November 14, 2003
Nov. 14, 2003 -- Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) introduced an amendment on the floor during consideration of the Senate agriculture appropriations bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture from spending funds to certify for human consumption any four-legged animal which cannot stand or walk unassisted at an ?establishment subject to inspection.?
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), along with other livestock organizations, is submitting a letter to all agriculture appropriations conferees urging them to leave this amendment out of the final appropriations conference report.
The group stated, ?While perhaps well intentioned, the amendment will actually impede USDA and industry efforts to protect the U.S. from the introduction of diseases by acting as a deterrent to keeping so called ?downer? animals in the formal disease detection and eradication system.?
There are a number of reasons an animal may not stand or walk at destination, which are unrelated to the safety or quality of meat from that animal.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33