H. R. 3704
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
December 16, 2011
Mr. Ackerman (for himself, Mr. King of New York, Mr. Moran, Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas, Mr. George Miller of California, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Kucinich, Ms. Bordallo, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Michaud, and Ms. Schakowsky) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture
To amend the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act of 1958 to ensure the humane slaughter of nonambulatory livestock, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Downed Animal and Food Safety
Finding and declaration of policy
Congress finds that the humane euthanization of nonambulatory livestock in interstate and foreign commerce—
prevents needless suffering;
results in safer and better working conditions for persons handling livestock;
brings about improvement of products and reduces the likelihood of the spread of diseases that have a great and deleterious impact on interstate and foreign commerce in livestock; and
produces other benefits for producers, processors, and consumers that tend to expedite an orderly flow of livestock and livestock products in interstate foreign commerce.
Declaration of Policy
It is the policy of the United States that all nonambulatory livestock in interstate and foreign commerce shall be immediately and humanely euthanized when such livestock become nonambulatory.
Unlawful slaughter practices involving nonambulatory livestock
Public Law 85–765 (commonly known as the
Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958) (7 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) is amended by
inserting after section 2 (7 U.S.C. 1902) the following:
In this section:
covered entity means—
a market agency;
a slaughter facility; or
establishment means an establishment that is covered by the
Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
humanely euthanize means to
immediately render an animal unconscious by mechanical, chemical, or other
means, with this state remaining until the death of the animal.
nonambulatory livestock means
any cattle (including calves), sheep, swine, goats, or horses, mules, or other
equines, that will not stand and walk unassisted.
Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.
Humane Treatment, Handling, and Disposition
The Secretary shall promulgate regulations to provide for the humane treatment, handling, and disposition of all nonambulatory livestock by covered entities, including a requirement that nonambulatory livestock be humanely euthanized.
Subject to paragraph (2), when an animal becomes nonambulatory, a covered entity shall immediately humanely euthanize the nonambulatory livestock.
Paragraph (1) shall not limit the ability of the Secretary to test nonambulatory livestock for a disease, such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, provided that such livestock are humanely euthanized immediately after such livestock are tested for such disease.
Subject to paragraph (2), a covered entity shall not move nonambulatory livestock.
Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a covered entity may humanely move nonambulatory livestock if required for a specific test for disease if the livestock is unconscious until euthanized in accordance with subsection (c).
It shall be unlawful for an inspector at an establishment to pass through inspection any nonambulatory livestock or carcass (including parts of a carcass) of nonambulatory livestock.
inspector shall label, mark, stamp, or tag as
condemned any material described in paragraph (1).
A covered entity who violates a provision of this section shall upon conviction be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Effect on State law
This section shall not be construed to preempt any law or regulation of a State or a political subdivision of a State containing requirements that are greater than the requirements of this section, or which create penalties for conduct regulated by this section.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendment made by subsection (a) takes effect on the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall promulgate final regulations to implement the amendment made by subsection (a).