Seaboard Foods Says It Needs More Time to Slow Slaughter Speeds

Posted on Tue, 05/04/2021 - 12:00

Seaboard Foods is pushing for a 10.5-month delay to a federal court decision that would force it to slow hog slaughter at its Guymon, Oklahoma facility.

Workers say the faster line speeds have increased injuries and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union successfully challenged a Trump administration policy that allowed plants to run slaughter lines as fast as they want so long as they prevent fecal contamination and minimize bacteria.

The U.S. District Court in Minnesota invalidated the rule on March 31, but stayed the decision for 90 days to give companies and the Biden administration time to adapt.

Seaboard was the first U.S. pork company that invested in machinery to run line speeds faster under the now axed rule. The company says it needs 313 more days to clear out excess hogs. In court documents, Seaboard says that over those 10.5 months, its production pipeline will produce around 126,000 more hogs than the company can slaughter under the previous speed limit of 1,106 pigs per hour. It says it has already sold off some hogs to reduce its supply.