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Downed Animals

The ASPCA opposes the use of downed animals— those who are too sick or injured to stand or walk unassisted— in both the human and animal food systems. Forcing these animals to stand or walk results in unacceptable cruelty. Animals may become downed on the farm, during transit, at auctions or at slaughterhouses. In addition to injury and illness, animals may go down as a result of poor handling, inadequate facilities, or complications during loading, trucking and unloading. The ASPCA urges the use of appropriate animal breeds, housing that meets animals’ physical needs, proper handling of animals, and proper transport methods to reduce the chance of an animal going down. The ASPCA also advocates for swift and appropriate medical attention, including euthanasia when appropriate, for all downed animals.