Miami-based burger giant Burger King Corporation announced yesterday [Wednesday] that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has granted its petition for enforcement of the Federal Humane Slaughter Act, paving the way for stepped up enforcement of the act.

BK filed the petition on 28 June 2001 after independent members of BK’s Animal Well-being Advisory Council expressed significant concerns over the lack of enforcement of the federal law. The Federal Humane Slaughter Act requires the USDA to inspect slaughterhouses and ensure that standards relating to the humane treatment of food animals are met.

The USDA is developing a proposed rule that will address the issue of humane handling and is taking the contents of the Burger King petition into consideration during the development of that proposal. BK will actively participate in the rule-making process.

John Dasburg, chairman, CEO and and president of Burger King, said that the company “is committed to the humane treatment of food animals used for our products, and we applaud the USDA for moving forward on this very important subject”.

“We look forward to working with the USDA as they develop a rule that helps improve compliance with, and enforcement of, the Federal Humane Slaughter Act,” he added.

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BK officials said they will participate in the rule-making process to ensure new industry-wide standards are adopted.