Federal Legislation and Regulation

Federal Legislation and Regulation

At Farm Sanctuary, we spend our lives with farm animals, and we know them as individuals. We would no more eat a chicken or a pig than we would eat a kitten or a puppy. However, we also recognize that legislation and regulation can lessen the suffering of millions — or even billions — of animals with one new law or regulation.

Follow the “take action now” links below for more information on each bill or regulation and appropriate contact information.


A downed hog at a slaughterhouse

Undercover investigations show pigs and other farm animals, who are sick or disabled by the cruelty of factory farming, being beaten, dragged by their ears or tails, pushed with forklifts, and shocked with electric prods to get them onto the kill floor so they can be slaughtered for profit.

When President Obama took office, he announced a rule banning the slaughter of adult cattle who are too sick or injured to walk. But this victory left other farm animals unprotected. Farm Sanctuary responded with a regulatory petition to the USDA to extend the rule to all livestock, including pigs. Unfortunately, our petition was temporarily rejected. But we are not giving up this fight, and we have rallied a coalition of eight national animal protection groups to demand an end to the slaughter of the hundreds of thousands of crippled pigs who arrive for slaughter every year.

Take action now to stop the slaughter of sick and injured pigs.

 Stop the Slaughter of Sick & Injured Birds


Despite the fact that chickens and turkeys comprise more than 98 percent of all slaughtered animals in the United States, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has refused to create legal requirements that eliminate the worst abuses of birds at slaughter.

Consequently, birds are routinely and horrifically abused. It is perfectly legal for slaughter plants to take animals with broken wings or legs and subject them to the full and agonizing slaughter process. As discussed in this front page story from The Washington Post, every year, roughly million of these poor animals are literally boiled alive.

Farm Sanctuary and the Animal Welfare Institute have filed a legal petition with the USDA, calling on the agency to create regulations that will stop the slaughter of sick and injured animals, among other protections. You can read our full petition here, along with an article about our petition.

Then, please contact the USDA and ask them to act on our petition by creating poultry regulations to stop some of the worst abuses, including a ban the slaughter of animals with broken wings or legs.

Stop Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals

pigs in factory farmFarm animals receive far more antibiotics than humans do in the United States, both to keep animals alive in conditions so filthy and disease-promoting that they would die in massive numbers without the drugs and also to make them grow more quickly.  The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), would stop the use of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine.

Take action now to say no to antibiotics for farm animals.

Stop the Export of American Horses for Slaughter in Mexico and Canada!


Horse slaughter is fraught with terror, pain, and suffering. The battle over horse slaughter in the United States has resulted in thousands of horses being shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. Bi-partisan legislation would shut down the trade in horses once and for all.

Take action now to stop horse slaughter.

Close the Federal Meat Research Center


House of Horrors — with your tax dollars. Please take action!

On January 20, 2015 the New York Times broke the story of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska, which is tormenting animals—with more than $22 million in taxpayer dollars for 2014.

At this lab, workers without medical or veterinary degrees are chopping open animals, “sometimes doing two or more major surgical operations on the same animal.”

And to repeat: Not a single one of these workers has a medical or veterinary degree.

The facts and anecdotes uncovered by the Times are gut-wrenching.

For example, a former worker tells of a pig who was “thrashing and gagging” as another worker tried to extract lung tissue from her. The worker doing the operation, “seemed to be getting some kind of enjoyment out of this thing, talking and shouting at the animal, ‘How do you like that, pig?’”

Please contact your Senators and Representative in Washington to ask that they demand that this lab be shut down.