Seven organizations last week jointly filed a lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture over its decision to reduce oversight at pig slaughterhouses and eliminate limits on slaughter speeds. 

The groups claim the changes ”expose pigs to greater suffering,” and defy federal slaughter, meat inspection, and environmental protection laws. 

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of Farm Sanctuary, Animal Equality, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Biological Diversity, Compassion Over Killing, Mercy For Animals, and North Carolina Farmed Animal Save. 

In a statement, a spokesperson from the law firm filing the suit says the revised regulation “reads like a joint venture between big business and the federal government.” 

The lawsuit challenges USDA’s revocation of limits on the number of pigs that can be slaughtered per hour. 

The lawsuit also challenges USDA’s decision to remove and relocate federal inspectors in slaughterhouses.