By an overwhelming 28-point margin (64% to 36%), Americans opposed the USDA’s proposal to eliminate the speed limits on pig slaughter lines. Current law limits line speeds to 1,106 pigs per hour; the USDA proposal would remove all speed limits.

A stunning 70 percent of Midwesterners—those closest to the pig slaughter industry—opposed this proposed change. Americans rejected two other major proposed changes to pig slaughter inspections—reducing the number of government inspectors in the plants and allowing companies to design their own food safety testing programs—by even larger margins. Almost three in four respondents (73%) opposed reducing the number of government inspectors on pig slaughter lines. Seven in ten (70%) rejected allowing companies to design their own microbiological testing programs to measure food safety, rather than requiring all companies to meet the same standard.

“The public, whom the USDA is supposed to protect, is not fooled when USDA officials claim their proposed changes will do no harm. Americans understand that by reducing and privatizing food safety inspections and allowing an unlimited increase in pig slaughter line speeds, the administration will further endanger tens of thousands of workers, consumers, and animal welfare,” said Deborah Berkowitz, former chief of staff at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“Faster line speeds and fewer inspectors would mean greater food safety risks. Yet USDA does not have measures in place like pathogen performance standards to control these risks, or even to measure the impact of these proposed changes.”

“Removing all speed limits for pig slaughter lines is inherently reckless and will result in significant and devastating consequences for animal, worker, and, ultimately, consumer safety,” saidIngrid Seggerman, director of regulatory policy for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Under already-breakneck slaughter speeds, animal welfare records at plants are abysmal, revealing rough handling and botched slaughter practices. Abandoning speed maximums altogether would pressure already-taxed plant workers to move even more animals faster and cause more instances of mishandling and conscious slaughter.

Americans understand that faster is not always better, and overwhelmingly oppose the USDA’s flawed rule according to the report. Download report Survey on USDA’s Proposed Pig Slaughter Regulation Changes (pdf).

04-08-2019 18:Aug:th