SAN FRANCISCO, April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Humane Farming Association (HFA) has filed a petition with the Trump Administration to cease USDA Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) payments to producers who do not protect their livestock from adverse weather. The Farm Service Agency (FSA)'s LIP provides compensation to livestock producers who incur death losses from inclement weather. Producers receive compensation in the amount of 75 percent of the animals' market value up to $125,000 per year. This petition is being filed in conjunction with Tax Day 2017, to draw attention to the fact that US taxpayers are being bilked out of millions of dollars to pay for this program.
Records received by HFA under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) revealed that in the last three years, LIP issued payments of $134,140,346 to farmers and ranchers for animal deaths due primarily to weather-related issues. Total animal deaths included a staggering 202,445 livestock and 2,461,443 poultry.
Each year, tens of thousands of farm animals suffer and die needlessly from exposure to the elements. In 2013, Winter Storm Atlas ripped through South Dakota killing an estimated 70,000 cattle. In 2015, Winter Storm Goliath killed roughly 40,000 dairy cows and calves in the Southwest; most of the animals were trapped under snow drifts and suffocated. In summer, thousands of cattle confined in feedlots without any protection from the baking sun die from heat stroke.
"Instead of providing adequate shelter to vulnerable livestock, producers who do not assure protections from adverse weather are rewarded with a government check," said HFA National Director Bradley Miller. "Compensating producers for dead livestock without ever requiring adequate shelter is actually a disincentive to farmers and ranchers to take the necessary steps to provide their animals with protections from inclement weather. Without this compensation, many producers would no doubt make an effort to provide for their animals. Instead, massive numbers of neglected livestock are dying painfully and needlessly and taxpayers are footing the bill."
HFA has also launched two powerful and informative short videos on this issue which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DRMyPANAv8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khpNtxguMXI or by visiting HFA.org.
The Humane Farming Association, based in San Rafael, CA, is the nation's most credible and effective organization dedicated to the protection of farm animals. Founded in 1985, and over 250,000 members strong, HFA's goals are to protect farm animals from cruelty, abuse, and neglect. HFA also operates Suwanna Ranch, the nation's largest farm animal sanctuary.
Media Inquiries Contact: Bradley Miller, National Director, (415) 485-1495
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SOURCE Humane Farming Association