ASPCA Condemns Dangerous Provisions in House Farm Bill That Threaten the Welfare of Millions of Animals

May 17, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today denounced the animal-related provisions in the $1.5 trillion Farm Bill unveiled by the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, which would directly impact billions of farm animals, dogs, cats, and horses.

The draft bill includes dangerous provisions that would overturn existing state and local animal welfare laws, with disastrous consequences for farm animals and higher-welfare farmers. Additionally, the bill not only fails to provide critically needed enforcement advancements to protect dogs in puppy mills, it actually makes it harder to help dogs who are suffering. The bill also fails protect the tens of thousands of American horses who are exported for slaughter each year.

“We are incredibly disappointed to see that the House Agriculture Committee has squandered this critical opportunity to provide meaningful reforms to systems that have long perpetuated cruelty to dogs in puppy mills and billions of animals raised for food on factory farms,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of Government Relations for the ASPCA. “The draft Farm Bill attacks state protections for farm animals, puts dogs in puppy mills at even greater risk, and fails to address the horse slaughter crisis. It is far too harmful to support, and we urge Congress to ensure that the final Farm Bill upholds state farm animal protection laws, institutes much-needed funding and transparency measures to support a more humane food system, and includes both Goldie’s Act and the SAFE Act, bipartisan bills that are critical to ensuring the welfare of dogs, horses, and other animals.”

The House Farm Bill includes the following animal-related provisions:

  • Puppy Mills: Instead of advancing protections for dogs in puppy mills, the language included in the Farm Bill allows the USDA to continue lax enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. These provisions codify some of the USDA’s worst practices, all of which lead to animal suffering being ignored. The ASPCA is urging Congress to include the full text of Goldie’s Act in the final Farm Bill to require the USDA to conduct frequent and meaningful inspections, provide lifesaving intervention for suffering animals, issue penalties for violations, and communicate with local law enforcement to address cruelty and neglect.
  • Farm Animals: The House bill includes so-called “compromise" language based on the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, a dangerous overreach of federal power that would eliminate existing state and local animal welfare laws, including bans on cruel farming practices. This language is a transparent attempt to acquiesce to the demands of industrial agriculture interests, steamrolling states’ rights and ignoring the will of voters along the way. If this language stays in the Farm Bill, millions of farm animals will be forced back into cages while thousands of independent, higher-welfare farmers will be further disadvantaged in an already incredibly consolidated marketplace unfairly dominated by factory farming.   

The House’s version of the Farm Bill could be voted on by the House Agriculture Committee as soon as May 23. The ASPCA encourages members of the public to contact their U.S. representatives to urge them to pass a more humane Farm Bill that protects animals, people, and the planet. To contact your member of Congress, please visit