Chicken Scratch is an ASPCA Blog feature that highlights interesting news about farm animals and farm animal welfare.
We made ourselves heard! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has listened to the American public and dropped language from a new poultry slaughter inspection rule that would have increased slaughter line speeds. We sure are relieved, but line speeds are still moving way too fast. The ASPCA was quoted in TheNew York Times, explaining: “It’s not a victory for consumers, workers or animals. [The USDA] maintained the status quo of line speeds that already move too fast.” Thanks to all our supporters who spoke up on behalf of chickens and turkeys!
Something to squawk about…a new trend in “farm to counter”? The New York Times highlights a growing segment of fast-food chains that are shunning factory farming and investing in more sustainable and humane food sources.
In a disappointing ruling, a court decided the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have to hold hearings on the safety of routine antibiotic use on factory farms. The FDA should listen to its own advice from the 1970s that routinely administering certain antibiotics has “not been shown to be safe.” We’re glad to see three U.S. senators (Dianne Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand) are continuing to push the FDA to take the issue seriously.
We always knew pork lobbyists were aggressive, but this is taking it to the next level. A South Carolina pork lobbyist was recently arrested trying to enter the U.S. Capitol with a gun. The president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council might be walking on eggshells as he’s now facing a potential felony charge.
The ASPCA and the New York City Police Department are reporting significant progress in the fight against animal cruelty since January 1, when the NYPD took the lead role in responding to all animal cruelty complaints in NYC and the ASPCA expanded its direct care support for its victims.
Through June 30, there were 70 arrests and nearly 200 animals rescued and treated by the ASPCA, an increase of nearly 160% and 180%, respectively, over the same period last year.
The record-breaking increases are a result of accelerated and widened police responses to alleged animal abuse complaints, as well as the ASPCA’s increased direct care support for animal cruelty victims, including medical treatment, behavior assessments and rehabilitation, and housing and placement.
“The clear success of this partnership underscores the incredible impact that can be achieved when law enforcement and animal welfare groups collaborate,” says Matthew Bershadker, President and Chief Executive Officer of the ASPCA.
“We are protecting some of New York City’s most vulnerable residents by enforcing laws against animal cruelty,” says Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “The NYPD will continue this extremely worthwhile partnership with the ASCPA, and we look forward to our continued success.”
The ASPCA has increased our assistance to law enforcement officials in the form of forensics work, comprehensive legal services, field assistance, and ongoing training and educational materials for officers. All eight NYPD patrol boroughs, several detective boroughs, the Housing Bureau, the Transit Bureau, and the Legal Bureau—as well as a number of assistant district attorneys—have been trained by ASPCA staff with extensive NYPD or New York City prosecutorial experience.