The move was prompted after video footage from July 2016 showed cruel ‘shackle and hoist’ slaughter methods throughout abattoirs in Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay.
The footage sparked an investigation from animal rights group PETA, which said that one of the whistleblowers identified Fernheim Agricultural Cooperative's Frigochaco slaughterhouse in Paraguay as one of the culprits.
Following the decision, more than 20 South American facilities had already converted their machinery and methods to comply with the ban, with others expected to finish installing rotating slaughter pens in the next few months.
PETA’s director of research and logistics for the cruelty investigations department, Hannah Schein, said: “Ending the import of 'shackle and hoist' beef to the US is an historic step forward that will help stop cows from being painfully restrained and hoisted by one leg while still conscious.”
PETA has also recently worked with Israeli groups Anonymous for Animal Rights and Let the Animals Live to ban the import of meat from ‘shackle and hoist’ slaughterhouses.