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BKC filed the petition on June 28, 2001 after independent members of BKC's Animal Well-being Advisory Council expressed 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, Burger King said. The company says it will actively participate in the rule-making process.
"Burger King Corporation 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," said John Dasburg, chairman, CEO, and president of Burger King Corporation. "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."
Burger King officials said they will participate in the rule-making process to ensure new industry-wide standards are adopted. Burger King Corporation, one of the world's largest users of meat, poultry, and eggs, says the company "has been the industry leader in adopting meaningful requirements for animal handling by its vendors and suppliers."