Animal Protection Organizations Petition USDA to Limit Long-Distance Trucking of Animals; Farm Animals Frequently Trucked for More Than 30 Hours without Food or Water
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 -- The Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, Compassion Over Killing, and Animals’ Angels-animal advocacy organizations representing more than 9 million members and constituents-today filed a legal petition calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to amend its regulations to limit truck transport of animals to no more than 28 hours, as required by the federal “Twenty-Eight Hour Law.” Although 95 percent of all animals transported in the United States are shipped by truck, the USDA’s regulations implementing the Act only apply to transport by train.
Enacted in 1873 as the “Act to Prevent Cruelty to Animals while in Transit by Railroad or Other Means,” and now commonly referred to as the Twenty-Eight Hour Law, the Act generally requires that for every 28-hour period of confinement in interstate transport, animals be allowed at least 5 hours of rest, during which time they are offloaded and provided with food and water.
“Given the industry’s reliance on trucks as the primary means of transporting farm animals, the USDA’s failure to apply the Twenty-Eight Hour Law to trucks renders the act virtually useless,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of The HSUS. “Transporting farm animals for 28 or more hours without rest, food, or water is clearly inhumane, and the USDA’s failure to place any time limit whatsoever on truck transport is indefensible. If the USDA doesn’t understand the definition of ’truck,’ we would be happy to send over a dictionary.”
Each year, millions of animals are transported for exceedingly long periods of time-up to 48 hours-while typically denied rest, food, or even water. A recent investigation by Washington, D.C.-based Compassion Over Killing documented the inhumane transport of 283 pigs during an approximately 35-hour long trip from Kansas City, Missouri to Modesto, California.
COK reported numerous and customary cruelties, including:
-- dead animals left onboard trucks for more than 30 hours among live animals;
-- animals enduring temperatures exceeding 90 degree temperatures;
-- animals denied food, drinking water and a chance to rest;
-- and animals suffering numerous injuries, including, bruises, abrasions, and bleeding lacerations on their bodies, legs, and ears.
The USDA’s failure to apply the Twenty-Eight Hour Law to truck transport also has significant implications for the safety of the nation’s food supply. The longer the animals are confined, particularly under the stress of crowded transport conditions, the greater the risk of spreading disease. Given the highly contagious nature of some livestock and poultry diseases, long-distance animal transport poses a serious threat to public health.
“Millions of Americans fall ill and thousands die every year from eating contaminated animal products,” says Dr. Michael Greger, director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture for The HSUS Farm Animal Welfare section. “Transporting farm animals long distances greatly increases the risk that these animals will harbor life-threatening pathogens.”
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization representing more than 9 million members and constituents. The non-profit organization is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The group is based in Washington and has numerous field representatives across the country. On the Web at http://www.hsus.org.
Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y. and Orland, Calif. provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. On the Web at http://www.farmsanctuary.org.
Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal advocacy organization based in Washington. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, public outreach, litigation, exposes, and other advocacy programs. On the Web at http://www.COK.net.
Animals’ Angels is based in Germany and, since its founding in 1998, has been campaigning internationally for the reform of long-distance transport of live animals and the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses and livestock markets. As part of Animals’ Angels longstanding commitment to improving the enforcement of humane transport laws around the world, the group works alongside the highway police and offers police training courses in several European countries. On the Web at http://www.animals-angels.de.
- Contact Information
- Polly Shannon
- Media Contact
- The HSUS
- Contact via E-mail
This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.
News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.