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"Downed" animals-those too sick, diseased, or injured to stand or walk on their own-are often kicked, dragged with chains, prodded with electric shocks, or pushed by bulldozers to move them to slaughter. Often, though, they are first left to languish for days in their own waste without food, water, or veterinary care. Downed animals are at a high risk of carrying harmful diseases such as mad cow, E. coli, and salmonella. At least 12 of the 14 cases of mad cow disease identified in North America were reportedly downed animals.
Although the USDA established a temporary ban on the slaughter of downed cattle in 2004 following the discovery of mad cow disease in the U.S., the agency has never finalized the policy nor enforced it comprehensively, and in fact, has been pressured by industry to weaken it. The Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act, S. 394 and H.R. 661, would prohibit USDA inspectors at slaughterhouses from approving meat from downed cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and equines. The Act also requires immediate humane euthanasia for any animal who goes down.
Go on to: Comments by Frank and Mary Hoffman - 5 Jun 2007
Return to: Does Stopping the Slaughter of Downed Animals Help to End Animal Suffering?
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