USDA Acquiescence in Cruel Killing Method

Thirty members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to the US Department of Agriculture in February with pointed questions about the department’s effort to counter the widespread use of ventilation shutdown plus heat (VSD+) to kill tens of millions of birds during the ongoing bird flu outbreak.

photo by We Animals Media
photo by We Animals Media

The letter, led by Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), underscores the fact that, notwithstanding the extreme suffering associated with VSD+, it has seemingly become the default method of convenience for conducting mass killings to “depopulate” exposed flocks, despite USDA policy stating it should be used only as a method of last resort. The lawmakers are seeking clarity from the USDA on what actions the department is taking to ensure implementation of more humane depopulation methods going forward.

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