NEWS STORY: Legislation introduced to ban slaughter of downed animals
LaTourette co-introduces legislation to ban slaughter of downed animals
By: John Arthur Hutchison
U.S. Reps. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Concord
Township, and Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., introduced
legislation they say is intended to help
safeguard the country's food supply by banning
the slaughter of downed animals like cattle that
are too sick or injured to stand or walk.
The Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act,
H.R. 661, has 75 original co-sponsors in the U.S.
House of Representatives. A companion bill is
being introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen.
Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
The measures are supported by the Humane Society of the United States.
"We hope the new Congress will act quickly to
settle this issue and protect animals and
consumers by permanently banning downed animals
from the food supply," Wayne Pacelle, HSUS
president and chief executive officer, said in a
The House and Senate previously approved downed
animal legislation, but it has been blocked from
final passage by some former members of the House
Agriculture Committee and Agriculture
Appropriations Subcommittee, LaTourette said.
"I can't believe that in the 21st Century there
is anyone who thinks it's appropriate to allow
sick, diseased, or injured livestock incapable of
supporting their own body weight to be part of
our food supply," he said. "Congress must do
something to prevent the contamination of our
food supply and also insist that these downed
animals be dealt with humanely."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture banned the
slaughter of downed cattle in 2004 following the
discovery of mad cow disease in the United
States, but the policy was never finalized or
fully enforced, LaTourette said.
©The News-Herald 2007