Two U.S. senators—Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker—have joined forces on a bill to ban large-scale factory farming by 2040. The proposed legislation would help break up factory farm monopolies, whose business practices harm both animals and people.
Senator Booker introduced the Farm System Reform Act of 2019 last December. Among other things, the bill aims to phase out large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) by 2040, hold factory farms accountable for their pollution, and provide voluntary buyouts for farmers looking to transition out of factory farming. Booker stated:
Large factory farms are harmful to rural communities, public health, and the environment and we must immediately begin to transition to a more sustainable and humane system.
COVID-19 has forced us to examine our broken food system and recognize how it harms and exploits workers, consumers, and animals. The proposed legislation—which would prohibit new large factory farms from opening and existing medium-sized facilities from expanding—could not be more relevant. Senator Warren said in a statement:
The COVID-19 crisis will make it easier for Big Ag to get even bigger, gobble up smaller farms, and lead to fewer choices for consumers. We need to attack this consolidation head-on and give workers, farmers, and consumers bargaining power in our farm and food system.
And Warren isn’t the only U.S. lawmaker to champion this reform. Reps. Jamie Raskin and Ro Khanna have co-sponsored a companion bill in the House, the Farm System Reform Act of 2020, increasing the legislation’s chances of success and showing that Congress has a greater interest in addressing some of the most serious problems in our food system.
The legislation aligns with Mercy For Animals’ mission to empower farmers to help construct a compassionate food system, particularly through initiatives like the Transfarmation Project. Our work is more important than ever. We are not just fighting for animals. We are fighting to end a system that oppresses and abuses everyone at every link in the chain.
You can help. Citing business disruptions related to COVID-19, the powerful meat industry is asking the federal government for a bailout as they continue to conduct horrific mass killing of animals on farms.
Tell the USDA not to use taxpayer dollars—in the form of stimulus funds—to support this cruelty. Sign and share our petition today!