The Animal Welfare Act

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Molly is homeless and she hasn’t eaten in over a week. She is hungry, tired, and thirsty. She wanders the streets daily wondering if she’ll ever have a home and family members. Molly is bruised and beaten to the bone with a limp that she cannot get rid of. While this may seem like the plight of an extremely poor individual, Molly is actually not a human at all. She is a labrador retriever. Every year, over seven million animals enter shelters. That number does not account for those animals who are left to survive on the streets. Even worse, the number of animal abuse cases seems to constantly fluctuate. On average, there are about two thousand cases a year. The numbers never seem to improve either. As shown in the chart, since 2000, the numbers …show more content…
For animals, there are a handful of them, yet they are not concrete. The most important law for animal rights is the Animal Welfare Act. Also known as the AWA, this law is the bottom line for protecting animals. Under the AWA, animals are suppose to receive humane care in all research facilities and other places animals are housed. What seems to happen is the opposite. 95% of animals are not covered under the AWA. With the unprotected animals, there is no punishment for mistreatment, therefore they only receive the most minimal care. This means, animals are not always fed, they are kept in unsanitary conditions, and are physically mistreated all the time. Any animal not protected under this law does not have to be reported on. Therefore, any violations can be swept under the rug. The group enforcing the Animal Welfare Act is the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA has a big job to do when protecting animals. The problem is they never seem to be able to do so. With over 12,000 facilities and only about 120 inspectors, nothing is truly enforced. The 120 inspectors can only get to so many facilities in one year. The understaffing problem causes even more problems, like a domino effect. When a facility violates a rule the USDA is suppose to enforce a punishment. The problem is violators are not being punished and they are often overlooked. Another government program is the US Food and Drug Administration. Their job is to oversee the more medical side of animal research. Medicines are suppose to be looked over and checked for safety. If the medicine is safe, they put their seal of approval on it. Any medication or vaccine that are wanted to be used must be put through the USFDA. Yet, many are snuck past and used without permission. This can put animals at an even more severe

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