The dismissed federal case of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) v. Sonny Perdue is returning. The U.S. District Court for Northern California has scheduled a case management conference for June 13.

Around that date, look for the non-profit’s plaintiff activists, the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Outlook, the Government Accountability Project, Mercy for Animals, and Marin Humane, to join in an amended complaint against USDA.

In the meantime, poultry plant evisceration lines will continue to operate at speeds up to 175 birds per minute under USDA waivers. Certain food safety inspections take place on the lines.

Those higher line speeds expire at the end of March, but Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently said extensions will be granted.

Vilsack promised the Senate Agriculture Committee that the extensions were in the offering and would help determine whether increased line speeds contribute to worker injuries or safety.

Vilsack said he wants to make decisions based on the facts, but he does not yet have all the facts.

Some in Congress, however, are questioning why the Biden Administration continues to study the line speed issue. Rep. David Rouzer, R-NC, suggested in a House Agriculture Committee meeting that the University of California study is biased against the poultry industry.

The 175 per minute line speed, up from 140, has existed for 25 years. At present, 47 poultry plants operate at the higher speeds.

Rouzer points out that existing line speed waivers were granted only if an “opt-in” to the ongoing worker safety study was accepted.

The USDA will use the study of increased poultry line speed in future rule-making.

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