The New York Times reports in a detailed article that the US Meat Animal Research Center supervised by the US Department of Agriculture violates the US Animal Protection Act, which is supposed to be enforced by … the US Department of Agriculture itself. This centre was created by the Congress in the 1960s to conduct research on livestock production to adapt to the needs of the 21st-century population. Here are a few situations where the US Meat Animal Research Center has put animal welfare at risk since the 1960s:
- 'Pigs are having many more piglets — up to 14, instead of the usual eight — but hundreds of those newborns, too frail or crowded to move, are being crushed each year when their mothers roll over.'
- 'In one trial aimed at creating larger lambs, pregnant ewes were injected with so much of the male hormone testosterone that it began to deform their babies’ genitals, making urination difficult.'
- 'Cows, which normally bear one calf at a time, have been retooled to have twins and triplets, which often emerge weakened or deformed, dying in such numbers that even meat producers have been repulsed.
- 'In an effort to develop “easy care” sheep that can survive without costly shelters or shepherds, ewes are giving birth, unaided, in open fields where newborns are killed by predators, harsh weather and starvation.'