End Inhumane Slaughter On Poultry Farms

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Call on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to reject ventilation shutdown and put an end to this inhumanity!


The Eurasian H5N1 avian influenza virus spread through Europe, Asia, and Africa in late 20211 and was first detected in the US in January. It has since spread to at least 32 states, resulting in the death of more than 38 million chickens and turkeys and triggering a spike in egg prices2.

The virus has a near 100 percent mortality rate among infected poultry and can spread rapidly among birds, especially in packed industrial farming conditions3.

Avian influenza is believed to pose little threat to humans. It only rarely spills over to people, and only to those who come into close contact with infected birds4.

In the U.S., poultry farmers across the country are killing chickens en masse to stop the spread of avian Influenza5.

Animals are being killed by gassing, suffocation by foam, and worst of all, ventilation shutdown plus (VSD+), the practice of sealing all ventilation points and adding heat to suffocate animals6.

VSD+ kills animals through an agonizing process of total ventilation shutdown accelerated by heat, humidity and carbon dioxide. Animals are forced into heat stroke or cardiac arrest before suffocation.

At one farm in Iowa where a case of avian influenza was discovered, workers arrived to find 5.3 million birds killed by VSD+, while they were still in their cages7.

"They cooked those birds alive," said one of the many workers who spent their last days piling the poultry carcasses into a mass grave before they were all told to find other jobs7.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) depopulation guidelines currently permits the use of VSD+8. AVMA poultry guidelines actually suggest using VSD+ in circumstances when heat can be kept at deadly temperatures for a minimum of three hours9.

However, many veterinarians do not support this method of killing animals. In 2020, nearly 3,000 veterinary professionals called on the AVMA to end this barbaric practice10.

Millions of birds are at risk of being inhumanely killed. Their last moments should not be in agony. Sign the petition and help us ask the AVMA to update their guidelines and reject using VSD or VSD+..

More on this issue:

  1. Kenny Torrella, Vox (5 May 2022), "The horrific bird flu that has wiped out 36 million chickens and turkeys, explained."
  2. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (20 April 2022), "2022 Confirmations of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Commercial and Backyard Flocks."
  3. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (15 December 2020), "More than 2,900 Veterinary Professionals Call on AVMA to Prevent Brutal Ventilation Shutdown on Farms."
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (28 April 2022), "U.S. Case of Human Avian Influenza A(H5) Virus Reported."
  5. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times (24 February 2022), "Avian Flu Spread in the U.S. Worries Poultry Industry."
  6. Veterinarians Against Ventilation Shutdown, "What is Ventilation Shutdown (VSD/VSD+)?."
  7. Chris McGreal, The Guardian (28 April 2022), "US egg factory roasts alive 5.3m chickens in avian flu cull - then fires almost every worker."
  8. American Veterinary Medical Association (2019), "AVMA Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals: 2019 Edition."
  9. Animal Welfare Institute (October 2021), "Classification of Ventilation Shutdown Methods in the AVMA Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals."
  10. ASPCA (15 December 2020), "More than 2,900 Veterinary Professionals Call on AVMA to Prevent Brutal Ventilation Shutdown on Farms."
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The Petition:

To the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA),

The Eurasian H5N1 avian influenza virus that has spread through Europe, Asia, Africa and now the U.S. poses a tremendous threat to domestic poultry. As such, poultry farmers across the country are killing chickens en masse to stop the spread of avian Influenza.

Animals are being killed by gassing, suffocation by foam, and worst of all, ventilation shutdown plus (VSD+), the practice of sealing all ventilation points and adding heat to suffocate animals.

The AVMA's depopulation guidelines currently permit the use of VSD+. AVMA poultry guidelines actually suggest using VSD+ in circumstances when heat can be kept at deadly temperatures for a minimum of three hours.

Many veterinarians do not support this method of killing animals. In 2020, nearly 3,000 veterinary professionals called on the AVMA to end this barbaric practice.

Today I am joining those veterinarians in calling for an end to VSD and VSD+. Please update your guidelines and reject the use of VSD or VSD+ in poultry depopulation.

Sincerely,

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