This week, New Jersey senator, Cory Booker and Representative Ro Khanna of California reintroduced their bill to phase out factory farming in the United States.
The Farm System Reform Act of 2021 would place an immediate moratorium on large concentrated animal feeding operations—also known as “factory farms”—and ultimately ban their operation entirely after 2040.
The bill is identical to the version first introduced last year, which garnered support from senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, among others. It offers $100 billion to operations wanting to transition out of animal feeding altogether and places more responsibility on the large corporate entities that own all stages of animal product production to bear the burden of environmental health. It also tightens requirements on meat labeled “Product of the United States”.
Speaking in support of the bill, Senator Booker noted that economic concentration in agriculture comes at the detriment of small-scale family farmers. The top four beef and pork packing companies control nearly 85% and 71% of the market, respectively.
“These companies have too much market power, and it comes at the expense of independent family farmers, who earn just 14.3 cents of every dollar spent on food. Agricultural concentration hurts consumers too, who see higher prices, poorer quality, less innovation, and reduced access to food.”
Senator Cory Booker
Compassion in World Farming has supported the Farm System Reform Act since it was first introduced in January 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the inhumanity of the factory farming industry; from the outbreaks of infection amongst workers at slaughterhouses to the cruel “depopulation” measures used to mass slaughter surplus animals.
We must ensure that we build back better with a new animal farming industry that prioritizes animal welfare, worker safety, and environmental responsibility. The Farm System Reform Act will help us get there faster.