Taxpayers Should Not Have to Pay for Animal Abuse


None needed at this time.


AWI submitted to the White House nearly 11,000 signatures in support of eliminating taxpayer funding of animal abuse. Thank you to all AWI supporters who added their names to AWI’s proposal.

Photo by Mike Suarez

Dear Humanitarian,

President Trump wants to shrink the government. The White House is even seeking the public's opinion on which government agencies and programs to reform or eliminate. If the administration is serious about cutting waste, there are several US Department of Agriculture programs that are not only wasteful but also encourage animal abuse and neglect. Taxpayers should not stand for this!

Please sign your name to a petition urging President Trump to stop

  1. Rewarding practices that promote disease: During 2014 and 2015, nearly 50 million birds were killed as a result of bird flu. A majority of these birds were packed into inhumane, unsanitary housing known to contribute to the mutation of the disease. The USDA spent $690 million to reimburse producers and dispose of birds despite the fact that reckless practices and poor biosecurity may have led to the introduction or spread of the disease.
  2. Funding animal neglect: The USDA compensates producers for animal deaths caused by adverse weather. For instance, the department issued payments of over $134 million (covering the deaths of 2.5 million animals) in 2013-2015. Farm animals in the United States are routinely left with inadequate protection from severe weather, and compensation is provided even if producers do not attempt to protect their animals from the elements. 
  3. Experimenting on animals without proper oversight: In 2015, the New York Times published an investigation that exposed cruelty and neglect at a USDA-funded research facility. The facility conducts experiments intended to increase productivity. According to the Times, animals died of preventable causes, including 6,500 who starved to death.
  4. Killing wildlife—and pets—indiscriminately: The USDA allocates millions of dollars each year to indiscriminately kill animals, employing cruel, ineffective, costly, and outdated methods, including steel-jaw leghold traps, poisons, gas, and aerial gunning, all while ignoring effective, humane, and cost-efficient alternatives.

It is possible to reform these programs to make them less costly, more equitable, sustainable, and humane, while increasing the efficiency of the federal government in the process.

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