Pork plants face new deregulation as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to lower the required number of food safety inspectors and allow accelerated processing times.
Along with dozens of other organizations, Lady Freethinker opposes the change for its encouragement of “high-speed slaughter.” With no limit imposed on processing speed, pork plants may rush to kill more pigs in more time — as many as 12 per minute — to increase profits.
Rushed pork processing lines cannot effectively stun the pigs, leaving them to suffer slaughter while fully conscious. And an already notoriously dangerous industry operating at hyper-speed will present new risks for workers as they try to keep pace.
In addition, instead of highly trained government food safety inspectors, potentially untrained pork plant workers will be the ones to identify contaminated or unsatisfactory products.
In light of the new system’s many risks, Lady Freethinker joined other animal welfare and labor advocacy organizations in calling on the USDA to halt the change.
“This so-called ‘modernization’ is a blow to the rights of both animals and humans,” said Nina Jackel, founder and president of Lady Freethinker.
Compassion Over Killing investigated a high-speed slaughterhouse in 2015, and found sickening cruelty.
“This rule proves that the USDA is willing to benefit the industry at the expense of animals, workers, and consumers. Compassion Over Killing’s investigation at a high-speed plant exposed horrible animal abuse, but the agency has chosen not only to look the other way but to completely revoke maximum line speeds nationwide,” said COK’s General Counsel, Irina Anta.