Groundbreaking Factory Farm Legislation Introduced in the House and Senate

The Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act (IAA), a groundbreaking piece of federal legislation aimed at reforming our nation’s food system, has been introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This is historic news for farmed animals and is the result of months of tireless work by Mercy For Animals, the ASPCA, and the rest of our powerful coalition.

The IAA was recently reintroduced in the Senate after initially being brought forth in the last legislative session by Sen. Cory Booker. This time, Reps. Jim McGovern, Earl Blumenauer, and Grace Meng have introduced a companion bill in the House, which gives the legislation a greater chance of influencing the upcoming Farm Bill. Leah Garcés, president and CEO of Mercy For Animals, stated:

For far too long, the meat, poultry, and egg industries have made record profits at the expense of farmed animals, workers, farmers, the environment, and public health.

The IAA places the responsibility of beginning to solve various problems in the U.S. food system on the corporations that created the current system and seeks to amend the 2023 Farm Bill by addressing some of the cruelest practices in the meat industry. These include mass on-farm killing of animals, dangerously fast slaughter lines, and ineffective stunning methods.

Another horrific practice the bill addresses is animal transport. Currently, billions of farmed animals a year are packed into poorly ventilated, crowded trucks and driven from factory farms to slaughterhouses without food, water, bedding, or relief from extreme weather conditions. The only point at which animals are required by law to be given food or water during transport is after they have been on board for more than 28 hours. 

Unfortunately, there is no record of the USDA ever enforcing the 28-hour law. Furthermore, animal welfare experts generally recommend eight hours as the maximum travel duration without food, water, or rest.

The IAA would help protect farmed animals during their journeys to slaughter by shortening the amount of time they can be transported without being unloaded for rest to eight hours over a 10-year period and setting new standards for current transport over eight hours. 

Since the IAA’s introduction, it has garnered massive support from over 70 organizations, including animal welfare, public health, labor, environmental, religious, and sustainable agriculture:

  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
  • Socially Responsible Agriculture Project
  • Mercy For Animals
  • Public Justice
  • American Grassfed Association
  • RegeNErate Nebraska
  • GC Resolve
  • Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)
  • Center for Food Safety
  • Family Farm Defenders
  • GMO / Toxin Free USA
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)
  • Church Women United in New York State
  • Jewish Initiative for Animals
  • Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
  • Center for Progressive Reform
  • Compassion in World Farming
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Hart Dairy
  • Soul Fire Farm
  • Community Food and Justice Coalition
  • Real Food Media
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Veterinarians Against Ventilation Shutdown
  • The Humane League
  • Farmworker Association of Florida
  • FoodCorps
  • ROC United
  • Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity
  • Voters For Animal Rights
  • Pasado’s Safe Haven
  • Farm Sanctuary
  • Chilis on Wheels
  • Social Compassion in Legislation
  • Humane Action Pittsburgh
  • Cultivate Empathy for All
  • Our Honor
  • Compassionate Bay
  • Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance
  • DC Voters for Animals
  • Children of Smithfield
  • United Poultry Concerns
  • Greenbaum Foundation
  • Slow Food USA
  • Oxfam America
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Farm Forward
  • HEAL (Health, Environment,
  • Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance
  • Earthjustice
  • La Semilla Food Center
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
  • Animal Equality
  • White Oak Pastures
  • Food & Water Watch
  • 5th Quarter Foods
  • Humane Society Legislative Fund
  • Humane Society of the United States
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
  • Roots of Change
  • Agriculture Fairness Alliance
  • Health Care Without Harm
  • United Food and Commercial Workers
  • American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
  • Texas Humane
  • Legislation Network
  • Chicago Food Policy Action Council
  • 7 Directions of Service
  • Toxic Free NC
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ)
  • Farm Action
  • Rural Coalition

Although the bill has a long way to go before it becomes law, this progress is thanks to animal advocates like you who refuse to stop fighting for change. Farmed animals will need your voice more than ever to push for the bill’s passage! Take action today by urging your representatives to support the IAA.