Cruelty Found at U.S. Catfish Supplier

Tell Congress that fish deserve to be protected under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

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Simmons' Cruelty Supplies Cracker Barrel and Kroger, Among Others

In the fall of 2020, Animal Equality investigated Simmons Farm Raised Catfish slaughterhouse, located in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Simmons is one of the largest USDA inspected catfish slaughterhouses in the U.S., supplying grocery stores Kroger, Save a Lot, and Piggly Wiggly, as well as restaurant chains Cracker Barrel and Captain D’s. Our investigative team found numerous instances of animal abuse and suffering—incidents that are in violation of existing state animal cruelty laws. For example, we documented fish kept out of water for prolonged periods up to an hour before they were finally beheaded while conscious.

Contrary to the investigator’s findings, Simmons claimed the fish are processed “within 30 minutes” and in a “swift {and} sterile” manner. Animal Equality filed complaints with state attorneys general in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, alleging that Simmons's false and misleading claims about its products and production practices constitute unfair or deceptive trade practices under those states’ consumer protection laws. In response, Simmons agreed to remove from its website the claim that the fish are processed “within 30 minutes.”

Fish Are Sentient Beings Who Feel Pain

Similar to mammals, scientific research has proven that fish experience pain and are covered with sensory receptors that make their bodies even more sensitive than human skin. A study published in 2020 found that catfish are resistant to stunning by electrocution and that they regain their senses shortly after being stunned, meaning that even though catfish appear to be paralyzed and immobile, many are still capable of experiencing fear, suffering, and pain when slaughtered.

“Federal legislation would be the most efficient approach to protecting aquatic animals from unnecessary suffering during the slaughter process.”

Kathy Hessler
Director of the Aquatic Animal Law Initiative at Lewis & Clark Law School



Animal Equality is an international organization working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals.

Our investigations are a fundamental pillar within our mission to create a world where all animals are protected and respected.