The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale; used in research, teaching, or testing; transported commercially; or exhibited to the public. The Act was enforced in the year 1996 on 24th of August. It is the one and only Act that standardizes on how animals are treated in areas of research, testing and transport of the same by traders. In addition to this the Act has been amended end number of times. “The Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) was mandated under the AWA’s 1985 amendment, ‘Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act’. Therefore, as part of AWIC’s mission, we provide information on the AWA to help people understand the law and its requirements.”
According to the USDA, the total number of land animals slaughtered for food in the U.S. has ranged between 8.9 and 9.5 billion since 2000. In 2015, approximately 9.2 billion land animals were slaughtered for food; 8.8 billion of these were chickens. The total number of farm animal deaths each year is considerably higher than the slaughter total, since at least tens of millions die before they are slaughtered. While there are no official statistics on the number of aquatic animals killed for food in the U.S., scientist Noam Mohr estimated that 56 billion sea animals were killed to feed Americans in 2011. In 2013, American meat consumption was second-highest among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries (behind Australia) at 200.6 lbs per capita annually. Cow consumption has been decreasing since the 1970s, while chicken consumption has doubled. According to a 2009 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), American egg consumption was higher than the developed countries’ average. Per-capita egg consumption in the U.S. climbed to 263 in 2014, the highest in recent years. Per capita availability of dairy products dropped from 339.2 lbs in 1970 to 275.9 in 2012.
In the United States of America, laws are enacted regarding protection of animals at both state and federal level. In addition to this, there have been counties and cities that have passed ordinances as well for animal protection. However, it is still important to advocate for animal rights. Let us look at some laws, that were drafted keeping in mind the same.
- The PACT (Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture) Act:“Signed into law in 2019, the PACT Act makes some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty — specifically crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling or sexual exploitation — in or affecting interstate commerce or within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States a federal crime. The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act banned the creation and distribution of so-called “crush videos” — where people torture, crush, and kill small animals, such as puppies and hamsters, for the titillation of viewers — in 2010. The PACT Act goes a step further and bans the underlying animal cruelty contained in them. The vast majority of animal cruelty laws are at the state level. The PACT Act creates a corresponding federal animal cruelty While the PACT Act is a significant step forward for animals, it’s important to note its limitations. Among its numerous exemptions are “customary and normal” agricultural and veterinary practices as well as slaughtering animals for food.”
- The “28 Hour Law”:“This law, enacted in 1873, requires vehicles transporting certain animals for slaughter to stop every 28 hours to allow the animals exercise, food and water. The law does not apply if the vehicle in which animals are being transported contains access to food or water, and there are many other exceptions as well. Birds like chickens and turkeys, which are the most-farmed animals in the United States, are considered exempt by the federal government.”
- Animal Welfare Litigation Program: “Together with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, ENRD lawyers are working to ensure that full effect is given to the federal statutes and enforcement regimes that provide for the humane treatment of captive, farmed, and companion animals across the United States.”
- US Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training “Whenever U.S. Government agencies develop requirements for testing, research, or training procedures involving the use of vertebrate animals, the following principles shall be considered; and whenever these agencies actually perform or sponsor such procedures, the responsible Institutional Official shall ensure that these principles are adhered to.”
The laws in relation to protection of animal from cruelty of any kind have been in making since as long as 1800’s. The United States of America have been legislating key legal principles and setting good precedents when it comes to the same. This legislation explores and aims to identify and solve the core problems of animal cruelty. In addition to this, these laws have paved the way to spread awareness as well as created a forum where it formally recognizes animal cruelty.
 Animal Welfare Act | National Agricultural Library (usda.gov)  Ibid.  Animal welfare in the United States - Wikipedia  "Farm Animal Statistics: Slaughter Totals". Archived  Is Vegan Outreach right about how many animals suffer to death? (countinganimals.com)  Noam Mohr. "Average and Total Numbers of Land Animals Who Died to Feed Americans in 2011" (PDF). Archived (PDF).  Niall McCarthy (August 5, 2015). "Which Countries Eat the Most Meat Each Year?". Forbes. Archived  Tamar Haspel (October 27, 2015). "The decline of the (red) meat industry - in one chart"  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2009). "The State of Food and Agriculture" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on March 14, 2016.  "General US Stats". Archived from the original on May 3, 2016.  Jeanine Bentley (June 2014). "Trends in US Per Capita Consumption of Dairy Products, 1970-2012". Archived from the original on April 17, 2016.  Laws that Protect Animals - Animal Legal Defense Fund (aldf.org)  Ibid.  Federal | Animal Welfare Information Center | NAL | USDA  Ibid.
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