Animal Outlook, alongside the Humane Society of the United States, the Government Accountability Project (GAP), Marin Humane Society, and Mercy for Animals, just filed its second lawsuit against the USDA’s reckless high-speed slaughter program—this time, on behalf of the billions of chickens slaughtered in the US every year.
Animal Outlook’s recent investigation of high-speed chicken slaughter plant Amick Farms revealed birds being punched, shoved, and thrown down the fast-paced kill line, and other birds slowly drowned in electrified stunning baths during equipment breakdowns. Our investigator also documented “red birds,” with blood seen under their skin—evidence that they were scalded alive.
But Amick Farms and the USDA have yet to admit the disastrous effects of running kill lines at recklessly fast speeds of up to 175 birds slaughtered every minute, or nearly 3 birds per second, causing workers to make critical errors—and put themselves in danger—as they rush to keep up.
Amick Farms is just one of nearly 40 slaughterhouses, together killing hundreds of millions of birds every year, that the USDA has allowed to operate at such high speeds. In September 2018, the agency published criteria to allow plants to apply for waivers to speed up their kill lines beyond the already dangerous limit of 140 birds per minute, and it’s been churning out these waivers ever since—despite receiving opposition from the more than 120,000 of you who have signed our petition.
Today, Animal Outlook joined the Humane Society of the United States, the Government Accountability Project, Marin Humane Society, and Mercy for Animals in suing the USDA, arguing that the agency violated federal law by circumventing the mandatory rule-making process and failing to appropriately consider necessary animal welfare, worker safety, and environmental factors before establishing a waiver process.
This new lawsuit comes just two months after Animal Outlook’s lawsuit with six other organizations challenging the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), the cruel high-speed pig slaughter program that was rolled out nationwide by the USDA last year. That complaint cites AO’s shocking investigation of a model plant for NSIS, which exposed workers beating, shocking, and dragging animals as they struggle to keep up with line speeds, and pigs covered in feces and pus-filled abscesses processed for human consumption—with a USDA inspection seal of approval.
These USDA programs, promulgated under the guise of “modernization” of slaughter, ultimately put more profits in the hands of animal agriculture giants by allowing them to kill more animals, more quickly—at the expense of millions of workers, consumers, and of course, the animals themselves.
But stopping them will depend on your support: Please make a quick, tax-deductible donation to Animal Outlook today. Every dollar goes toward our trailblazing work for farmed animals, and no amount is too small.
Thank you for standing strong for compassion.