Mississippi: Simmons’ Cruelty Catfish slaughterhouse

Simmons’ Cruelty supplies Cracker Barrel and Kroger, among others

In the fall of 2020, Animal Equality investigated Simmons Farm Raised Catfish slaughterhouse, located in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Simmons is one of the largest USDA inspected catfish slaughterhouses in the U.S., supplying grocery stores Kroger, Save a Lot, and Piggly Wiggly, as well as restaurant chains Cracker Barrel and Captain D’s.
Our investigative team found numerous instances of animal abuse and suffering—incidents that are in violation of existing state animal cruelty laws.
For example, we documented fish kept out of water for prolonged periods up to an hour before they were finally beheaded while conscious.

Contrary to the investigator’s findings, Simmons claimed the fish are processed “within 30 minutes” and in a “swift {and} sterile” manner.
Animal Equality filed complaints with state attorneys general in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, alleging that Simmons’s false and misleading claims about its products and production practices constitute unfair or deceptive trade practices under those states’ consumer protection laws.

In response, Simmons agreed to remove from its website the claim that the fish are processed “within 30 minutes.”

Simmons Farm Raised Catfish slaughterhouse kills 21,000 catfish per day—animals who are raised in the company’s intensive confinement ponds

Simmons’ catfish are transported out of its ponds and into the slaughterhouse by a truck, where they are then dumped onto a conveyor that leads them to machines for stunning and beheading.

Catfish at various stages of this process were observed being left on conveyor belts for up to an hour, gasping and slowly suffocating, sometimes while workers went on break.

Due to the ineffective method of stunning—electrocution—and time it takes for them to reach the beheading machine, most of the fish arrive to be slaughtered awake and fully conscious.

Our investigator also witnessed turtles and unwanted fish caught up in Simmons’ catfish nets removed from the processing conveyors to be ground up alive and, according to one employee, used as feed.

These incidents are in clear violation of Mississippi law, which makes it a crime to “torture, torment. . . or needlessly mutilate” any animal, including animals raised for food.

Fish Are Sentient Beings Who Feel Pain

Similar to mammals, scientific research has proven that fish experience pain and are covered with sensory receptors that make their bodies even more sensitive than human skin.
A study published in 2020 found that catfish are resistant to stunning by electrocution and that they regain their senses shortly after being stunned, meaning that even though catfish appear to be paralyzed and immobile, many are still capable of experiencing fear, suffering, and pain when slaughtered.

Sign the petition: https://animalequality.org/action/simmons-catfish

And I mean…Of course, we cannot hear the fish cry if they are in pain.
Because even if they do, they remain silent.
Why should it be any different with these animals?
Perhaps fish have similar basic feelings to humans.

There is much evidence of this and we cannot rule it out.
That is enough to protect them, not to cause them pain.

And don’t eat them!

My best regards to all, Venus

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