After analyzing more than 1,000 documents, including USDA records, the Animal Welfare Institute has issued a report calling humane handling and slaughter of animals a “low priority.” The report criticizes the U.S. animal agriculture industry as a whole and calls for legal and regulatory changes to be made in the current inspection system.

"As a result of this investigation, AWI has concluded that ensuring animals raised for food are handled and slaughtered in a humane manner is a low priority of U.S. agricultural enforcement agencies and of the U.S. animal agriculture industry," according to the report. AWI is a Washington-based non-profit organization whose goals include "abolishing factory farms and achieving humane slaughter for all animals raised for meat," according to its Web site.

Dena Jones, author of the report, found that cattle were more likely to be victims of inhumane treatment than pigs and that large and small plants were more likely to be suspended for humane treatment violations than very small plants. The most common types of humane deficiencies were failure to provide water to animals in pens; failure to maintain pens and other facilities in good repair; and shackling, hoisting and/or cutting of conscious animals according to the report.

To download the full report, ‘Crimes without Consequences: The Enforcement of Humane Slaughter Laws in The United States’, click here.

Source: Animal Welfare Institute