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March 2021

Monthly Impact Report

March 2021

Mercy For Animals is fighting back against an attempt to silence investigators in Texas. And along with our supporters, we are pushing bills that would reduce some of the worst suffering for farmed animals through state legislatures in New Jersey and Hawaii. 

Passionate activists across the United States are also keeping the pressure on Costco—urging the retail giant to ban the worst cruelty from their operations.

Pushing for Relief for Calves and Pregnant Pigs in New Jersey

United States

Mercy For Animals is leading an initiative to ban the cruel confinement of calves and pregnant pigs in New Jersey. The bill would prohibit confining a pig used for breeding or a calf raised for veal in “a manner that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending the animal’s limbs, or turning around freely.” 

Mercy For Animals supporters sent more than 1,000 emails to New Jersey state senators urging them to co-sponsor the bill. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

If the bill is enacted into law, New Jersey would be the 13th state to ban these cruel confinement systems. In 2014, a similar bill passed both state chambers but was vetoed by former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who was running for president at the time.

Taking Aim at Ag-Gag

United States

Mercy For Animals policy advisor Marie Camino gave powerful in-person testimony (min. 24:30) in opposition to a dangerous ag-gag bill moving through the Texas legislature. In her testimony to the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, Marie made a strong case that the proposed legislation threatens public health, First Amendment rights, and worker safety. 

Follow-up questions for Marie implied a concern for whistleblower rights, and one committee member spoke up, stating that employees working at farms should be able to take photos and blow the whistle on wrongdoing.

People have a right to know where their food comes from. The way the bill is written, it could be interpreted to criminalize whistleblowing activities at farms, which could include legal undercover investigations. 

Hundreds of Mercy For Animals supporters in Texas emailed their legislators urging them to oppose the bill.

Pushing Cage-Free Legislation in Hawaii

United States

Mercy For Animals submitted testimony in support of a bill in Hawaii that would ban the sale of eggs from hens confined in cages and require egg producers to transition to cage-free hen housing. 

The bill has already passed the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Next, the House Agriculture Committee will review the legislation. 

Moving Plant-Based Federal Bills

United States

Mercy For Animals submitted testimony in support of a bill that would establish the Smart Climate Agriculture Program. As part of the program, the bill would require the department to, among other things, provide grants to persons farming on small to midsize farms to transition the use of the land from raising livestock or growing feed crops to plant-based agriculture and provide technical assistance to them in this regard. The bill would require a person, as a condition of receiving a grant, to agree to use the land described in the grant application for plant-based agriculture.

Investigating “Egg City”

South America

A Mercy For Animals investigation revealed millions of birds living in massive buildings in a city in South America often referred to as “Egg City.” We flew a drone over this unbelievable scene. Our camera caught thousands of animals caged on top of one another. A Mercy For Animals investigator also entered the buildings and saw many hens trapped between cage wires.

Going Cage-Free and Adding Vegan Options

Brazil, Mexico

Nacional Beach Club, a hotel in beautiful Mahahual, Mexico, committed to eliminating cages from its egg supply chain by the end of 2022. The company also shared intent to always have vegan options on its menu. The company estimates this will impact the lives of 60 hens a year.

La Tartaleta, a bakery, coffee shop, and restaurant, with establishments at Chetumal, Bacalar, and Mahahual, Mexico, pledged to use only eggs from hens raised in cage-free conditions. 

Ciao Pizzeria Napoletana, an artisanal Brazilian pizza shop, agreed to ditch cruel cages for hens and crates for pigs by 2025 after discussions with Mercy For Animals. And in celebration of International MeatOut Day on March 20, all of Ciao’s plant-based options were discounted 20 percent. This promotion led to a 78 percent increase in sales of meatless products. It was created in partnership with Mercy For Animals’ EscolhaVeg program, which helps companies add and promote plant-based products in Brazil. 

Casa Santa Luzia, a supermarket in São Paulo, announced they would sell only cage-free eggs by 2023. Casa Santa Luzia is a premium brand, and we believe this commitment will help us secure new policies from their competitors.

Keeping the Pressure on Costco

United States

Before shoppers entered Costco stores in multiple Georgia locations, they were greeted on the outside by a mobile billboard parked near the entrance with a giant photo of a splayed and injured chicken. Across the country in Washington state, Mercy For Animals activists held Costco Exposed signs as drivers honked in support. 

Giant letters spelled out C-O-S-T-C-O E-X-P-O-S-E-D as activists held signs up in front of a Costco in Union, New Jersey. 

The response online was bolstered by partner organizations and the reach of the New York Times. Tens of thousands of Mercy For Animals supporters sent emails to Costco’s executives. Costco has not yet committed to reducing the suffering of chickens raised for meat. Take action today

Winning Legal Challenges

United States

On March 29 the Central District of California denied a motion by the USDA to dismiss our lawsuit challenging the USDA’s dangerous and shortsighted avian flu response plan. 

The USDA had argued that Mercy For Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and Farm Sanctuary (the plaintiffs) lacked standing to challenge the USDA’s inadequate response plan. The court found instead that plaintiffs’ members and supporters have a concrete interest in the government’s failure to prepare a full environmental impact statement before developing the plan, which could have led to an alternative plan incentivizing lower-density bird farming.

Building a Movement

Brazil, United States, Mexico

We believe that the world’s mightiest institutions will heed the call to reform when it comes from powerful and interconnected communities. That’s why our supporters are so important.

991

Volunteer Hours Logged

Brazil: 876
Mexico: none this month
United States: 115

8

Online Volunteer Actions Completed

Brazil: 5
Mexico: none this month
United States: 3

28

Active Volunteer Communities

Brazil: 22
Mexico: 0
United States: 6

Growing Our Global Capacity

Through investigations and public engagement, Mercy For Animals opens eyes and hearts to the suffering farmed animals endure. Our videos, websites, and print resources empower people to join our mighty movement.

15.6 MILLION

Social Media Impressions

Mexico: none this month
Brazil: 3.2 million
United States: 12.4 million

983,384

Online Video Views

Mexico: none this month
Brazil: 238,191
United States: 745,193

15,426

One-Minute Facebook Video Views

Mexico: 4,900
Brazil: 2,294
United States: 8,232

61

Media Mentions

Mexico: 1
Brazil: none this month
United States: 60

0

Media Hits in Top 50 Outlets

Mexico: none this month
Brazil: none this month
United States: none this month

New Videos Produced This Month

MylkDog Is Filling the Cheese Void in Your Life

Mercy For Animals Celebrates International Women's Day!

Are Trans Rights and Veganism Connected?​

Social Justice + Veganism Ep. 8: Farmers

VIEW OUR YEAR-TO-DATE PROGRESS AT

MERCYFORANIMALS.ORG/IMPACT

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“What keeps me focused is to remember that we are their only hope.”

—Camilla, an undercover investigator in Brazil