US moves to scrap speed limits on pig slaughter lines | Environment

New rules will allow production lines at pork plants to run faster, despite concerns over safety and quality The US government has given the go-ahead to new rules to eliminate production line speed limits at pig slaughterhouses, deeming restrictions “unnecessary” despite fears that lifting them will worsen the already high number of serious injuries suffered by US meat plant workers. Amputations, fractured fingers, second-degree burns and head trauma are just some of the serious injuries suffered by US meat plant workers every week, according to an investigation last year by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The investigation found that US meat workers are already three times more likely to suffer serious harm than the average American worker, with pork and beef workers nearly seven times more likely to suffer repetitive strain injuries. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said maximum line speeds were an “unnecessary regulatory obstacle to industry innovation” and that its new rules – the first reform to pork inspections for 50 years – were overdue. They would, the department said this week, allow companies to bring in new food saf...

The main objective in poultry production is to achieve high quality products at high levels of

The main objective in poultry production is to achieve high quality products at high levels of productivity. The key for producers to achieve this goal is to avoid bacterial challenges e.g. from feed, water, environment, gastrointestinal tract and to mitigate mycotoxins. Doing so without the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) requires different strategies that focus on prevention and promote good gut performance. Traditionally, AGPs have been supplemented in poultry feed to improve performance and mitigate the negative effects of pathogens that colonise the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Most of these pathogens are Gram-negative bacteria that have a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or endotoxin layer. The release of LPS in an animal’s bloodstream can cause severe health problems in poultry and aggravate the effects of heat stress. Concerns about potential development of antibiotic resistance due to excessive and unregulated use of AGPs have led to regulations banning their use in Europe and consumer pressure with the same objective in North America. The ban on AGPs in poultry diets has been accompanied by an increased incidence of certain diseases, raising interest on alternatives...