USDA to Allow Poultry Slaughterhouses to Inspect Themselves

A66B7FFF-C7FB-4255-AB2D-B98FC1625301.jpgEach day in the United States, 23 million chickens are killed for food with minimal government inspection. Most birds are crammed by the thousands in squalid sheds, where they are unable to move around freely or engage in any natural behaviors for their entire miserable lives. The horrific methods used to mass produce chickens have led to severe environmental destruction and health risks, including outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella poisoning. In 2011, the filthy conditions on modern factory farms and slaughterhouses prompted over 100 recalls of poultry, beef and eggs - the highest number in a decade. As if these statistics weren't disturbing enough, the USDA has proposed a new frightful measure that would allow poultry slaughterhouses to self regulate.

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Under the new policy, 1,000 USDA inspectors would be relieved from duty, allowing these facilities to nearly double their processing speed from 90 birds per minute to 175 birds per minute, thereby saving them 250 million dollars per year. In an already broken and unsafe system, the true cost of this backwards move by government officials could be a colossal disease epidemic in the United States.

Mercy For Animals has conducted over a dozen undercover investigations on factory farms, hatcheries, and slaughterhouses. Each time our investigators enter these facilities, they document horrific animal abuse, unsanitary conditions, and sick animals making their way into the food supply. Clearly, animal agribusiness is already lacking in safety and oversight. Allowing this industry to inspect itself will only serve to intensify an already destructive system that endangers animals, the environment, and human health.

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