27 Jan 2008

No Downers

Since its inception Farm Sanctuary has been working to stop the horrid abuse and intentional neglect of downed animals at farms, stockyards, auctions and slaughterhouses by rescuing downed animals, investigating the industry and advancing policy to protect downers. Farm Sanctuary was established with the rescue of a lone animal who was left for dead on a pile of dead animals. Since that time we have successfully worked to rescue additional downed animals and enact the first state law on downed animals in the country in California in 1994. Since then Farm Sanctuary has targeted downers as a priority campaign, with major changes over the past 20 years. Still much work needs to be done to ban the abuse of downed animals.

Just the words produce an image of a suffering, sick animal. Sadly, this nightmarish vision is all too real every year for untold numbers of animals at stockyards, slaughterhouses, and production farms. The meat and dairy industries call them "downers"- animals so diseased or badly injured that they cannot even walk.

Many segments of the meat industry deal in "downers" because they can still sell them for human consumption. Profit, not humane considerations, guides industry practice and downed animals suffer gross negligence and abuse at livestock facilities across the country.