UPDATE (Jan. 24, 2015): U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has directed agency staff via an internal memo to take immediate action in creating an updated Animal Welfare Strategy plan within 60 days. This directive comes in response to the recent New York Times investigative article highlighting the appalling activities taking place at its U.S. Meat Animal Research Center located in Nebraska. The memo also specifies that an independent panel will be convened to review the Agricultural Research Service’s animal handling protocols, policies, and research procedures.
NEAVS commends Secretary Vilsack for the USDA’s swift reaction. However, we recognize that there must be constant public pressure to compel change.
We continue to bear witness to horrific acts of violence upon animals under the thin veneer of research. NEAVS, like our supporters, stands firm in our mission to end the use of animals in all manners of testing for science, education, and personal care products. To this end, NEAVS includes research on animals on farms destined for meat production as a vital component to our mission – research is research!
This form of research was scrutinized in a recent New York Times investigative article. You only need to read as far as the third paragraph to have a visceral reaction to the appalling accounts that are documented. The article candidly denotes the exploitation of living beings primarily for profit, global marketplace dominance, and overconsumption – all under the guise of human health, wellness, hunger relief, and good business practices. We must be reminded that the Animal Welfare Act – which contains some protections for animals in research – has an exemption for animals on farms, including species used in research to benefit agriculture. This provides immunity to one of the largest and most powerful lobbying groups in the U.S., agribusiness, and absolute discretion to abuse and in this case, even molest animals.
NEAVS implores our supporters to declare that these practices are not acceptable – are inhumane – and violate every law of human decency. The gruesome and repugnant practices, which according to the article, includes, “potentially controversial research that other institutions will not do or are no longer allowed to do,” are being funded primarily by your taxpayer dollars. It is our inherent right and obligation as citizens to mandate that public funds are never used in a manner that is detrimental, harmful, and atrocious to any living being. You can take a stand – your voice matters.
Do you agree that forcing pigs and cows to overbreed, abandoning newborn sheep in fields to starve or to be killed by predators, or immobilizing a cow’s head in a cage-like device for cruel breeding research should be considered torture? By recognizing these egregious acts that are taking place in the name of research, we have a moral responsibility to act as one and be the voice for the animals.
Please take urgent action by: