USDA to Greenlight Barbaric High-Speed Pig Slaughter

by Stuart McDonald

Update: The U.S. House of Representatives is taking steps to delay or stop implementation of the high-speed slaughter rule.


As is, slaughterhouses are hell on earth for pigs, and they’re about to get worse.

Within just a few weeks, the USDA is planning to give slaughterhouses across the country the green light to recklessly speed up slaughter lines–endangering animals, workers, and consumers alike.

The Trump administration isn’t only speeding up the slaughter lines, though. It’s also reducing the number of inspectors in slaughterhouses and shifting much of the responsibility of regulation to the businesses themselves.

You read that right: the company profiting off keeping the slaughter lines running as fast as possible will also now be policing itself!

This reckless policy has no benefits. In one of the most dangerous industries in the world, workers will be at even more risk of experiencing injuries, as well as being denied breaks in order to keep up with rapidly moving kill lines.

These risks will also be passed on to consumers, as reduced federal oversight makes ensuring food safety more difficult. COK’s investigation inside a pig slaughter plant operating at these high speeds uncovered pigs covered in feces or pus-filled abscesses being processed for human consumption–with a USDA inspection seal of approval.

This urgent issue was even recently brought up by the New York Times editorial board, which took a formal stance against the catastrophic program, writing that “the government — rather astonishingly — has maintained the [fast-speed] pilot program for two decades without proving that it works.”

Not only does the program not work, it is barbarically cruel to animals. COK’s investigator Scott David witnessed these high-speed horrors firsthand. He documented pigs being beaten, shocked, dragged, and improperly stunned, as workers tried to keep up with the 1,300 pigs per hour slaughter rate. Due to reckless line speeds, many animals suffered tremendously.

Pigs are not the only ones who are suffering. Over the past year, the USDA has been expanding its equally abusive high-speed poultry slaughter program. COK’s investigation of one of the chicken plants in this program uncovered birds being shoved and thrown down the quickly moving line. ome birds even slowly drowned in electrified stunning baths during equipment breakdowns, while others  entered the scalding tank alive.

Slaughterhouses are cruel by design: gentle pigs and chickens experience pain and a desire to live, just like us. And now, despite growing demand for plant-based options, the industry wants to kill even more, even faster, at the expense of us all.

The industry must be held accountable, and d the USDA has a responsibility to stop, not exacerbate animal, worker, and consumer abuse.  


TAKE ACTION TODAY: Call the USDA at 202-720-9113 and urge it to put the brakes on high-speed slaughter! Use our our sample below (or your own polite message), and don’t forget to email campaigns@cok.net to let us know how your call went.

SAMPLE SCRIPT:

My name is _____, and I am calling as a concerned consumer to urge you to put the brakes on cruel, dangerous high-speed pig slaughter. A Compassion Over Killing investigation of high-speed pig slaughter plant Quality Pork Processors documented pigs being shocked, dragged, and improperly stunned, as well as pigs covered in feces or pus-filled abscesses being processed for human consumption–with a USDA inspection seal of approval. Please don’t increase animal suffering–and put workers and consumer safety on the line–under the guise of “modernization” of slaughter. Thank you.

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