July 23, 2024

Humane Society Launches Whistleblower Program

The Humane Society of the United States has launched a whistleblower program for factory farm workers. The hotline will let employees at those farms, in slaughterhouses, and at livestock auctions report cruelty and animal abuse.

pigsThe hotline (1-888-209-7177) offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who have committed acts of cruelty to farm animals. The hotline will be distributed to factory farm workers with the help of the United Farm Workers union. Hotline callers can remain anonymous if they want.

Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the HSUS said in a statement, “the bleak conditions endured by animals on factory farms are often made worse by overt violence an neglect. Pigs are often beaten. Chickens are stomped on. Lame cows are left for dead. We want whistleblowers to know that help is just a phone call away.”

Whistleblowers have uncovered abuse on factory farms for years. But big agribusiness, with the help of politicians, have passed “ag gag” laws in several states in recent years that make it almost impossible to document cruelty on factory farms. The laws criminalize undercover investigations of agricultural facilities, such as the HSUS expose of calf abuse at a Vermont slaughter plant that led to the plant’s closure.

These acts of abuse not only violate laws, but they put consumers at risk. Animals under severe stress are more susceptible to bacterial contamination. And those pathogenic microorganisms can be passed along to consumers.

Animal cruelty laws vary among the states, but usually make acts such as punching and kicking animals illegal. Some farms deny adequate food, waster, shelter, and veterinary care to animals.

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