August 29, 2018

Nearly 20,000 ASPCA Supporters Raise Their Voices for Pigs

pigs in a sty

You may remember that last February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a dangerous proposal that would remove line speed limits at pig slaughterhouses across the country. The removal of limits could allow slaughterhouses to handle a mind-boggling 1,300 or more pigs per hour and risk improper stunning in the rush to process them quickly, causing these vulnerable animals even greater pain and terror in the final minutes of their lives.

Just as predicted, terrifying evidence has emerged linking fast line speeds to humane handling violations, with pigs waking up on the slaughter lines. 

On July 25, a central Illinois newspaper published an article revealing a series of disturbing incidents at an Illinois slaughterhouse. One pig was observed by a USDA inspector to be blinking and moving its head—apparently fully conscious—as it approached a scalding tank. The inspector determined multiple pigs had been improperly stunned due to processing speed. This slaughter plant was not even running at the new, higher speeds that would be allowed under the USDA’s new proposal. If plants can’t manage humane handling at current speeds, how can we expect anything but more suffering at the higher pace proposed by the USDA?

The ASPCA is pushing back. In just two weeks, we gathered 19,952 signatures from ASPCA supporters signing our petition to USDA Sec. Perdue urging him to drop this inhumane proposal once and for all. On Wednesday, August 29, we delivered the signatures to the agency, and we will continue to press the USDA to abandon the proposal. You can read the cover letter delivered to the USDA here.

We want to thank the nearly 20,000 ASPCA supporters who once again raised their voices on behalf of pigs. Please stay tuned for any updates in this important fight. 

If you have not yet, please join the ASPCA’s Advocacy Brigade to be alerted when animals in your state and across the country need your help.