A new proposal from the US Department of Agriculture that would allow poultry producers to speed up their processing lines is now in its final stages, reports The Wall Street Journal. This has serious implications for the hundreds of thousands of chickens and turkeys that are scalded alive every year—many times poultry workers are unable to properly secure the birds on processing line, which leads to the animals not being killed before they are boiled. “One of the greatest risks for inhumane treatment is line speed. You can’t always stop the abuse at these speeds,” poultry expert Mohan Raj tells the WSJ. Currently, the line speed of most poultry plants is 140 chickens per minute and 45 turkeys per minute—if the USDA proposal goes into effect, those numbers will increase to 175 and 55 respectively.
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