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May 23, 2006
Zibby Wilder, 916.447.3085 ext. 205
Animal Protection Institute Release: Widespread Abuse of U.S. Farmed
Investigation of farmed animal transport reveals video evidence of
shocking cruelty and lack of legal protection
Sacramento, CA - The Animal Protection Institute (API) and Compassion
in World Farming (CIWF) today released the results of a landmark
investigation into the transport of live farmed animals throughout the
United States, uncovering horrible conditions and long periods of
grueling travel. The investigation documented the transport of live
cows within the U.S. and the transport of pigs from the U.S. to Mexican
Investigators documented animals arriving at and proceeding through
auction with broken legs, infected eyes, foaming mouths, and bleeding
cuts and sores and animals forced to travel more than 30 hours in hot,
overcrowded conditions without food, water or rest. Investigators also
filmed the harsh unloading of "cull sows" (mother pigs from factory
farms) destined for slaughter, many of whom had difficulty walking, and
dead and "downed" animals at auctions.
While Congress has enacted more than 50 statutes regarding animal
welfare, only two laws address the welfare of animals used in food
production-the 28-Hour Law and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.
Neither of these laws applies to animals transported by truck-the
primary way in which farmed animals are transported.
"Farmed animals are typically moved several times during their lives,
often over large distances, which causes considerable stress. These
animals may endure thousands of miles of travel, many arriving injured
or dead at the slaughterhouse. It is a travesty, therefore, that these
animals have no legal protection," says Michelle Thew, API's Chief
Executive Officer. "Our investigation demonstrates that government
action is urgently needed to regulate the transport of farmed animals
and set a maximum journey time of eight hours".
Data from the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety
and Inspection Service reveals that more than 250,000 pigs die each
year as a result of transport. A study published in the Journal of the
American Veterinary Medical Association estimated the average mortality
rate for cattle entering feedlots is 12.6 deaths for every 1,000
animals. These numbers do not include the thousands of animals wounded
or incapacitated in transport.
"We are appalled at the lack of effective legislation governing the
transport of livestock in the U.S.," says Philip Lymbery, Chief
Executive of Compassion in World Farming. "CIWF campaigns globally to
implement an eight-hour transport limit and encourages citizens to
support this campaign against cruel and unnecessary long-distance
journeys for live animals destined for slaughter in the U.S."
In the light of the evidence uncovered by this investigation, API and
CWIF call upon the U.S. government to take action to protect the
millions of animals raised as food each year in the United States.
API is a national nonprofit animal advocacy organization working to end
animal cruelty and exploitation through legislation, litigation, and
public education. More information about the investigation can be found
B-roll and still images are available upon request; e-mail