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DeLauro, Pocan Tell Secretary Perdue to Withdraw Swine Slaughter Rule

April 23, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (April 23, 2018) — Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) led a letter with 61 of their colleagues urging the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to withdraw the Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection proposed rule. The rule would allow an unlimited increase in swine slaughter line speeds, endangering workers’ safety, public health, and animal welfare.

“The Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection proposed rule removes all limitations on line speeds in hog slaughter plants, which will endanger the health and safety of tens of thousands of workers in the hog slaughter industry,” wrote the Members. “Even at current line speeds, pork slaughter and processing workers face many job risks that can lead to severe injury, illness and death. Meatpacking workers in hog slaughter plants work in cold, wet, noisy, and slippery conditions making tens of thousands of forceful repetitive motions on each shift. Meatpacking workers are injured at 2.4 times the rate of other industries and they face illness rates at 17 times the rate of other industries.”

“An increase in line speeds will result in an already dangerous industry becoming more dangerous,” continued the Members. “There is no evidence that the increased line speeds can be done in a manner that ensures safe food and safe workers. We strongly oppose swine slaughter line speed increases, the new proposed inspection system, and urge you to withdraw the rule.”

A copy of the full letter can be found here.