While large facilities that slaughter farm animals are subject to government regulations and inspections, so-called "backyard butchers" are not. Horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and birds are slaughtered, butchered, and sold for public consumption on these farms without government oversight. In a recent investigation of backyard butchers in Florida, animals were routinely dragged, bludgeoned, stabbed, and butchered while still alive.
Not only are they cruel, but backyard butchers also pose a major public health and nuisance issue. Unsellable “byproducts” are discarded on site, sometimes on protected wetlands, and blood is disposed of by polluting local ground water. Sick and starved animals are slaughtered and sold to the general public in the black market. Dead and rotting carcasses of slaughtered animals are tossed into open pits where live animals are kept with toxic waste, in criminal violation of state laws. Located in populated suburban areas, these backyard slaughterhouses put neighbors at serious risk of disease and stress.
While state humane slaughter laws and cruelty codes often prohibit such malicious acts of animal abuse, more clarity in the law is needed to accelerate enforcement and increase penalties for violations - particularly in states that exempt farm animals from any humane slaughter protections. These laws would not affect licensed outdoorsmen or slaughterhouses already subject to government regulation and inspection.
For the safety of people and animals, urge the Delaware legislature to ban backyard slaughter of farm animals today!
To protect public health and safety, we urge you to ban backyard slaughter of farm animals in Delaware.