Court Puts Stop to Unlimited Hog Line Speeds

Workers said injuries increased when the lines sped up.

On Wednesday, a federal court invalidated a 2019 rule that allowed hog processing plants to run without line limits.

The decision was celebrated by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the change. 

The union argued that increasing slaughter speeds could compromise worker safety. 

Seaboard Foods in Oklahoma was the first pork plant to speed up the lines. 

According to Reuters, workers said injuries increased when the lines sped up. 

The pork industry is still playing catch-up after COVID-19 shut down facilities. 

The previous rule limited the amount of pigs processed to 1,106 per hour.

The new administration has 90 days to change the policies, which also allowed pork plants to use in-house inspectors instead of USDA reps.

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