ASPCA opposes House Farm Bill, says it guts local animal protections

May 24 (UPI) -- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Friday decried a House committee passage of the Farm Bill, asserting it would overturn existing state and local animal welfare laws.

"The Farm Bill has the power to impact U.S. agriculture policy for decades to come, and the House Agriculture Committee has squandered this opportunity to advance much-needed reforms, choosing instead to pass a disastrous proposal that attacks state protections for farm animals, puts dogs in puppy mills at even greater risk, and fails to address the horse slaughter crisis," ASPCA senior vice president Nancy Perry said in a statement.


She said congressional leaders have a responsibility to "reject the predatory systems that perpetuate cruelty to animals, and we urge them to pass a final Farm Bill that upholds state farm animal protection laws."

ASPCA said the Farm bill would directly affect billions of farm animals, as well as dogs, cats and other animals.

The Republican-led House committee's $1.5 trillion Farm Bill was backed by agriculture business groups such as the International Fresh Produce Association and American Farm Bureau Federation.

Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said in a statement, "We also urge the Senate Agriculture Committee to follow the lead of the House by scheduling a farm bill markup. A pandemic, high inflation, supply chain issues and global unrest all present challenges that can only be addressed by a new, modernized farm bill."


ASPCA said the bill as passed by the House committee would eliminate state bans on cruel farming practices, forcing millions of farm animals back into cages.

According to ASPCA language in the bill, attacking state and local animal welfare laws "is a direct response to the success of animal welfare laws like California's Proposition 12, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last year."

The group called it an attempt to acquiesce to the demands of industrial agriculture interests.

The animal-welfare group also said thousands of independent, "higher-welfare" farmers will be further disadvantaged in a marketplace dominated by factory farms.

ASPCA said the bill failed to include a bipartisan prohibition on horse slaughter. The group said tens of thousands of American horses continue to be shipped to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses that supply other countries with horse meat.

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