This morning ASPCA President Matt Bershadker stood on Capitol Hill beside Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon as he introduced new legislation to end government-funded and -perpetrated cruelty to animals used in agricultural research. The Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors (AWARE) Act, H.R. 746/S. 388, comes in response to the gut-wrenching animal suffering revealed by The New York Times at USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Nebraska—a tax-payer funded facility that performs research to make meat production more profitable.
The AWARE Act would require animal agricultural research at federal facilities to meet the minimal standards for humane handling, care, and treatment in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The bill would prohibit the type of disregard for animal suffering that is clearly ingrained at the USMARC.
To date, the USDA has provided no explanation nor expressed any remorse for its treatment of the thousands of animals that have been starved, crushed, tortured or left to die painful deaths at the hands of its researchers. While it’s disappointing that the agency with primary enforcement authority for our federal animal welfare statutes—including the Animal Welfare Act, which H.R. 746 would amend—behaves so atrociously toward the animals in its own care, we are grateful to have champions like House cosponsors Rep. Blumenauer and Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick working to right these wrongs. We are also grateful to Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey for introducing the Senate version of the bill and to Wayne Pacelle of The Humane Society of the U.S. for helping us lead the charge.
You can learn more about the AWARE Act here, or take action immediately by contacting your members of Congress using the form below.
A horror show of farm animal cruelty has been operating under the nose of the American public. After a recent New York Times exposé brought these nightmarish experiments to light, Congress reacted swiftly: On February 5, the Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors (AWARE) Act was introduced in both chambers with bipartisan support. This much-needed legislation would require agricultural research at federal facilities such as U.S. Meat Animal Research Center to meet certain basic welfare standards outlined in the Animal Welfare Act.
For decades, taxpayers have unknowingly footed the bill for unregulated farm animal experiments—institutionalized animal torture masquerading as “research”—performed solely to increase meat producers’ profits. If you are outraged by this cruelty and believe that all federal agencies, regardless of their mission, should be accountable for using taxpayer funds appropriately and in a transparent, humane manner, please speak up in support of the AWARE Act today.