources to call a veterinarian who can treat them or put them out of their misery. Slaughter methods are often unsuccessful, and many animals endure slow deaths, some even remaining partially conscious while being skinned and gutted. Farm animals are treated as objects rather than as living beings.

It does not make sense for the welfare of some animals to be protected while the welfare of others is ignored. Just because animals like pigs, chickens and cows are raised for food does not mean that they are any less deserving of fair treatment. Though establishing a standard of care for livestock cannot possibly eliminate their suffering completely, it is a step in the right direction. Sign the petition to let the USDA know that farm animals deserve basic standards of care, at the very least, and should be protected at the federal level in the same ways that we have agreed to protect other animals.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

Farm animals are among those not protected under the Animal Welfare Act, even though they are subjected to some of the most desperately inhumane conditions and abuse in existence. Farm owners are not held federally responsible for the treatment of their livestock, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is under no obligation to enforce even the most basic level of humane treatment.

It is unacceptable that the federal government currently mandates a certain degree of care for some animals with respect to breeding, research, commercial transport, and public exhibition, but does not do so when it comes to farm animals, even though 97% of the 10 billion animals that are tortured and killed each year are livestock.

I urge the USDA to protect the welfare of farmed animals by establishing decent minimum standards of care for them also. Outlaw their blatant torture, unreasonable imprisonment, and neglect. Just because these animals are raised for food does not mean that they are any less deserving of the level of compassion and protection currently afforded to other animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: osmar01 via FreeImages

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