The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees “food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.” Unfortunately, their work sometimes comes at the expense of the safety and wellbeing of animals. For instance, they ran controversial, inhumane experiments on cats where they turned kittens into cannibals. They have a tendency to ignore the plight of animals in doing their job.

A perfect example of this tendency is the nonchalant response to the cruel, horrific raccoon farms found on Ruby Fur, an animal farm. USDA inspectors found about 300 raccoons in cages that were drooling and panting from the heat. Such terrible conditions cannot be ignored, so they “rescued” ten of the 300 animals claiming they’d be back for the rest. Those “rescued” animals were returned to the farm and the USDA never returned for the rest of the animals.

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Part of the USDA’s responsibilities are to “ensure the humane treatment of animals covered by the Animal Welfare Act.” During the Obama administration and especially now under the current administration, the USDA began to change its approach to dealing with animal cruelty. Where there used to be fines and confiscations, now the USDA believes in an “educational approach.” This means cruelty in zoos and among breeders isn’t taken as seriously and certainly not punished as badly. Their consequences just involve a lesson.

This is a terrible approach to animal welfare. Action needs to be taken to ensure that animals are safe. You cannot just tell an abuser to stop and expect them to listen to you. If you agree, sign this petition demanding that the USDA return to real oversight and enforcement of industries that work with living creatures.

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