The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is requesting comments on two petitions for rulemaking submitted to the agency by animal rights groups aimed at reforming the agency’s policies on non-ambulatory disabled livestock at slaughter.

A petition submitted by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) requests that FSIS repeal a provision in its ante-mortem inspection regulations that permits veal calves that are unable to rise from a recumbent position and walk because they are tired or cold to be set apart and held for treatment. Such calves are permitted to proceed to slaughter if they are able to rise and walk after being warmed or rested.

The HSUS has petitioned FSIS to amend the regulations to require that non-ambulatory disabled veal calves be condemned and promptly and humanely euthanized.

A second petition, submitted by Farm Sanctuary, requests that the agency amend the Federal meat inspection regulations to prohibit the slaughter of non-ambulatory disabled pigs, sheep, goats, and other amenable livestock.

In addition to requesting comments on the petitions, the agency is clarifying its requirements for condemned non-ambulatory disabled cattle at official slaughter establishments.

Comments will be accepted until April 8th. For information on submitting comments, see the Federal Register.

  • Ann Huey

    Please deny HSUS petition to require euthanasia of veal calves which prove ambulatory on receiving no more “treatment” than being warmed or rested prior to slaughter. To do otherwise is fiscal irresponsibility in the extreme. Such a practice would be maximally irresponsible to consumers, producers, and would be of no benefit whatsoever to the veal calves.

  • Terry Ward

    Ann Huey, for reasons we will not comment on, is hoping that no one actually READS through the entire petition.
    When one reads and understands the petition, it becomes very clear that
    Ms. Huey’s call to ‘deny’ something which is simple common sense is EXACTLY why the agriculture community finds themselves at odds with the average consumer.
    And why there is a need for the HSUS in the first place.
    And why the agricultural community wastes ever more money year after year attempting to battle the HSUS.
    This does not seem to be good business sense.
    And we are NOT going away.