Slaughterhouse Reopens After Cattle Cruelty
A California slaughterhouse was reopened after one week of being shut down after video was recorded showing cruelty to cattle.
The Wake of the Cattle-Cruelty Video
Central Valley Meat Co. Inc., a slaughterhouse in California, was shut down after video footage captured various cruel acts being done to cattle before the cattle were slaughtered. On August 21, the slaughterhouse was reopened after one week of being shut down. According to Tracie Cone of the Associated Press, three California Congressmen – Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy and Jeff Denham – cited the region’s high unemployment as a reason for the slaughterhouse’s disputably premature reopening.
The video and subsequent shutdown of the slaughterhouse prompted the USDA, McDonald's Corp. and In-N-Out Burger to suspend or cancel contracts with the company, MSNBC reported.
Cattle Cruelty Video Footage
Video footage of the cruelty to the cattle was recorded by an animal welfare group – Compassion Over Killing – apparently unbeknownst to the slaughterhouse’s managers. The video footage showed various brutal acts of cruelty including dairy cows being repeatedly shocked in the face, beaten, kicked, and shot before being slaughtered. The video also showed that some of the dairy cows were unable to walk or stand, and some had udders that were so swollen that they could not keep their legs under them.
Risk of Mad Cow Disease
Slaughtering cows that are unable to move on their own is strictly prohibited by federal rules, because of the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (otherwise known as mad cow disease). The federal rules prohibit such practices because non-ambulatory cattle are at risk of mad cow disease, and the USDA wants to keep these cattle out of the food supply.
Yet, the video footage shows such cattle being shocked and beaten before their slaughter. After a thorough investigation by the Food Safety and Inspection Service, however, the USDA claimed that there was no indication that food safety had been compromised at Central Valley Meat’s facility.
Furthermore, USDA spokesman Justin DeJong told MSNBC, “[Central Valley Meat] must first submit a corrective action plan detailing how they intend to comply with humane handling regulations before USDA considers allowing them to operate.” There have been no reports since of cruelty to cattle in the facility after its reopening.
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