Install Security Cameras to Protect Animals From Abuse in Slaughterhouses

Target: Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

Goal: Mandate CCTV in all U.S. slaughterhouses and transport vehicles to ensure that animal welfare regulations are being followed.

Billions of animals on factory farms are subjected to routine abuse in the form of painful disfigurements, extreme confinement, and untreated disease. The torture does not end here, but continues until the minute an animal’s throat is slit and blood is drained– oftentimes, while still conscious. Thanks to eyewitness accounts and undercover footage that has been recorded in slaughterhouses across the nation, the cruel methods these animals must endure as they are sent off to be killed have been revealed to the public at large.

As animals enter the slaughterhouse, they can smell the blood and hear the screams of others before them. This is an extremely stressful and fear-inducing process, and animals regularly attempt to escape, though it is often to no avail. Animals are commodified, and workers’ goal is to kill as many animals as quickly and efficiently as possible, rather than to make sure these sentient beings are comfortable in their final moments. Animals that fail to cooperate are brutally kicked and beaten with tools such as shovels and cattle prods. Though animals are often stunned before they enter the slaughterhouse– a practice sought to render them unconscious– many times this is either done improperly or is not effective enough, as it may be hours or even days subjected to the torturous conditions of their impending deaths before an animal is actually killed.

There is still relatively little to ensure the humane treatment of animals in slaughterhouses as according to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. While the USDA once required external inspectors to ensure animal welfare and food safety standards were upheld, recent USDA rules have been implemented to allow both factory farms and slaughterhouses to conduct self inspections. Needless to say, this change in legislation is extremely harmful to animals, as workers are now pretty much able to decide their own regulations without fear of governmental intervention. In addition, there has been a recent surge in the campaigning for “ag gag” legislation. Such would make it illegal for undercover documentation of slaughterhouse practices, and would allow companies to avoid any accountability for violations to USDA protections.

England, in particular, has taken extensive measures to ensure the welfare of animals used for human consumption through the mandation of CCTV cameras in slaughterhouses. Many additional countries in the UK, as well as others like France, are in the process of implementing similar protective measures for their own slaughter facilities. This new legislation– which necessitates ongoing surveillance on slaughterhouse plants– would likely deter slaughterhouse workers from actively abusing animals. This footage can be monitored by welfare experts, and in case of any suspected breach of animal welfare standards, can be referred back to in order to ensure no maltreatment has occurred.

Sign this petition to encourage lawmakers to push for similar legislation in US slaughterhouses and transport vehicles and to preserve the rights of sentient farm animals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

As of 2021, the United States enacted a law permitting slaughter plants to self inspect, forgoing the standard USDA protocol of external inspection that had previously been in place to ensure that animal welfare standards– as according to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act– were being upheld. This law poses a huge threat for livestock across the U.S., as the limited protection they once had has been rapidly disappearing. Now, without the deterrence of potential penalization by welfare experts or government officials, slaughterhouse companies are at their own discretion, and the animals at the mercy of people who view them as nothing more than meat to be shipped off and sold for a small profit.

Billions of animals are exploited each year by agricultural practices aimed at feeding the incessant needs of human consumption. Animals that survive the cramped conditions of disease ridden transport vehicles are soon after forced to endure treacherous conditions at the slaughterhouses they are delivered to. Right away, these animals can hear the cries of others killed before them and can smell the blood as these animals are drained of life. Clued into the fate that awaits each and every one of them, these animals are extremely stressed and afraid.

Worker practices at these facilities do not help to soothe the animals. Uncooperative animals are viciously beaten and, although animals are to be stunned before slaughter, this process is usually completed improperly or inefficiently, and animals are many times still conscious when they are hung from their legs and bled out onto the killing floor.

Many other countries are in the process of enacting stricter legislation to protect farm animals from abuse during transport and slaughter. Among these efforts is the mandatory implementation of CCTV cameras in slaughterhouses to allow welfare officials to monitor activity and ensure that animal welfare standards are upheld. We are asking you, Mr. Vilsack, to please implement CCTV cameras in transport vehicles and slaughterhouses across the nation to make sure animals are treated with the respect promised to them by the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. These animals deserve to have their limited rights protected, not stripped away in the name of corporate greed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name here]

Photo Credit: Nom d’util


4 Comments

  1. With transparency being an increasingly important issue for consumers, security cameras in commercial slaughterhouses are an excellent idea.

  2. in this sick and demented society we live in, this is an absolute must have law.

  3. Patrick Butler says:

    Finally, finally a law that has been needed for decades, is getting attention!!!

  4. Kristine Dynice-Gates says:

    Enough of cruelty and exploitation of animals for PROFIT and GREED

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