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Vegan Organizations Take USDA To Court Over Slaughterhouse Regulations

by | December 20, 2019

A group of vegan animal welfare organizations has raised a lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) over slaughterhouse regulations. 

Eight animal rights groups — represented by Lewis & Clark Law School’s Animal Law Litigation Clinic — are challenging regulations that enable slaughterhouses to choose how many pigs they kill per hour.

The lawsuit argues that increased speeds of production at slaughterhouses is of detriment to animal welfare and worker’s conditions. The lawsuit is also seeking to reverse the USDA’s decision to no longer require federal inspectors in slaughterhouses. 

“The consumer’s being duped” said Jill Mauer, a Food Safety and Inspection Service Inspector.

“They believe that it actually is getting federally inspected when there’s no one there to even watch or do anything about anything.”

pig farm
The USDA has decided that pig slaughterhouses no longer require federal inspectors (Photo: MR. WORAWUT SAEWONG/Shutterstock.com)

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The eight organizations involved in the lawsuit are Animal Equality, Farm Sanctuary, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, The Humane Society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity, Compassion Over Killing, North Carolina Farmed Animal Save, and Mercy for Animals. 

“The USDA has long asserted that its inspections are the most effective way to protect against disease epidemics that could devastate animal populations and threaten public health” said Compassion Over Killing.

“Yet, at the same time, the agency is preparing for the possibility of a disastrous outbreak of African swine fever—which is expected to decimate up to a quarter of the world’s pig population—it is replacing its front-line inspectors with untrained and overworked slaughterhouse staff.”

Do you think the lawsuit will help to reverse the regulations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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