As reports of coronavirus outbreaks at the US's biggest meat processors continue, new analysis of government documents by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) finds that JBS USA and Smithfield foods have sub-standard animal welfare records.
The Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, SD, had the largest number of animal welfare violations for a single plant, while JBS USA had the highest total by far for any meat company in the United States. In total, these seven JBS-owned plants had 132 incidents, including 18 violations classified as “egregious.”
AWI’s analysis focused on the number of humane handling incidents documented from 2016 through 2018, the most recent years for which data is available. Based on this metric, JBS, a Brazilian company that is the world’s largest meat producer and a majority owner of the Pilgrim’s Pride poultry brand, operates seven of the 10 worst large livestock slaughter plants in the country. In total, these seven JBS-owned plants had 132 incidents, including 18 violations classified as “egregious.”
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