The Department of Agriculture will not appeal a federal district court ruling on faster line speeds in slaughterhouses. USDA told the Hagstrom Report that only the Justice Department can make a decision about the appeal. The comments came less than a day after the National Pork Producers Council urged USDA to intervene in the matter before the ruling takes effect at the end of next month.
NPPC cites an analysis by an Iowa State University economist that shows the ruling will result in a 2.5 percent loss in pork packing plant capacity nationwide and more than $80 million in reduced income for small U.S. hog farmers. However, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union praised the response from USDA. The union represents over 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers. UFCW International President Marc Perrone says, “UFCW is calling on CEOs across the pork industry to work with the USDA to slow their line speeds.”