Extend Humane Slaughter Act to Cover All Mammals and Birds

  • By: Judith B.
  • Target: United States Congress

In the United States, millions of animals are killed in unspeakably cruel ways every year.

The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) was introduced in an attempt to ensure that animals raised for meat were slaughtered quickly and with a minimum of pain. Although it is difficult to enforce, it’s probably better than nothing, but it doesn’t protect all animals.

The Act covers pigs, cows and sheep, but it specifically excludes poultry. Farmers can kill their chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and quail any way they like. On intensive farms, this means the fastest, most efficient and cheapest way possibly, including boiling alive.

The legislation doesn’t even cover all mammals. Rabbits, animals as sensitive and intelligent as dogs or cats, are also excluded in the Department of Agriculture’s interpretation of the HMSA. Rabbit meat rarely comes from wild rabbits; instead it comes from animals raised in horrendous conditions that can be, and are, killed in the most brutal ways.

Tell the federal government to close the gaping loopholes in the HMSA as a matter of urgency.

We the undersigned are dismayed to find that the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958 excludes many of the animals most commonly reared for meat in the USA, including all poultry and rabbits.


Billions of chickens are slaughtered every year in the USA, often in the most horrendous ways, but have no federal protection. Neither do other birds or rabbits. This sort of cruelty is intolerable and should never have been allowed in the first place. The HMSA must cover all mammals and birds, and we insist that you take


Thank you for your attention.

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