Chris Shays (R-CT) has introduced an important piece of legislation. It’s called The Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act, and it would set basic humanitarian standards for any farm trying to sell meat to the federal government.
Humane treatment would be defined as:
Adequate shelter that allows animals to stand up, lie down and extend their limbs without touching any part of their enclosure. Daily access to food and water sufficient to maintain the animal’s health. Adequate veterinary care, including prompt treatment of injuries or euthanasia for a sick or injured animal.
These modest standards mean that federal suppliers cannot engage in the most inhumane current industrial farming practices – intensive confinement in battery cages, gestation or veal crates, forced molting of laying hens through starvation, forced feeding for foie gras, hauling of downed animals to slaughter or leaving sick or injured animals to languish without treatment or humane euthanasia.
I’m just depressed that this bill isn’t already law. It’s not as if we are mandating grass-fed cattle or cage-free chickens. You just have to allow the animals to stand up, give them water and treat their injuries. That shouldn’t be asking too much from our agricultural industry. I just emailed my Congressman to tell him to support this legislation, and I’m not the type of person who regularly emails their Congressman.