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Feds Remind Personnel of 28-Hour Law to Spare Animals in Transport

Written by PETA | January 19, 2010

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pig in transit


Nothing ruins a road trip more than seeing an 18-wheeler driving down the highway crammed tight with animals destined for slaughter. From state to state, regardless of weather, animals are carted from factory farms and feedlots—where they suffer short, miserable lives—to slaughterhouses, where their throats are cut or they are scalded alive in baths of hot water. In transit, they are forced to face the blazing summer heat or freezing winter winds while being deprived of food, water, or rest—and sometimes they become the victims of highway accidents.

Today, we’re thrilled to report that at PETA’s request, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has instructed its 8,000 inspectors in procedures to help enforce the 28-Hour Law—a federal statute requiring that cows, pigs, and other farmed animals be fed, watered, and allowed to rest after 28 hours on the road. As a result of this regulatory nudge, transport conditions will improve for the estimated 50 million farmed animals who are annually transported for long distances and denied their basic necessities.

The FSIS’s notice to its inspectors helps address the deplorable treatment of animals in transit from factory farms to slaughterhouses. A former pig transporter told PETA that pigs are “packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually comes out.” In hot weather, many cows who are on their way to slaughter collapse in the heat, and in the cold, cows sometimes freeze to the sides of the truck until workers pry them off with crowbars. Like cows and pigs, chickens are usually given no food or water and are shipped through all weather conditions. People who spot chicken-transport trucks on the highway frequently report seeing the heads of dead and dying chickens protruding from the crates.

We applaud FSIS for informing its inspectors of how they can report suspected violations of the 28-Hour Law for investigation. Of course, the only true way to prevent the suffering of animals used for food is to go vegan, but with these landmark actions, what was once a nightmarish and often fatal trip will hopefully become a little more bearable.

Written by Logan Scherer

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  • Victor Castillo says:

    When I hear the awful ways these poor animals are treated before they’re slaughtered it thoroughly disgusts me.I think if more and more people saw what happens on the way to being slaughtered they could not help but be literally ill when eating a burgera steak or any kind of meat.I think seriously that it is what we do to animals that makes us unhealthy.A sort of karma if you will.I just despise the non vegetarian food industry.

  • kare says:

    watching that vidio….i was crying in pain. my husband thought i was being killed in our bedroom. i was horrified. i was a veg for a long time and my husband got me to eat alittle meat again. lately i have been having problems chewing itswallowing it the taste has been a real turn off again. if any pick of meat has been placed on my plate latelymaybe a little tiny slice…my husband works so hard cooking for the family i feel so bad. after watching the vidio regarding glass walls….i could never eat meat again. my husband made ham the next day….i couldn’t touch it. and on that note I WILL NEVER EAT A FACTORY FARM EGG EVER AGAIN. TOTAL CRUELTY i cry passing those trailers…and the cruelty of overturned trailers with animals killed and all the EXTRA EXTRA HOURS. it seems like nobody cares. animals are smart. esp. pigs. we need to rethink our choices in life. change is good. lets wake up and smell the coffee. we should know or be more aware of what is going on around us….for our lives.

  • Marnie says:

    Why are so many people so awfully dumb and eat that much meat… and it’s an excellent idea with the “noanimalcrueltyday” just think thousands or hundreds of thousands once a week !

  • Lane says:

    NOT GOOD!!!!

  • Tom says:

    HUMNS RE DISCUSTING! If we can have the noanimalcruelty day we should have no work on that day as well. That way we can all go out and save stray dogs.

  • susan says:

    I once had to drive past a truck on the freeway loaded with pigs. Needless to say I looked straight ahead as tears ran down my face. You see my pot belly pig Harley came to my mind. He was smart and gentle.He was supposed to be a pot belly but grew to about 200lbs. I would go into his pen on summer nights and he would come over and lay down for me to rub his belly.He developed arthritis when he was 11 years old. He was in so much pain that I had him put down. The vet told me that she didn’t know the lifespan of a pig because they are usually killed when they are young.How sad is that? This animal was so smart that he knew his name.So…I am crying as I write this and think of him and all of the other pigs.And Mike you are SO right about treatment of criminals. I worked at a jail and they were always crying “what about my rights”? And believe me they have them! So sad that they do and animals do not!

  • Susan T says:

    Being intimately familiar with the suffering food animals endure in so many sickening dreadful ways but particularly in transport Bonnie Bakkom I really appreciated your comment about trying to eliminate meat from your diet. YOU ARE TO BE APPLAUDED AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORT TO HELP THE VOICELESS. May God bless you and continue to give you strength wisdom and an undying commitment to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Nothing makes a stronger impact that a person living and committed to a worthwhile cause. What is more worthwhile than ending animal cruelty and suffering? Thanks Bonnie! Susan Mahatma Gandhi

  • Deborah Suslovic says:

    I’m sitting here actually sobbing in grief over the despicable treatment of animals raised on factory farms. What can we do to stop the greedy souless agribusiness creeps who are responsible for this? Honestly we should be protesting outside the slaughterhouses EVERY DAY and also broadcasting their treatment of animals on television. Why isn’t more of this done? Will someone please answer me? I simply cannot bear the pain of knowing that the brutal slaughter of defenseless animals is being carried out on a DAILY BASIS while we turn our faces away from it because it’s too hard to look at. We MUST look at itand we MUST try to end it. What can I do?

  • klarasun says:

    …what makes me sad is that it’s mostly the first time they see the sunlight. Maybe the animals are really happy first then they have to suffer before they get brutally slaughtered. That’s so terrible! The 28HourLaw is a good beginning but how is it with heat and cold? Poor animals! Transporting animals alive is embarrassing and unacceptable! Is it because it’s easier without cooling containers? Many countries abuse meat as a symbol for wealth look Asia and the consumption of meat grows no matter if it’s good for the health or not. And it isn’t there’s proof enough.

  • Keila Villegas says:

    News like these always gets me tearyeyed. Im happy that changes are being made to help factory farm animals but this is just not enough to help them out of their misery. We need to work harder to end animal cruelty in factory farms. Great Job PETA!!!!!

  • carla says:

    Meat is discusting and people who eat meat should educate themselves and their families about slaughterhouses and what goes on BEFORE they get to their final destination. It breaks my heart that these animals go throught this just for selfish human beings who think this “earth” is ours! Wake the F….k up people. I hope that the human race has a brutal awakening some day. I really do!!!!!

  • Marnie says:

    Hi montsi.moo. a “noanimalcrueltyday” would be good how is it with Friday?

  • molly weinand says:

    28 hours is still so long to be standing and not eating or drinking anything. I am happy that things are changing for the better due to PETA but I still feel horrible for the animals and I still hate the people who don’t care or won’t help. I literally cry everytime I see those trucks with the animals on their way to slaughter and even contimplate giving the driver the finger or running him off the road and freeing the animals.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    28 hours is still far too long. I’d like to see legislators go that long themselves without food water and rest. Politicians are just kissing industry’s ass as usual. This time needs to be drastically shortened. If we did this to convicted criminals there would be a huge public outcry. As well as being inhumane live animal transport is a prime vehicle for spreading zoonotic disease across the country. Watch Dr. Michael Greger’s “Flu Factories” documentary can be bought or viewed online for the story of how H1N1 originated from factory farming practices and spread through live transport.

  • Chandrika says:

    It is saddening that a 28 hour law is considered a victory. For animals to have to endure such a long journey without food water or rest is incomprehensible and totally unethical. Such treatment is the equivalent of torture and should not be tolerated! I hate that I am not a veganvegetarian but hearing of such things really makes me want to end the suffering that occurs just so I can have meat to eat

  • Neeraj Sharma says:

    Its good that they have made the law.But 28 hrs is way too long.

  • Brigitte Jaufmann says:

    It’s against any breach of ethics what we do to the animals. If we have to eat meat why don’t we think ‘regional’? Why can’t the slaughterhouses be closer to the farms that raise the poor creatures?

  • Melanie R says:

    Please stop this it’s so horrible to imagine how these animals suffer they deserve more than this they deserve a life like we have they aren’t articles humans have to treat them right if i could i would kill all these people because i hate them for treating and teasing all animals!! Thanks to PETA because of you animals have a hope and help against the cruelty of humans!!

  • Deborah Begley says:

    28 hours is way too long. Sounds like something from a horror story. What on earth is wrong with the human race?

  • Marz says:

    This is why I am a vegan. I don’t understand how anyone can take part in this cruelty.

  • Tom says:

    I love peta! SAVE ALL THE ANIMALS

  • tylee ormonde says:

    im glad that this happend. im not vegan or anything but i do belive that even tho animals are shipped for food i dont belive this has to be inhumanly. i think the animals should be allowed to rest after a lesser amount of time tho how would u like it u had to stand with no food or water for 28 hours 12 hours seems more reasonable to me. and i have seen what happens to animals at slaughter we used to raise owr own beef i made my grandpa demand for a more humane way to kill the cows because the way they used to kill them was simlpy not humane at all and on several occasions the bull would have to be in pain for a length of time and it broke my heart.

  • Christine Loop says:

    It makes me sick to my stomach that people can be so cruel and unfeeling. That is why I am a vegetarian. My heart aches for these poor animals.

  • Janet Stafford says:

    I am new to PETA and I must say I am so ashamed at the things that go on under my nose that I never stop and consider as of the welfare of the animals. How many times in my life have I seen animals being carried away to an unknown destiny and they were under this sufferage! I am so very ashamed that my world was so narrow minded! Never again! My problem now is that even though it is a great turn of events 28 hours is still insufferable under those conditions. They still SUFFER! 28 hours?? can’t we do better than that?

  • charlie freeman says:

    its a small consolation. by the time these poor lives are even put on the truck they are abusedbrokenhopeless…to say nothing of what they face when they reach their gruesome destination. its a step in the right direction but a tiny one to be sure. wont help me sleep too much better…

  • Sandra E Grickites says:

    What about death by CAK before travelling. If they must die let them die where they lived together. ALSO I don’t think that cramming the animals into crowed living spaces should be legal. Puppy mills are not allowed! How is it that these farmers can get away with this cruelty. How about only allowing farmers with appropriate land for the animals to be allowed to have them. Can Peta start putting commercials on T.V.? Run them at prime time. Put them on during the major sports shows. Paint PETA on the ice. Can PETA do this?

  • Rad_Rosa89 says:

    I think that 28 hours is a long time too..

  • Rosslyn says:

    Good job PETA but I agree with other posters 28 hours?? When was the last time a meat eater went 28 hours without food water or rest? Surely that’s still way too long. I love being vegan more and more everyday.

  • Jacqueline says:

    THANK YOU PETA for all your hard work and for trying your best to make animals lives a little better. Thank you for changing the laws for the better this VICTORY is long over due.I am so sick of the GREEDY AGRI BUSS and how thoes beautiful have to suffer as a result of greed now all we need is no gestation crates let them all be FREE RANGE and no meat!!!

  • montsi.moo. says:

    i get made fun alot in my stupid 8th grade classes but i dont care because i am care for animals and dont dare to hurt them!i think there should be a national no animalcruelty day…give the animals a break please!whos with me!

  • Jen says:

    omg that is horrible why do these poor innocent animals have to go through such pain just to satisfy someone’s taste buds? It’s just DISGUSTING! people seriously need to stop being so selfish and learn to eat healthy veggies and if that’s impossible atleast treat these animals the way you would like yourself and your family and friends treated while they’re alive ..for a little life that they are given atleast..

  • Sandra says:

    Yes it is good that it is a law that animals have to have basic necessities but there is little room to enforce it… as we all know from the past just because it is a law doesn’t meant people are going to follow it. Also who is going to be ridding with these people to make sure they feed the animals on the road? It is a good idea but isn’t going to conducted sadly.

  • Bonnie Bakkom says:

    Animals are treated so poorly. Change needs to come for their total protection. I am trying to stop eating meat and really it tastes very bad now. I figure if I stick to Veggie Burgers that helps reduce one more person who used to eat meat and now doesn’t. It was not until I actually forced myself to view videos taken undercover of cows going through the chutes to slaughter that I saw in their eyes TERROR! They smell the death and from that moment on I have tried to be more helpful to support organizations in their efforts. Thanks to God they are there trying to make positive changes. I wish everyone could get off the meat as much as possible for better health less calories and to decrease the value of a slaughtered cow. Then the 28 hour rule would not even have to be there. But in the meantime I will support the 28 hour rule to the fullest.

  • Sarah Bullock says:

    28 hours surely is still far too long!?

  • Niki Keenan says:

    This is so wonderful to know that a small step has been taken in the direction to treat animals more humane. It gives me a good feeling to know enough people care to make a difference. We shouldn’t rest here though we can keep pushing until it gets even better for those innocent creatures.

  • donna says:

    i applaude peta for speaking on the behalf of animals when no one else gives a dam. animals should not suffer for any rhyme or reason.

  • Shirley Elliott says:

    Even 28hrs is 28hrs too much imagine what they go through in that time only to be cruelly slaughtered anyway? Makes me happy to be vegetarian but the more I read about abuse of animals I am determined to become vegan now.