From Slow Food to Slow Meat: Slowing Line Speeds to Improve Worker Health and Animal Welfare in Canadian Abattoirs
This article examines the regulation of production line speeds in Canadian meat and poultry processing facilities to better understand their impact on worker safety and animal welfare. The article begins with an overview of the regulatory framework that sets line speed conditions in federally licenced facilities. It notes how recent shifts in food safety governance facilitate increased speeds that endanger workers and animals on the kill floor. First, it highlights tensions between regulatory objectives in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations that focus on food safety targets and humane handling guidelines respectively. It then turns to the occupational health and safety risks associated with working at meat and poultry processing facilities. Particular emphasis is placed on the way that COVID-19 outbreaks in Canadian slaughterhouses drew attention to this grueling work that had previously been ignored. The article concludes by noting that the pandemic has created a unique policy window to slow down production speeds; a policy window that should be seized.
Author(s) retain original copyright in the substantive content of the titled work, subject to the following rights that are granted indefinitely:
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to produce, publish, disseminate, and distribute the titled work in electronic format to online database services, including, but not limited to: LexisNexis, QuickLaw, HeinOnline, and EBSCO;
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to post the titled work on the Alberta Law Review website and/or related websites.
- Author(s) agree that the titled work may be used for educational or instructional purposes and/or in educational or instructional materials. The author(s) acknowledge that the titled work is subject to other such "fair dealing" provisions and applicable legislation.
- Author(s) grant a limited license to those accessing the titled work from an electronic database or an Alberta Law Review website to download the titled work onto their computer and to print a copy for their own personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution.
To use the journal's content elsewhere, permission must be obtained from the author(s) and the Alberta Law Review.