Slaughterhouse’s COVID-19 Cases Prompt Protest in Hazmat Suits

Fatal Viruses Are Linked to the Meat Industry: PETA Will Urge JBS USA to Reinvent Itself by Switching to Vegan Beef

For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Tolleson, Ariz. – Dressed in hazmat suits and brandishing signs proclaiming, “Stop the Next Pandemic: Close All Slaughterhouses,” a group of PETA supporters and members of Phoenix Animal Save and Eradicate Speciesism will gather outside the Tolleson JBS USA slaughterhouse—where 60 workers have tested positive for COVID-19—on Saturday, while observing social-distancing practices. The protest follows PETA’s letter to JBS USA’s CEO urging the company to shut down meat production permanently and start producing exclusively vegan meat—and to sweeten the deal, the group has offered to help with the cost of retraining JBS USA’s employees.

When:    Saturday, May 2, 10:30 a.m.

Where:    Outside the JBS USA slaughterhouse, 651 S. 91st Ave. (near the intersection with W. Harrison Street), Tolleson

“Filthy, wet, blood- and offal-soaked slaughterhouses are breeding grounds for deadly diseases that can jump from animals to humans—and they’re the least safe workplaces in the world,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA suggests that JBS USA modernize, get ahead of the consumer curve, and reinvent itself as a producer of safe and 100% humane vegan meat.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that deadly outbreaks of mad cow disease, swine flu, avian flu, SARS, HIV, hoof-and-mouth disease, and other zoonotic diseases have stemmed from capturing or farming animals for food. The novel coronavirus originated in a Chinese “wet market,” where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind