USDA rejects faster pork slaughter speeds

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declined a request by the pork industry to increase the speed at which pigs can be processed into meat, delivering a victory to slaughterhouse workers who had raised safety concerns about the plan.

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June 1, 2021 - 8:09 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declined a request by the pork industry to increase the speed at which pigs can be processed into meat, delivering a victory to slaughterhouse workers who had raised safety concerns about the plan.

The USDA announced Wednesday evening it would enforce a Minnesota judge’s order issued in March. The judge struck down plans begun years ago but finalized by the USDA under former President Donald Trump’s administration that would have lifted maximum line speeds at pork slaughterhouses, allowing dozens of plants to speed up production.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union International, which represents 33,000 workers in the pork processing industry, welcomed the decision.

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