Stop "Downer" Animals From Entering The Food Supply


photo: Farm Sanctuary

We're in an age where nearly 70 percent of antibiotics produced annually are given to some form of livestock and mass production of livestock has led to widespread animal mistreatment and serious environmental repercussions. So it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to discern that current animal husbandry practices in this country are making livestock sick. But what are the repercussions when these "downer" animals enter the food supply?Farm Sanctuary is petitioning President Obama to issue regulations to make it illegal for known sick animals to enter the food supply. Lloyd wrote that 145 million pounds of ground beef were recalled after the Humane Society of the United States released an undercover video, showing "downer" cows being moved to slaughter with forklifts. But what if there wasn't a video? According to the Humane Society a "No Downer" policy would have positive implications for the factory farming industry. Here's how:

  • Poor resources: Stockyards are not currently equipped to care for and humanely handle downed animals.

  • Prevention: According to industry sources, 75-90% of downers are preventable.

  • Animal husbandry: A "No Downer" policy removes the incentive for hauling these animals to stockyards and shifts the emphasis to improving management and handling practices.

  • The costs: Fewer federal dollars would be needed to monitor a "No Downer" policy than would be required to institute, monitor, and enforce guidelines for moving downed animals through livestock markets.
  • Sign Farm Sanctuary's Petition here.

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