Trump’s agriculture team threatens to kill first-ever federal animal welfare standards for farm animals
First, on January 23rd, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) froze an anti-horse-soring rule, years in the works and with massive bipartisan support in Congress. Then, just days later, the agency, without warning, took down thousands of Animal Welfare Act inspection reports and Horse Protection Act violations from a searchable website. Third, the USDA placed . . .
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a morally inconsistent mess when it comes to animal welfare. Although in the past he’s signed important legislation to ban horse slaughter and to crack down on the ivory trade and the trade in trophies, among other positive actions, he’s also been a strong proponent of trophy hunting of . . .
The “organic” market is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the food industry – generating more than $40 billion in sales last year alone. But increasingly, consumers want to know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program has integrity and meaning and that producers invoking the federal government’s label are honoring the standards. . . .
Last week, the fast-food giant Subway announced a comprehensive plan to require that its chicken suppliers enhance the way they treat animals. Subway is the world’s largest restaurant chain, with more than 25,000 locations in the United States alone. Our Nine Billion Lives campaign to improve the welfare of chickens got even more wind in . . .
Last week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nullified a Bush-era regulation that gave something of a free pass to factory farms that pollute the air and water. The regulation wrongly exempted factory farms from any obligation to report releases of toxic air emissions, including ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which can cause so many problems . . .
Last November, Oklahoma voters crushed a State Question 777, a proposed constitutional amendment in Oklahoma to create a “right to farm” — a measure to deregulate agriculture in the state on a go-forward basis. Despite a multi-million dollar campaign to pass it, more than 60 percent of voters rejected it, with rural and urban counties . . .
Last summer, I reported on the launch of one of The HSUS’s biggest and most important campaigns in its 63-year history: an effort to improve conditions for the nine billion chickens we raise and slaughter for food each year in this country. These birds — called broilers — represent nine out of every 10 animals . . .
Two pair of ideological opposites introduced bills in the U.S. House and Senate yesterday – Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Cory Booker, D-N.J., in the Senate, and Dave Brat, R-Va., and Dina Titus, D-Nev., in the House — to reform a series of federal government programs that have too often taken on the character of a . . .
It’s fitting, it seems, that on the launch day of the paperback version of The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals in bookstores, Burger King and Tim Horton’s announced new policies concerning the welfare of chickens raised in meat production. These major food retailers are announcing new space . . .
The attack on animals – and the people who defend them – isn’t just happening on the federal level. It’s happening in some important states, too. The Arkansas Senate yesterday approved a controversial state “ag-gag” bill that allows employers in Arkansas to sue workers who expose cruelty at their workplaces. It had passed the House . . .