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Fight the Farm Bill's Threat to Humane Animal Treatment

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6.61% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

The 2024 Farm Bill endangers animal welfare by reversing key protections and threatening public health—take action now to protect humane farming standards.


The 2024 Farm Bill, recently approved by the House Agriculture Committee, poses a significant threat to animal welfare. This bill includes provisions that could reverse years of progress in humane farming practices, endanger public health, and negatively impact countless animals1.

We need your help to ensure these harmful provisions are removed.

What’s at Stake?

The proposed Farm Bill aims to nullify California's Proposition 12 and similar laws in other states. Proposition 12, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, bans the use of gestation crates—small metal cages that prevent pigs from turning around—and mandates more humane living conditions for farm animals2. By attempting to override these state-level standards, the bill threatens to undo years of progress in animal welfare.

Chairman Glenn Thompson, who drafted the bill, has faced criticism for aligning with the National Pork Producers Council and other industry groups1. His efforts disregard the voices of family farmers, citizens, and even pork producers from his home state, Pennsylvania, who support more humane practices2.

Favoring Low-Welfare Practices

This bill appears to favor industries with controversial practices. Mink farming, which has been banned in over 20 countries due to its public health risks and cruelty, receives subsidies under this bill1. This support continues despite the clear public health risks posed by mink farms, including potential pandemic threats.

The bill also targets animal rescue groups, making it harder and more expensive for them to operate. These provisions threaten international rescue efforts and benefit high-volume breeders and puppy mills by reducing competition, potentially leading to increased profits for breeders and mills at the expense of animal welfare1.

Impact on Public Health and Assistance Programs

Beyond animal welfare, the proposed Farm Bill affects food assistance programs and climate-smart agricultural practices. House Republicans aim to freeze future increases in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which could reduce the amount of assistance low-income families receive3. Additionally, the bill reallocates funds designated for climate-smart agriculture to more traditional conservation programs, potentially hindering efforts to combat climate change through sustainable farming4.

Your Voice Matters

The current version of the Farm Bill represents a step backward for animal welfare and public health. It is crucial for advocates and concerned citizens to voice their opposition to these harmful provisions. By signing the petition below, you can help ensure that the Farm Bill is revised to protect animal welfare and public health.

Sign the petition now to make your voice heard and protect the future of humane farming practices.

More on this issue:

  1. Kitty Block And Sara Amundson, Humane Society of the United States (24 May 2024), "Breaking: Proposed Farm Bill would create a nightmare for animals."
  2. Kitty Block And Sara Amundson, Humane Society of the United States (10 May 2024), "Help stop ‘fix’ in Farm Bill that would undercut strongest farm animal welfare law in US.."
  3. Sarah Zimmerman, Agriculture Dive (21 May 2024), "5 takeaways from the House farm bill draft."
  4. Laura Zaks, National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition (20 May 2024), "House Farm Bill misses opportunity to move agriculture forward."
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The Petition:

To the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee of the United States Congress,

We, the undersigned, urgently call for revisions to the proposed 2024 Farm Bill to ensure that it does not jeopardize animal welfare. This bill, as it currently stands, threatens to reverse critical protections for farm animals, undermine public health, and disregard the humane treatment practices that many states have worked hard to implement.

Proposition 12, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, represents a landmark in farm animal welfare, banning the use of gestation crates and mandating humane living conditions. This bill's attempt to nullify such state-level protections endangers the progress we have made towards more ethical and humane farming practices.

Humane treatment of animals is not just a moral obligation but also a public health necessity. Low-welfare farming practices are known to increase the risk of disease transmission, posing significant threats to both animal and human health. Subsidizing industries like mink farming, which has been banned in over 20 countries, and making it harder for animal rescue groups to operate, sends a message that cruelty and negligence are acceptable.

We urge the federal government and Chairman Thompson to listen to the voices of family farmers, citizens, and animal rights advocates. Revisions to the Farm Bill must protect, not undermine, animal welfare. We need strong regulations that reflect the values of compassion, responsibility, and public health.

By revising the Farm Bill to uphold humane treatment standards, we can ensure a better future for all—animals, farmers, and consumers alike. Let us continue to build a society that values and protects all its members, ensuring that our agricultural practices are sustainable, ethical, and humane.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: