The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) used to work hard to protect our nation’s animals. Yet between 2015 and 2020, animal welfare guidelines were gutted in the interest of industry, and enforcement actions against licensed animal facilities that were acting unlawfully fell by 90%.
And it’s not just because animal welfare violations are falling — a USDA internal memo documented elephants with skin conditions at zoos, expired medications being used on animals, and killing animals with guns rather than humanely euthanizing them. The numbers are clear: animal welfare hasn’t gotten better, the USDA has simply decided to put business above the welfare of animals and altogether stopped enforcing the Animal Welfare Act.
For many animals — from those bred for roadside zoos to those used in factory farms — the USDA is not just their first, but often their only line of defense. Sign the petition demanding that the USDA prioritize animals over profits and return to enforcing the Animal Welfare Act!