USDA Humane Standards Raised

The US Department of Agriculture is releasing new criteria and stricter guidelines for animal-facility inspections.

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The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service announced on Monday that it will be taking greater measures to ensure the humane treatment of animals at livestock facilities. Starting September 15, new instructions issued to the organization’s inspectors require that they ensure that livestock are subjected to minimal excitement, pain, injury, and discomfort, and forbids the “egregious inhumane treatment” of animals, defined as any act or condition that creates unnecessary pain and suffering. After recent, widely publicized undercover videos from animal-welfare groups exposed deplorable conditions at factory farms, the USDA’s new set of criteria may help to improve conditions at many facilities.

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