Nearly 40,000 animal advocates have come together from across the US to oppose the USDA's new high-speed pig slaughter program plan.
The campaigners, who were united by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [ASPCA], say the New Swine Inspection System [NSIS] would put animals at risk of further suffering.
Under the plans, pig slaughterhouses could kill animals at any speed deemed safe for food safety 'process control' - opening up opportunities for welfare abuses.
Under these proposals, up to 1,500 pigs could be slaughtered per hour - up from 1,100 currently.
According to the ASPCA: "With faster speeds come increased chances for rough animal handling, as employees are pressured to quickly move pigs weighing hundreds of pounds each. Line speed increases can also result in improper stunning. Workers may have too little time to properly stun animals; to detect signs of consciousness once stunning has been attempted; or to re-stun animals as needed, possibly resulting in pigs being slaughtered while conscious."
In addition, under the plans the food safety responsibilities of federal inspectors would be handed over to private slaughter plant employees - which has led to fears of standards being lowered.
Undercover footage shows the grim reality of high speed slaughter
According to the ASPCA, a public comment period opened by the USDA has garnered nearly 40,000 opposition messages from its supporters. Official comments were submitted by organization, as well as fellow campaign group Compassion Over Killing [COK].
Suzanne McMillan, Content Director - Farm Animal Welfare Campaign, said: "The New Swine Inspection System proposal is yet another misguided attempt at privatization of slaughter to the great detriment of animal welfare, worker safety and food safety.
"We urge the USDA to consider the potentially disastrous consequences if this rule were enacted and heed the calls to withdraw it completely."
Maria is the head of written content for Plant Based News. Also a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.