Bills from Sen. Booker, Reps. Khanna, McGovern, Blumenauer and Meng aim to provide stronger protections for farmed animals in alignment with ASPCA asks for the 2023 Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends federal lawmakers for introducing four bills that will help transform our food system away from the destructive factory farming model and toward a system rooted in compassion and fairness by creating new protections for animals, meatpacking workers, farmworkers, farmers and frontline communities.
The ASPCA is proud to be working with a broad coalition to support this package of bills, which includes the following:
- Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act (Sen. Cory Booker, Reps. Jim McGovern, Earl Blumenauer, Grace Meng) – would improve the welfare of farmed animals throughout the supply chain and place the liability for disasters on the corporations and industrial operators who profit the most from factory farming, rather than American taxpayers.
- Farm System Reform Act (Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Ro Khanna) – would create a more humane food system by moving away from destructive factory farming and support the transition toward higher welfare, pasture-based farms and alternative crop production.
- Protecting America’s Meatpacking Workers Act (Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Ro Khanna) – would provide needed protections for meatpacking workers along with systemic reforms such as creating a fair market that allows independent farmers, ranchers and robust local food systems to thrive.
- Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (Sen. Cory Booker) – would end the use of more than 100 of the most damaging toxic pesticides that have been scientifically proven to harm the safety of farmworkers and their families.
“The suffering built into the American food system is unconscionable, but not unsolvable. Legislation to end systemic farm animal cruelty—including the Farm System Reform Act and the Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act—would institute vital safeguards that animals deserve and the majority of Americans demand,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA president and CEO. “Federal lawmakers have shown compassion and courage introducing these and other measures to support meatpacking workers and protect children from toxic pesticides. We deeply appreciate their efforts and fully support this package of humane legislation on behalf of all the animals and people it will protect.”
“For years I have worked to elevate the voices of farmers, workers and consumers in urban and rural communities, sounding the alarm about our broken food system and calling for change,” said Sen. Booker. “The COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and recent climate change-related disasters have highlighted how fragile our current food system is. So, I’m excited to re-introduce a package of bills that would help mold our food system into one that is more competitive, resilient, humane and just for everyone. I’m eager to work with my colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee to make meaningful progress on these issues, because the status quo created by agribusiness special interests is putting all of us at risk.”
“Corporations running factory farms are making record profits by dodging their most basic responsibilities to treat their animals humanely, protect their workers and safeguard the environment,” said Rep. McGovern. “And when disaster strikes, it’s taxpayers who are picking up the tab. I’m leading the charge to pass the Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act with Senator Cory Booker and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Grace Meng because it’s time to say enough to excessive corporate greed and unnecessary cruelty. It’s time for Congress to envision a food system based on compassion for farm animals. It’s time for dignity for food and farm workers, and fairness for small farmers and the American public.”
“I have been very proud to partner with Senator Booker to try and reform our broken food system to maintain fair competition, high animal welfare standards and level the playing field for family farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers,” said Rep. Khanna. “These bills shine a light on the disturbing practices in our current system and can help usher in a new, safer and more resilient system.”
“The Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act places the liability for disasters where it belongs—on big agribusiness,” said Rep. Meng. “I am proud to help lead the charge on improving the welfare of animals on factory farms while also holding corporations and industrial operators liable, instead of the American taxpayer. Farm animal cruelty and the practices that allow it to thrive must come to an end. Proud to join my colleagues Reps. McGovern, Blumenauer and Senator Booker in this effort.”
Almost 10 billion animals are raised on U.S. factory farms every year, crowded together in intensive confinement and unable to carry out even some of their most basic natural behaviors. According to a nationwide online survey, the vast majority (89 percent) of Americans are concerned about the impacts of the factory farming industry—citing animal welfare, worker safety or public health risks. This has led to strong, bipartisan support for government intervention to reform industrial animal agriculture.
As the urgency around these issues continues to increase, the ASPCA recently unveiled its farm animal policy platform, calling on Congress to pass a Farm Bill that incorporates critical reforms to protect billions of farmed animals and bring our food system in alignment with Americans’ widespread concerns about the impacts of industrial animal agriculture and desire to safeguard animals and the environment. The ASPCA also led more than 40 animal welfare organizations in sending a letter to President Biden and congressional leaders urging them to come together to build a more humane and fair food system through the 2023 Farm Bill.
To learn more about the ASPCA’s recommendations for improving farmed animal welfare through the 2023 Farm Bill, please visit ASPCA.org/2023FarmBill.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization to be established in North America and today serves as the nation’s leading voice for vulnerable and victimized animals. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA assists animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources. For more information, visit www.ASPCA.org, and follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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