Petition to List the Northwest Atlantic Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Thorny Skate (Amblyraja radiata) as Endangered or Threatened or, alternatively, to List the United States DPS of the Thorny Skate as Endangered or Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (2015)
The Animal Welfare Institute and Defenders of Wildlife (Petitioners) hereby petition the Secretary of Commerce, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to list the Northwest Atlantic population of thorny skate (Amblyraja radiata) as an endangered or threatened Distinct Population Segment (DPS). In the alternative, Petitioners request NMFS to list a U.S. DPS of the thorny skate as a threatened or endangered species. In addition, Petitioners seek the designation of critical habitat concurrently with any listing of the thorny skate, as authorized by statute.
Farm Sanctuary, et al. v. Vilsack (Petition to Amend Non-Ambulatory Pig Rule) (2015)
The undersigned submit this petition to request that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) amend the ante-mortem inspection regulations to prohibit the slaughter of non-ambulatory disabled (NAD) pigs.1 Specifically, Petitioners request that FSIS amend 9 C.F.R. § 309.3 by adding a provision: "(f) Non-ambulatory disabled pigs that are offered for slaughter must be condemned and humanely euthanized in accordance with § 309.13."
Petition to Designate the Sakhalin Bay-Amur River Stock of Beluga Whales under the MMPA (2014)
Under § 1383b of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), 16 U.S.C. § 1361 et seq., the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Cetacean Society International, and Earth Island Institute hereby petition the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, through the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), to designate Sakhalin Bay-Amur River beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in the Sea of Okhotsk as a “depleted” stock. As described herein, the best scientific information available indicates that these beluga whales constitute a stock that is well below its optimum sustainable population (OSP) and, under the MMPA, qualify for such designation. The evidence also suggests that the stock continues to decline and faces a number of risk factors, providing additional impetus for such designation.
Petition to Amend Labeling Regulations under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (2014)
The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) submits this petition for rulemaking in compliance with United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulation 9 C.F.R. § 392 and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. AWI respectfully requests USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to amend labeling regulations under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) to require independent third-party certification for the approval of animal welfare and environmental stewardship claims on meat and poultry products. This action is necessary to 1) prevent the misleading and deceptive use of animal welfare and environmental stewardship claims, 2) provide for consistency and transparency in the label approval process, 3) meet consumer expectations for the label approval process, and 4) protect from financial harm those farmers making legitimate use of these value-added claims.
Emergency Petition to List the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) as Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act (2013)
The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) formally requests that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) list the pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) on an emergency basis. Alternatively, if the USFWS determines that an emergency listing is not warranted in this case, AWI requests that it process this listing petition pursuant to the standard timetable as required under the ESA.
Petition to Issue Regulations under the Poultry Products Inspection Act to Regulate Practices and Actions that Result in Adulterated Poultry Products (2013)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been directed by Congress to promulgate regulations that will reduce poultry carcass adulteration. However, although USDA has repeatedly recognized that the inhumane treatment of poultry leads to adulteration, it has not promulgated any regulations to limit that adulteration. Thus, USDA is not fulfilling its mandate. Farm Sanctuary and the Animal Welfare Institute submit this petition for rulemaking, calling on USDA to begin the process of promulgating regulations to address bird handling and slaughter practices that result in adulteration as is its duty under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), 21 U.S.C. § 451 et seq.
Petition To Promulgate Additional Regulations Implementing the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act to Prevent Incidents of Inhumane Handling and the Needless Suffering of Animals at Slaughter (2013)
Petitioner requests that the Secretary amend HMSA regulations to require all slaughter establishments take a systematic approach to animal welfare by preparing and maintaining a comprehensive, written humane handling plan, and make other changes that are needed to prevent unnecessary incidents of inhumane handling at slaughter. These amendments include requiring routine testing and maintenance of stunning equipment, the availability of backup stunning devices, and employee training in animal handling. The purpose of the requested action is to protect the welfare of animals during the slaughter process and to provide safer and better working conditions for persons engaged in the slaughter industry.
Petition To Amend the Inspection and Handling of Livestock for Exportation Regulations to Include Fitness for Transport Requirements (2011)
This petition is submitted on behalf of the Animal Welfare Institute (“AWI”) and the United States office of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (“WSPA”) and requests that the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (“APHIS”), initiate rulemaking to amend the “exportation of animals” regulations by adopting the animal welfare standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (“OIE”) for the transport of animals.