The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is urging pork producers to take action on a proposed rule that would ban all non-ambulatory livestock from slaughter including downer pigs. The deadline to file is just two weeks away (April 8, 2011).

Farm Sanctuary in 2010 submitted a petition requesting that USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) amend its inspection regulation to include all livestock in the ban on non-ambulatory slaughter.

According to the NPPC, Farm Sanctuary supported the petition with outdated Non-Compliance Records and assumptions that all non-ambulatory animals pose a health risk to humans.
FSIS has requested public comments to gain further insight into the issue before it decides whether to grant the petition.

NPPC says if the petition is granted, the ban would eliminate approximately 66 million pounds of safe and wholesome pork from the food supply, as well as cost producers millions of dollars.
All hogs sent to slaughter are routinely inspected by FSIS personnel and veterinarians regarding their fitness for processing and entering the human food supply.

“Through the industry’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus and Transport Quality Assurance programs, more than 53,000 producers and 26,000 handlers have been certified in proper animal care practices,” says NPPC.

To submit a comment on the petition, go to http://nppc.org/issues/FSISRule.htm or contact NPPC’s Bryan Humphreys at (515) 864-7987.