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Legal / Regulatory

June 29, 2020 - NRDC

USDA Must Protect Communities from Mass Animal Killings

USDA Must Protect Communities from Mass Animal Killings
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Shutdowns at industrial slaughterhouses due to the COVID-19 crisis have caused backlogs of animals throughout the U.S. that cannot be slaughtered for food because there simply isn’t capacity to process them.

As of June 26, 2020 there were COVID-19 outbreaks at more than 250 meatpacking plants, and more than 28,000 meatpacking workers have tested positive. Even the shutdowns have not ameliorated the devastatingly unsafe predicament, and industry has failed to take basic steps to protect workers. Although industry has cruelly tried to keep workers on the job in these life-threatening conditions, there is still a backlog of animals that have either outgrown industrial processing equipment or otherwise cannot be slaughtered for meat. This has led the animal agriculture industry to direct its growers to do the unthinkable: slaughter their animals in the field using gruesome methods that range from suffocation with poison foam to gunshot and dispose of the bodies using dangerous and polluting methods like mass burial or burning them on-site without environmental controls.

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