USA: Urge Congress to Protect Animals in the Farm Bill

U.S. Farm Bill
ASPCA Position: Support Pro-Animal Provisions

Congress is working on the long-delayed Farm Bill, a huge piece of legislation that identifies national agricultural priorities and reaffirms the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), impacting farm animals, companion animals, and horses. This bill also dictates how our food and farm systems operate and how funding is allocated, which means that it has the potential to improve or worsen the lives of animals, people, and the environment. 

Congress can choose to include language from pending federal bills into the Farm Bill — this is where we need your help. To build a better world for animals, there are four critical bills that Congress must include and a terrible bill we’re fighting to keep out of the Farm Bill. Learn more about each bill and take action below!

❌EATS Act—Terrible for Animals, Food Safety, Farm Workers, and the Environment
Including any part of the EATS Act in the Farm Bill would be devastating. The EATS Act is a direct response to the success of animal welfare bills like Proposition 12, which was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Existing bans on cruel farming practices, including gestation crates for pigs, battery cages for egg-laying hens, and veal crates for calves could be undone if the EATS Act passes. Additionally, good laws related to food safety, farm worker protections, environmental standards and even puppy mills may all be at risk.   The House preview of the Farm Bill included EATS Act language – help us keep this dangerous provision out of the final bill!
✔️Goldie’s Act—Helps Prevent Puppy Mill Cruelty
Goldie’s Act would ensure that the USDA is doing its job to protect animals in federally regulated animal businesses like puppy mills and zoos. The USDA licenses and inspects people and entities that breed or house dogs and other animals for commercial use, but far too often, the agency turns a blind eye to blatant cruelty and suffering. 

Goldie’s Act would require the USDA to:
•    Conduct better inspections of licensed facilities.
•    Provide lifesaving intervention for suffering animals.
•    Impose meaningful penalties for violations. 
•    Promote timely communication with local law enforcement in circumstances of suspected cruelty and neglect (cross-reporting). 
✔️Farm System Reform Act—Phases Out Factory Farms & Aids Higher-Welfare Farmers
The Farm System Reform Act would phase out factory farms by curbing the expansion or construction of new large-scale Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), also known as factory farms. It would also provide federal support to help farmers transition away from factory farming to higher-welfare production systems, hold CAFOs accountable for the harm done to local communities, and better regulate unfair production contracts that trap farmers in cycles of debt and limit their ability to improve animal welfare. The Senate’s Farm Bill preview included a provision to fund farmer transitions away from factory farming – we must ensure it stays in the final bill!
✔️Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act—Prevents the Most Extreme Forms of Farm Animal Cruelty
The Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act offers solutions to address farm animal cruelty and the devastation caused by factory farming by requiring producers to create disaster plans that would help prevent cruel, large-scale “depopulation” of millions of animals. The Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act would also increase resources for more humane transport and higher-welfare slaughter technology and eliminate dangerous slaughter-line speed increases to protect worker safety. The Senate’s Farm Bill preview included a new requirement to report on farm animal depopulation, creating much needed transparency and oversight – we must ensure it stays in the final bill!
✔️SAFE Act—Bans the Slaughter of America’s Horses
Every year that passes without a federal ban on horse slaughter dooms tens of thousands of equines — work partners, athletes, trusted friends — to unnecessary and inhumane deaths. Approximately 20,000 American horses went over our borders last year to be slaughtered for human consumption around the world.

SAFE Act would simply add equines to an existing, uncontroversial law banning the slaughter of dogs and cats for meat. Nothing could be easier or make more sense: Americans overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter, and it is way past time to give them the same protection we give our cat and dog friends. Passing the SAFE Act through the Farm Bill will give at-risk horses a chance to find loving homes and humane care. 

What You Can Do

Please use the form below to send pre-drafted messages to your members of Congress, urging them to pass a Farm Bill that reforms our farming system and reflects Americans’ concern and compassion for billions of animals.