Why small animal veterinarians should care about farm animals - DVM
News Center
DVM Featuring Information from:


Why small animal veterinarians should care about farm animals
Concern for animals slaughtered in the U.S. should be part of the veterinarian's oath.


The state of legal protection

Although most states have laws protecting dogs and cats from neglect, malicious cruelty and abandonment, animals raised for food are essentially exempt from similar protections because of presumed reasonable economic interests and cultural norms.12

In 1958 Congress passed the Humane Slaughter Act to ensure that animals used for food were slaughtered humanely. Yet chickens and turkeys, which constitute more than 90 percent of animals killed for food, are exempted from protection under this act. The Animal Welfare Act, enacted in 1966, excludes all animals used in agriculture from government protection. As it stands now, those with an economic interest in raising animals for food dictate standards of acceptable care. The recent proliferation of legislation in agricultural states to ban the photographing and videotaping of animals on farms reveals how determined the agriculture industry is to conceal present methods of animal handling from the public.13

Public response

States that have banned extreme confinement methods
In May 2003, a Gallup poll demonstrated that 75 percent of Americans want to see federal legislation enacted that would ensure the well-being of farm animals.2 It's clear that when the public is informed about the methods by which animals are raised and slaughtered, their response is one of compassion. Nine states have passed laws via ballot initiative in the past decade mandating the eradication of certain extreme confinement methods (see the list on p. 42).


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
Click here