National Chicken Council Wants to Speed Up Slaughter Lines, So We’re Fighting Back

Mercy For Animals and other animal protection organizations are working together by submitting comments to urge the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to deny the National Chicken Council’s recent petition to speed up slaughter lines.

Currently, chicken slaughterhouses that operate under the New Poultry Inspection System are allowed to slaughter 140 birds per minute, an already recklessly high rate.

The chicken industry’s petition would create a loophole on slaughter line speeds, enabling some slaughterhouses to kill as many birds per minute as they wanted. Of course, this would endanger animals, food safety, and workers.

A report by Buzzfeed News revealed that on average one employee a month is injured by equipment and loses a finger or limb at a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse. The injury rate for poultry slaughter workers is six times higher than the average for other industries, a statistic that is probably low, as numerous reports have found that underreporting of injuries by slaughterhouse owners is rampant.

As if endangering workers weren’t terrible enough, speeding up slaughter lines would result in even more abusive handling of birds, including improper shackling and failed stunning and killing. As it is, scientists believe over a million chickens a year are boiled alive and fully conscious because they are not properly stunned and killed before entering scalding tanks. Additionally, USDA inspection records obtained by public records requests have documented chickens going into scalding tanks and chickens shackled by a single leg having their flailing legs cut off by the beheading machines—also while fully conscious.

A 2015 Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse exposed horrific cruelty, including chickens having their heads ripped off while the birds were still alive.

See for yourself.

That’s why we are urging the USDA to reject the NCC’s dangerous request, which would only line the poultry industry’s pockets at the expense of animal welfare and worker safety.

The best way you can help protect chickens is to withdraw your support from this cruel industry by switching to a compassionate vegan diet. Click here to get started.

Click here for a list of mouthwatering plant-based chicken substitutes.