Chicken Scratch: The Politics of Poultry

August 1, 2014

Chicken Scratch is an ASPCA Blog feature that highlights interesting news about farm animals and farm animal welfare.

  • We made ourselves heard! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has listened to the American public and dropped language from a new poultry slaughter inspection rule that would have increased slaughter line speeds. We sure are relieved, but line speeds are still moving way too fast. The ASPCA was quoted in The New York Times, explaining: “It’s not a victory for consumers, workers or animals. [The USDA] maintained the status quo of line speeds that already move too fast.” Thanks to all our supporters who spoke up on behalf of chickens and turkeys!
  • Something to squawk about…a new trend in “farm to counter”? The New York Times highlights a growing segment of fast-food chains that are shunning factory farming and investing in more sustainable and humane food sources.
  • In a disappointing ruling, a court decided the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have to hold hearings on the safety of routine antibiotic use on factory farms. The FDA should listen to its own advice from the 1970s that routinely administering certain antibiotics has “not been shown to be safe.” We’re glad to see three U.S. senators (Dianne Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand) are continuing to push the FDA to take the issue seriously.
  • We always knew pork lobbyists were aggressive, but this is taking it to the next level. A South Carolina pork lobbyist was recently arrested trying to enter the U.S. Capitol with a gun. The president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council might be walking on eggshells as he’s now facing a potential felony charge.
  • Welcome to the neighborhood! An urban homesteader in New York City introduces his neighbors and landlords to his chickens.