Lawmakers Concerned with Farm Animal Depopulation Methods

A group of federal lawmakers wants the USDA to curb depopulation efforts of farm animals. Led by Texas Democrat, Representative Lloyd Doggett, the lawmakers raised concerns about mass suffocation of animals who are being quickly cleared from facilities and urges use of more humane practices. Congressman Doggett said, “every effort should be made to get food to those in need instead of wasting it,” adding that if depopulation is necessary, “USDA should act promptly to prevent the use of these most inhumane methods.”

The members reference data from the National Pork Producers Council that shows the industry could be forced to cull upwards of 700,000 pigs a week, while millions of birds raised for poultry have already been killed because of this same issue. The lawmakers detail the concerns with ventilator shutdown and water-based foam methods. When equipment fails, they say the process is inhumane, distressing, and painful for the animals “who can take many hours to die.”

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