Senate Booker has introduced Senate Bill 4338, the Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act, a companion bill to H.R. 7521, which proposes to suspend all current and future USDA line speed waivers amidst the pandemic.
Senate Considers Revoking Line Speed Waivers Amid Pandemic
Unions File Suit Challenging USDA Line Speed Waivers
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and local counterparts in six states have filed suit against the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that the agency’s line speed waiver program violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
New Jersey Considers Farm Worker Protection Bill
New Jersey Assembly No. 4404 proposes additional protections for farm workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased inspections, government reporting on enforcement activities, prioritization of farm workers for testing, provision of separate living facilities for workers exposed to communicable diseases, and proper availability of personal protective equipment.
Bill Would Suspend Increases in Line Speeds
H.R. 7521 proposes to suspend active and prohibit future waivers for high line speeds in slaughterhouses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Appropriations Bill Would Block Line Speed Waivers
The House Agriculture Appropriations bill would revoke all line speed waivers under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or Poultry Products Inspection Act.
New York Considers Shutting Down Live Animal Markets
New York Assembly Bill A10399 and Senate Bill S8291 propose to indefinitely ban the operation of markets that sell freshly slaughtered animals, sometimes referred to as wet markets. The legislation also proposes the formation of a task force to address public health and animal welfare concerns of slaughterhouses.
USDA Issues Additional Regulatory Waivers Amid COVID-19 Crisis
The Food Safety Inspection System has issued at least seven new regulatory waivers this year, allowing slaughterhouses to increase line speeds and self-police, rather than being subject to the review of federal inspectors.
Groups Sue USDA Over Chicken Slaughter Speed
The Humane Society of the United States, Animal Outlook, Mercy for Animals, Government Accountability Project, and Marin Humane have filed suit against the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that the agency’s decision to increase allowable slaughter speeds in some chicken slaughterhouses to 175 animals per minute violates the Poultry Products Inspection Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.