6/8/09: Protect ALL Downers: Cows, Pigs, Goats, Sheep…
Electric prods shock the heads, necks, spines and rectums of animals
crumpled on concrete. Eyes blink. Bodies are limp. Organs fail. Some have
crushed bones, torn ligaments. Still, heavy chains drag them. Forklift
blades toss their giant bodies… Suspended between life and death, they are
forced upright to reach kill floors across the U.S. PHOTOS: Farm Sanctuary
GET THE LATEST FACTS on downed animals. Make a convincing argument for new
FULL CONTACT INFORMATION. Sample letter follows
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Secretary of Agriculture: AgSec@usda.gov
web form: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/?navid=FEEDBACK_FORM
President Barack Obama
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
comments: 202-456-1111; switchboard: 202-456-1414; fax: 202-456-2461
web mail: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
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To identify your federal legislators and find contact info, try:
The Honorable Representative [YOUR REP’S NAME]
U.S. House of Representatives; Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Senators [YOUR SENATORS’ NAMES]
The U.S. Senate, U.S. Capitol Building; Washington, D.C. 20510
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Dear President Obama, Secretary Vilsack, Senators and Representative:
Thank you for banning the slaughter of downed cows and closing a loophole
that let some non-ambulatory cows suffer until slaughter. As you know, the
prior administration allowed case-by-case evaluations. Cows who collapsed
after pre-slaughter inspection were routinely forced upright until killed.
Close to a half million infirm cows are annually dragged to slaughter,
according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
(JAVMA). That figure doesn’t account for downed pigs, sheep, goats, or other
creatures farmed for human consumption. Ultimately, policymakers must stop
the transport, marketing and slaughter of ALL downed animals.
Cows transmit E. coli. Pigs carry bacterium Yersinia enterocolitica and
chickens harbor salmonella. These pathogens thrive in animal feces. Downers,
who languish in manure for days, have no immune defense against infection.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 76 million U.S. cases of
foodborne disease occur yearly. Among them, salmonella poisons 45,808 people
(2006) and E. coli O157 infects 70,000 more. Some 5,000 deaths and 325,000
hospitalizations annually stem from foodborne illness. The true tally is
much higher because most cases go unreported. One way to lower these numbers
is to forbid all downed animals from entry into the human food chain.
The CDC lists 18 North American cases of Mad Cow Disease (8/20/08). Science
overwhelmingly links downers to BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy).
Virus-like prions in BSE can trigger Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), a
fatal nervous system infection in humans. Since we don’t know exactly how
BSE and TSE jump the species barrier, all downed animals are suspect.
As long as battered animals emerge from profit-driven factory farms, the
USDA must protect all species. No dying animal should be rammed upright with
tractors and forklifts — wrenched, shocked, pounded — so meat makers can
eke about $30 out of her tortured body.
Please advocate regulations that safeguard all downed animals; ensure
merciful euthanasia; and outlaw use of tractors, forklifts, chains, electric
prods, hoses or any violent means to move dying animals.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
Downed Animal Protection – No Downers Campaign
FACTS: Downed Animals
Horton Hears A Cow!
U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Overview of BSE in North America
A teacher in Tampa. A humane educator who travels the country. Kinship
Circle educational literature is reaching students… But not fast enough!
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