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Jayapal Introduces Animal Welfare Bill to Prevent Inhumane Killing of Slaughter-bound Animals

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) introduced a bill today aimed at curbing the inhumane killing of slaughter-bound animals. The Transparency in Depopulation Act would prevent federal funding from being used for some of the most inhumane methods of animal slaughter, including ventilation shutdown (VSD) and ventilation shutdown plus (VSD+), which involve sealing animals into a building and turning off the fans to raise the temperature in the building to kill farm animals by inducing hyperthermia and hypoxia.

“Farm animals deserve our compassion, and we cannot continue to let cruel and inhumane methods of killing continue to exist and be perpetuated without accountability,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “With this bill, we are standing up to greedy factory farms who continue to put profits over empathy and humanity, and ensure that animals are not needlessly suffering.”

The use of ventilation shutdown, specifically VSD+ is on the rise in the country, used approximately 73 percent of the time for animal depopulation in February and March of this year alone. Proponents of the method are currently pushing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make VSD+ the preferred method for the depopulation of poultry, despite its cruelty. 

“Ventilation shutdown is one of the cruelest methods of killing farmed animals – leaving them to languish in excruciating pain for hours,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We are grateful to Congresswoman Jayapal for introducing the Transparency in Depopulation Act, which sends a strong message to the industrial animal agriculture industry that this kind of cruelty is unacceptable and these operations must be held accountable.”

In addition to prohibiting federal funding for inhumane methods of animal depopulation, the Transparency in Depopulation Act would prevent factory farms and other operators of animal feeding operations from being compensated when they resort to ventilation shutdown. The bill would also require farms to publicly disclose depopulation and disposal, including the reason for the animals being killed, the methods used, whether relief funds were used to carry out the depopulation, and the efficacy of depopulation, in terms of what percentage animal mortality was reached. 

Endorsing organizations include American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Animal Equality, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Partisan, Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, Dharma Voices for Animals, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic, Humane League, Legal Impact for Chickens, Mercy for Animals, Northwest Animal Rights Network, One Step for Animals, Our Honor, Veterinarians Against Ventilation Shutdown