Target: USDA Secretary Thomas James Vilsack
Goal: Ban the slaughter of sick and injured chickens
Birds comprise a vast majority of the animals slaughtered in the United States — roughly 98%. Unfortunately, the speed of the poultry slaughtering process and the lack of stringent regulations result in the slaughter of millions of sick and injured chickens each year, under extremely painful and barbaric conditions. Despite constituting the vast majority of slaughtered animals in the US, protective legislation such as the Humane Slaughter Act does not apply to birds.
This inhumane treatment of sick and injured chickens represents a truly wasteful process, as food safety regulations require the discarding of meat from slaughtered chickens with broken bones or damaged tissues. Slaughtering chickens with injuries is cruel to the animal and dangerous to consumers, as unsafe meat from sick and injured chickens may slip through the safety inspection process.
In 2012, the most recent data available indicates that 28.3 million slaughtered chickens were condemned and discarded, often due to the mistaken slaughter of sick or injured birds. Besides being a wasteful and negligent practice, injured birds are at a far greater risk for enduring unnecessary pain from mishandling if forced to undergo the slaughter process. Many of these chickens are inadvertently boiled alive in scalding vats when mishandled.
Since birds are not protected by the Humane Slaughter Act, poultry processing plants are rarely cited for wrongdoing when live chickens are boiled, when injured chickens are put through the slaughtering process, or when chickens are injured by improper handling during the slaughtering process itself. Essentially, poultry processing plants can slaughter chickens regardless of the animals’ health without any fear of reprisal.
Urge the USDA to enact stricter regulations on the poultry slaughtering process in order to prevent the tragically wasteful death of millions of already suffering animals.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
Each year, millions of sick and injured chickens are mistakenly slaughtered due to inadequate controls in poultry processing plants. This often results in the meat being discarded anyway, after an agonizing slaughter process for the suffering birds.
The USDA has the power to curtail this senseless animal cruelty with more stringent regulations of the poultry slaughtering process. Please ensure that the suffering of millions of animals is not compounded in years to come by enacting regulations to preserve the safety of sick and injured chickens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Compassion Over Killing via Wikimedia Commons