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H.R. 8308 (85th): An Act to establish the use of humane methods of slaughter of livestock as a policy of the United States, and for other purposes.


The text of the bill below is as of Aug 27, 1958 (Passed Congress).

Summary of this bill

Source: Wikipedia

The Humane Slaughter Act, or the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (P.L. 85-765; 7 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) is a United States federal law designed to decrease suffering of livestock during slaughter. It was approved on August 27, 1958. The most notable of these requirements is the need to have an animal completely sedated and insensible to pain. This is to minimize the suffering to the point where the animal feels nothing at all, instead losing a consciousness from which they will never awaken. This differs from animal to animal as size increases and decreases. Larger animals such as bovines require a stronger method than chickens, for example. …


862                                           PUBLIC LAW 8 5 - 7 6 5 - A U G . 27, 1958       [72   ST AT.


                                SEC. 3. (a) Subsection (d) of section 1 of the Act of June 28, 1948
  62 Stat. 1061.             (16 U. S. C. 407m), is hereby amended by striking out the colon and
                             inserting in lieu thereof immediately before the proviso the follow-
                             ing : ", and certain land and buildings adjoining 'project E', being
                             known and numbered as 8, 10, and 12 North Second Street and 201,
                             203, 205, 207, 209, 211-213, 215, 217, 219, and 221 Market Street:".
                                (b) The first sentence of section 6 of such Act of June 28, 1948 (16
  66 Stat. 575.              U. S. C. 407r), is amended by striking out "$7,700,000" and inserting
                             in lieu thereof "$7,950,000".
                               Approved August 27, 1958.


                             Public Law 85-765
 August 27, 1958                                               AN ACT
  [H. R. 8308]               To establish the use of humane methods of slaughter of livestock as a policy
                                             of the United States, and for other purposes.

                                Be it enacted hy the Senate and House of Representatives of the
  Humane methods
of slaughter.
                             United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress
                             finds that the use of humane methods in the slaughter of livestock
                             prevents needless suffering; results in safer and better working con-
                             ditions for persons engaged in the slaughtering industry; brings
                             about improvement of products and economies in slaughtering op-
                             erations; and produces other benefits for producers, processors, and
                             consumers which tend to expedite an orderly flow of livestock and
                             livestock products in interstate and foreign commerce. I t is there-
                             fore declared to be the policy of the United States that the slaughter-
                             ing of livestock and the handling of livestock in connection wdth
                             slaughter shall be carried out only by humane methods.
                                SEC. 2, No method of slaughtering or handling in connection with
                             slaughtering shall be deemed to comply with the public policy of the
                             United States unless it is humane. Either of the following two
                             methods of slaughtering and handling are hereby found to be
                             humane:
                                      (a) in the case of cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep, swine, and
                                   other livestock, all animals are rendered insensible to pain by a
                                   single blow or gunshot or an electrical, chemical or other means
                                   that is rapid and effective, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown,
                                   cast, or cut; or
                                      (b) by slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements
                                   of the Jewish faith or any other religious faith that prescribes
                                   a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of con-
                                   sciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and
                                   instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp
                                   instrument.
    P r o c u r e m e nt,       SEC. 3. The public policy declared herein shall be taken into con-
e t c . , by U . S . after
June 30, 1960.               sideration by all agencies of the Federal Government in connection
                             with all procurement and price support programs and operations and
                             after June 30,1960, no agency or instrumentality of the United States
                             shall contract for or procure any livestock products produced or
                             processed by any slaughterer or processor which in any of its plants
                             or in any plants of any slaughterer or processor with which it is
                             affiliated slaughters or handles in connection with slaughter livestock
                             by any methods other than methods designated and approved by the
                             Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary)
                             pursuant to section 4 hereof: Provided, That during the period of
                             any national emergency declared by the President or the Congress,
                             the limitations on procurement required by this section may be modi-
                             fied by the President to the extent determined by him to be necessary

72 STAT.] PUBLIC LAW 8 5 - 7 6 5 - A U G . 27, 1958 863 to meet essential procurement needs during such emergency. For the purposes of this section a slaughterer or processor shall be deemed to be affiliated with another slaughterer or processor if it controls, is con- trolled by, or is under common control with, such other slaughterer or jn'ocessor. After June .30, 1960, each supplier from which any live- stock products are procured by any agency of the Federal Government shall be required by such agency to make such statement of eligibility under this section to supply such livestock products as, if false, will subject the maker thereof to prosecution, title 18, United States Code, 62 Stat. 698. section 287. SEC. 4. In furtherance of the policy expressed herein the Secretary Authority of Sec- r e t a r y of Agricul- is authorized and directed— (a) to conduct, assist, and foster research, investigation, and experimentation to develop and determine methods of slaughter and the handling of livestock in connection with slaughter which are practicable with reference to the speed and scope of slaugh- tering operations and humane with reference to other existing methods and then current scientific knowledge; (b) on or before March 1, 1959, and at such times thereafter as he deems advisable, to designate methods of slaughter and of handling in connection with slaughter which, with respect to each species of livestock, conform to the policy stated herein. If he deems it more effective, the Secretary may make any such des- ignation by designating methods which are not in conformity with such policy. Designations by the Secretary subsequent to P u b l i c a t i o n in F.R. March 1, 1959, shall become effective for purposes of section 3 hereof 180 days after their publication in the Federal Register; (c) to provide suitable means of identifying the carcasses of animals inspected and passed under the Meat Inspection Act (21 U. S. C. 71 and the following) that have been slaughtered 34 Stat. 1260. in accordance with the public policy declared herein. Handling in connection with such slaughtering which necessarily accom- panies the method of slaughter described in subsection (b) of this section shall be deemed to comply with the public policy specified by this section. Advisory Com- SEC. 5. To a-ssist in implementing the provisions of section 4, the mittee. Secretary is authorized to establish an advisory committee. The functions of the Advisory Committee shall be to consult with the Secretary and other appropriate officials of the Department of Agri- culture and to make recommendations relative to (a) the research authorized in section 4; (b) obtaining the cooperation of the public, producers, farm organizations, industry groups, humane associations, and Federal and State agencies in the furtherance of such research and the adoption of improved methods; and (c) the designations required by section 4. The Committee shall be composed of twelve members, of whom one shall be an officer or employee of the Depart- ment of Agriculture designated by the Secretary (who shall serve as Chairman) ; two shall be representatives of national organizations of slaughterers; one shall be a representative of the trade-union movement engaged in packinghouse work; one shall be a representative of the general public; two shall be representatives of livestock growers; one shall be a representative of the poultry industry; two shall be representatives of national organizations of the humane movement, one shall be a representative of a national professional veterinary organization; and one shall be a person familiar with the requirements of religious faiths with respect to slaughter. The Department of Agri- culture shall assist the Committee with such research personnel and facilities as the Department can make available. Committee members other than the Chairman shall not be deemed to be employees of the 98395-59-PT. 1-55
864 PUBLIC LAW 85-766-AUG. 27, 1958 [72 S T A T . United States and are not entitled to compensation but the Secretary is authorized to allow their travel expenses and subsistence expenses in connection with their attendance at regular or special meetings of the Committee. The Committee shall meet at least once each year and at the call of the Secretary and shall from time to time submit to the Secretary such reports and recommendations with respect to new or improved methods as it believes should be taken into consideration by him in making the designations required by section 4 and the Secretary shall make all such reports available to the public. Religious f r e e dom. SEC. 6. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit, abridge, or in any way hinder the religious freedom of any person or group. Not- withstanding any other provision of this Act, in order to protect freedom of religion, ritual slaughter and the handling or other preparation of livestock for ritual slaughter are exempted from the "Ritiial s laugh- terms of this Act. For the purposes of this section the term "ritual ter". slaughter" means slaughter in accordance with section 2 (b). Approved August 27, 1958. Public Law 85-766 August 27, 1958 AN ACT [H.R. 13450] Making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1959, and for other purposes. Be it enacted hy the Senate and House of Representatives of the S u p p l e mental United States of America in Congress assembled^ That the following Appropriation Act, 1959. sums are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not other- wise appropriated, to supply regular and supplemental appropriations (this Act may be cited as the "Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1959'') for the fiscal year ending June 30,1959, and for other purposes, namely: CHAPTEK I DEPAETMENT OF AGKICULTUEE AGRICULTURAL EESEARCH SERVICE SALARIES AND EXPENSES For an additional amount for "Salaries and expenses", as follows: Plant and animal disease and pest control, $3,500,000, of which 31 u s e 665. $500,000 shall be apportioned pursuant to section 3679 of the Eevised Statutes, as amended, for the control of outbreaks of insects and diseases to the extent necessary to meet emergency conditions; Meat inspection, $1,750,000. Not to exceed $346,000 of the amount made available under this head ill the Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Administration 71 Stat. 329. Appropriation Act, 1958, may be used until June 30, 1959, for con- struction, alteration and repair of buildings and the limitation on building construction or alteration contained therein shall not apply to said amount. AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM SERVICE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION MEASURES The unobligated balance of the amounts made available under this 71 Stat. 176. head in the Third Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1957, and in 71 Stat. 426. the Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1958, shall remain available until expended.