Following a huge loss before the Supreme Court, groups representing industrial animal agriculture have urged federal lawmakers to introduce the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act. Though the title of the bill sounds innocent, this legislation infringes on states’ rights, ignores the will of voters and threatens to erase state animal-protection laws ranging from bans on cruel farming practices to protections for dogs in puppy mills. A clear overreach of federal power, the EATS Act could eliminate existing laws and stop states from passing new laws, creating a disastrous race to the bottom for animal welfare.
In addition to being entirely unnecessary, gestation crates that immobilize mother pigs, battery cages that confine laying hens and crates that isolate veal calves are inhumane and dangerous for public health. The ASPCA and animal advocates across the country have fought hard to pass laws banning the use of these devices—including supporting ballot measures that passed with wide margins of public support, like Proposition 12 in California and Question 3 in Massachusetts. Some of the more comprehensive laws require that eggs, pork and veal produced in and sold into those states come from farms that don’t use cruel confinement practices, encouraging farms across the country to move away from caging farm animals. If Congress passes the EATS Act, Prop 12, Question 3 and other state-level farm animal confinement laws like it—as well as state and local laws that protect dogs in puppy mills—may be in jeopardy, reversing progress for hundreds of millions of animals.
It is critical that federal laws do not infringe on the ability of consumers to reject animal cruelty and support a more humane food system that aligns with their values. As Congress begins to draft the 2023 Farm Bill, we must work together to resist this blatant attempt by Big Ag to maintain the status quo and preserve the inhumane industrial factory farm model at the expense of animals, higher-welfare farmers, workers, consumers and our environment.
Your legislators need to hear from you now! Visit our Advocacy Center to contact your members of Congress to urge them to oppose this dangerous legislation and keep it out of the 2023 Farm Bill.
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