December 27, 2019
Several animal welfare organizations have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the September approval of a new rule which will further deregulate the factory farm industry, according to a recent news article.
The Swine Slaughter Inspection Rule, which goes into effect on December 30th, 2019, will give slaughterhouses the option to remove the limit on how many pigs may be slaughtered per hour. Since the 1960’s, slaughterhouses were capped at slaughtering a maximum of 1,106 pigs per hour. This regulation was put in place so that USDA inspectors had enough time to inspect each animal before being slaughtered in order to meet government safety and welfare requirements. The new rule will also allow slaughterhouses to decrease the number of USDA inspectors on site, allowing them to assign their own employees to do the critical health and welfare inspections before slaughter. The speed limit also protected slaughterhouse workers by keeping production at a “reasonable” pace. However, with this new rule, workers may be pressured to push as many pigs through the slaughter process as possible in order to maximize output, increasing the likelihood of mistakes and mistreatment of the animals.
“The USDA has underscored that these agency inspections are the best way to detect potentially devastating diseases and to prevent widespread economic harm and disruption of the meat supply. . . .The USDA, through the Slaughter Rule, has abdicated this statutory responsibility and reassigned these inspection duties to the very slaughterhouses it is supposed to regulate.”Farm Sanctuary v. United States Department of Agriculture
Should slaughterhouses be allowed to regulate themselves? If the factory farm industry has no accountability from outside sources, to what standard will quality of care for the animals, as well as safety of the products, be held? Two federal meat inspectors even admitted that under the new Swine Slaughter Rule, there will be a greater risk for contamination.
Take Action: Please make the safe and humane decision to stop the consumption of pork products–and other animal products–to encourage a more compassionate food industry.