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Federal Bill Seeks to Stop Increased Slaughter Line Speeds

Last year, Animal Equality launched a campaign to slow down slaughterhouse line speeds. Well, we have an update for you: Two bills (S. 713 and H.R. 1815) were just introduced in Congress to address this issue.

THE ISSUE: Slaughterhouses are industrialized dis-assembly lines. Time is money, and the faster animals go through the killing process, the more profits meat companies make. But when line speeds run too fast, animals suffer and food safety is compromised. This is why, for decades, the federal government has capped maximum line speeds by species: up to 140 chickens per minute, 1,105 pigs per hour, and so on.

WE’RE DEMANDING CHANGE: Those killing speeds are truly staggering—and extremely inhumane. Yet federal regulators are now allowing some slaughterhouses to operate at even faster line speeds. The changes aim to increase productivity and profit while ignoring increased risks to animal welfare. Pig slaughter establishments can now operate without any limit on line speeds. The result has been a documented increase in animal cruelty. Animal Equality is suing the agency to reverse this unacceptable new rule, yet we know chicken, turkey, and cow slaughter operations are actively lobbying for similar increases as well.

FASTER SPEEDS MEANS MORE CRUELTY: Processing machines send a constant flow of animals down the line to workers who struggle to keep up, creating unimaginable cruelty to animals. For example, when pigs are improperly stunned they writhe in pain as their necks are cut. Chickens, hanging upside down and struggling to escape the shackles on their feet, may pass over the electric stunning bath and be sent fully conscious into the scalding-hot water baths where they are boiled alive. With lines operating at such incredible speeds, these issues are ignored

WHAT YOU CAN DO: To end this cruelty, we need congressional action. Will you take a moment to contact your elected officials using this form and urge them to support newly re-introduced Safe Lines Speeds In COVID-19 Act? Together, we can tell the meat industry: “Not so fast!”