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Huge Victory for Farmed Animals in California!

Written by PETA | July 24, 2008
robertslab / CC
Baby Cow

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has just signed into law a bill that prohibits the marketing of diseased and disabled farmed animals, such as cows, pigs, sheep, and goats. The bill also prohibits the transport of disabled animals to stockyards or auctions.

This landmark bill is the first of its kind in the nation to protect sick and injured farmed animals from further torture. Animals on factory farms suffer such injuries so frequently that the industry has a term for them: “downers.” Downed animals can suffer immensely as they are either dragged to slaughter or left to die from their ailments—a truly unimaginable hell to suffer through. I think that our downed cow story really had an impact on the passing of this bill. The story is just completely heartbreaking, compelling, and all too common. The good thing is that this story really inspired people to do the right thing and get this bill PASSED.

The frequency of this is staggering. Each year, millions of animals arrive for slaughter either already dead or too sick or injured to walk. This comes from a lifetime of abuse on factory farms, followed by transport to slaughter through all sorts of weather extremes.

“California cannot allow unscrupulous slaughterhouse operators to endanger the safety of America’s food supply and engage in grotesquely cruel practices. [This bill] is an important step toward … basic decency to farm animals, and I am delighted that the Governor has signed it into law,” said Assemblymember Krekorian, who introduced the bill.

Now if only federal laws were changed to extend this most basic consideration to farmed animals nationwide …

Posted by Sean Conner

Commenting is closed.
  • Debra says:

    I ended up on this website as I was searching for information on euthanising a cow. I don’t want to send her to an auction or anywhere when she can’t walk. I don’t care that she be sold for meat. She has been a good cow and has become a pet here. Old age is catching up to her now though. She has been treated well. This is just a notice to let people know that there a few “bad apples” out there but generally farmers are in the business because they like working with animals and it’s a way of life they enjoy. Being paid properly for all the work they do is another story and it would be nice if the good farmers were appreciated more. Good farmers need to be smart in order to make any profit running a farm. Hearing the phrase “dumb farmer” makes me want to put that person in a farmer’s shoes for a year and see how they do at the job. Remember if you ate today thank a farmer that goes for vegetarians too.

  • lynda downie says:

    Thanks for your responses Maya and Judith.

  • Judith FFFA says:

    Lynda What has been told to us is that these poor downers will be humanly euthanized. I have not read the language at this time and many of us are waiting. Ana shared a website called Humane slaughter is a myth. This website is right it is a myth! There will always be loopholes that need to be closed. But so far we have been led to believe that a licensed Veterinarian is to administer the drug. But things happen that the people have no control of. We still have tons of questions and the process is slow. But one thing we do is at least try! Peace for all animals! Most of my heroes wear masks!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Lynda Good question I’m not too up on this but our vet tech program did visit a few farms….they are usually destroyed. Assuming the scumbag farmers can’t sneak them back into the food supply by beating them senseless and not getting caught. I bet they don’t even kill them with euthanasia medicine. Which is why I’m confused I thought the USDA already prohibited downer cows. Strange. Anyway it’s a lose lose lose lose situation for the farmers the environment the public and the animals which is why we don’t eat meat of course you already knew that.

  • lynda downie says:

    Great news! Thanks Gov. Schwarzenegger! And thanks too to you Judith for your continuing hard work on this and other animal issues! I’m proud of you! Not to be a downer but does anyone know what will happen to the poor injured and sick ones?

  • Caroline says:

    Paul Kirkorian is MY assemblymember! I sent him an email to praise his work and he called me on my cell phone thanking me for the note! He kicks ass. Big time.

  • Saucy says:

    Yes thats a Victory for Farm Animals. Not to be dragged broken in Spirit mind and body to the godless slaughter. Yes thats a Victory for Farm Animals. Sadly Sadly thats a Victory for Farm Animals.

  • CARLA says:

    finally!!! good news!

  • Des says:

    Brilliant! Great job Arnie! D

  • Dawn says:

    This is excellent! It’s awful though that Arnold didn’t sign it sooner. What was he waiting for? I don’t understand people.

  • Heather Graves says:

    I am concerned that downer cattle will now languish in long deaths on the farm. I doubt very much that any of these farmers will bother to have a vet humanely euthanize them due to cost. Whats worse is that they will blame the animal activists for causing the downed cattles’ inhumane death. The same applies to the horses that may no longer be killed. There is a need for kill locations. Transport and method of killing definitely needed reform but the function itself is necessary. Were the world the way we wished it was meat free and cruelty free downer cattle would be addressed by a vet. That absolutely will not happen in factory farms. There are victims in this law and it is the very ones we try to protect.

  • Roy S says:

    This is great. But we should be weary of the fact that business owners are always about the “bottom line.” We must be sure that as we bring laws into effect that govern how U.S. meat producers treat animals we must additionally create laws that govern how the animals are treated in countries that sell to the the U.S. If they don’t conform we don’t buy. Many countries do not share our compassion for the treatment of animals.

  • donna says:

    What a wonderful accomplishment! Now this also opened more paths into the monitoring of the animalforfood industries meaning more and more scrutiny… hopefully raising the cost of meat as well. Many blessings to all who were involved in this historic victory.

  • ian says:

    I have a friend that lives in Cali and we always make fun of Arnold bc it just seems so odd. But it’s amazing how progressive the state can be in regards to the rest of the country. It’s a start. Go Arny! Go!

  • AnneStroup says:

    Every state should have a bill such as this one.

  • Ruth O says:

    good job Arnold!!! finally someone is going to take some action for the animals.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    ps I’d be thrilled if PETA could explain the defenitions of Free Range versus Certified Humane versus Cage Free etc etc. Although none of them are perfect some are better than others and the public needs to be educated about these terms. Thanks

  • Maya, CVT says:

    I’m happy to hear this but it bothers me that the label “Free Range” is used and people think this means the cows and chickens are roaming happily in fields. The label “Free Range” means animals only have to be allowed outside for 5 minutes a day. I’m not entirely familiar with the label “Certified Humane” but from what I’ve been told those animals are allowed outside much more frequently and for long periods of time. I think the USDA should require all animals to live in a 100 percent natural environment and be treated as pets. Until everyone in America goes vegan there will still be farms and we may as well demand that the animals be treated as well as pets not treated like posessions.

  • ratking says:

    Yes Judith ALL SLAUGHTER HAS TO BE BANNED! This is my daily mantra!

  • brandie r says:

    That’s good. Huge victories for small success stories.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    But what actually happens to these animals?? Should the bill not include a provision that they be humanely euthanized?? It is great that they are not going to be transported but are they going to be left there to die?

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    I have lived around cattle and ranching my entire life. As a boy my family raised cattle as well. In my area I have never seen a “factory farm” and I do not know any rancher who would engage in such a practice. I know they exist but I am happy to say that these cruel practices are rare if not absent in my area. My family does not knowingly purchase meat that is a product of a factory farm. Fortunately more and more small local abbatoirs are springing up. Not only for beef but also for poultry. We have an obligation as responsible omnivores to send an economic message that discourages cruel abbatoir practices. I am not in favor of more and more laws but I am in favor of the message that Peta broadcasts regarding factory farms. So thank you Peta.

  • Alicia says:

    Hi I am not a vegitarian although I do not eat meat often but this is a wonderfull law to have! If I am to be eating meat I would like it to come from a decent place and have the animals decently cared for. Alicia

  • Judith says:

    Carla Thank you and bless you. We are so excited in Calif right now. A lot of tears and anger have been shed over this. So we really acted on it. This is wonderful. Thank you Governor!! The will of the people really worked this time! YEA!!!!! Peace for all animals!!! Thanks PETA and the HSUS you rule!!

  • Judith says:

    We are thrilled with our Governor. This is what happens when you get groups of people together and you find a leader and send the word out very loudly and start slamming the powers that be with calls faxes and emails. Animals have become politics and that’s just the way it is sad but true but the outcome can be wonderful. You have a voice please use it. Get family members together and friends and they can help spread the news. Make those calls. Good things happen! I am a radical but I am proud of our Governor. We always call back with our thanks! We are also on the ballot in Nov to vote on Prop 2to ban crates etc. Also a new Bill with be introduced. This new bill to ban the horses from leaving our country and sent to slaughterhouses in foreign countrys will take over Bill HR503. This bill is now HR.6598 and it is called ConyersBurton “Prevention of Equine Cruelty act Act of 2008. We don’t have all of the language at this time but it will now become a felony instead of a simple fine. Thats all I know. We have been put on a stand back right now. I beg you to get involved! Thanks Gov. Now we need to ban all slaughter! Peace for all animals!

  • Carla says:

    Thanks Arnold I knew you would do it!! Judith Freedom Fighter For Animals this ones for you!! And all the animals you try and save down there!! Peace and many more victories to come!!

  • Rainbow Warrior says:

    This is great indeed i love Arnold Schwarzenegger he is my hero!

  • Amanda says:

    This is fantatstic. One small step to get it started. That’s how trends go. Many small steps start to make a huge difference. KUDOS ARNIE!

  • Curtis says:

    Great news! Also don’t forget PROPOSITION 2! Prop 2 is an initiative that will appear on the November 2008 ballot in California. This measure would ban the cruel and inhumane confinement of veal calves egglaying hens and breeding pigs in cages and crates so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs. Check out our website at Yes on Prop 2 is a coalition of animal protection organizations veterinarians environmentalists food safety organizations and concerned citizens who joined efforts to launch a statewide initiative for the November 2008 ballotone that will improve the lives of millions of farm animals in California. Yes on Prop 2 is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Farm Sanctuary and other animal protection groups veterinarians and public health professionals.

  • bet says:

    grt job Arnie for signing into Calif. law this much needed and urgent bill to protect sick injured farmed animals .. a step in the right direction! now.. for the rest of the states!

  • Erin says:

    Finally a step in the right direction. I can only hope that the example is followed by others in the near future.

  • nicole says:

    in regards to the downer cow story i am a bit disappointed in the veterinarians actions. i am aware that the drugs they would have used to euthanise the cow do remain in the system and would have and affect on the meat and the people eating it. No one knows why this poor animal was sick so how can this industry sell this meat??? if the veterinarian had euthanised this animal with drugs which is the most humane method available then the meat would have been contaminated. God forbid the slaughterhouse miss out on $300 bucks so that the already abused and tortured creatured could die a humane death not so humane considering the shameful events leading to this situation. it’s stories like this that make me glad that i am a vegetarian. i’m happy this bill has been passed i just wish there were actions like this occuring in australia peta we need you

  • paris hbaker says:

    Wow thats GREAT that bill was passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! animals deserve every right to be treated the way they should be. i just don’t understand how people can live with themselves knowing what they have done and are doing to these poor little animals!!! it makes me sick KNOWING what STUPID heartless people there are in this world!! thank goodness for the PeTA organazition!!!! you guys rock!!! GO PeTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Soliel says:

    Yay! I feel happy! We must celebrate these victories…whatever size they are.