USDA Continues to Investigate Inhumane Handling of Cattle at California SlaughterhouseWed, 22 Aug 2012 05:22:20 CDT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to take aggressive action to investigate and respond to disturbing evidence of inhumane treatment of cattle at Central Valley Meat in Hanford, Calif. Central Valley Meat was notified by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) that the agency was immediately suspending the assignment of inspectors at the establishment on August 19, effectively halting slaughter operations at the establishment.
Within hours of being provided video taken by an animal welfare organization, the Department initiated an investigation. USDA has dispatched several teams of investigators to California and continues to gather information on the ground.
In terms of humane handling, FSIS found violations and suspended the mark of inspection. The teams will continue to examine the violations which have been documented in the video provided.
In terms of food safety, the video footage provided to USDA does not show a "downer" animal entering the food supply. However, the Department is conducting a thorough investigation that encompasses food safety and will respond appropriately to its results.
"Our top priority is to ensure the safety of the food Americans feed their families," said Al Almanza, Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. "We have reviewed the video and determined that, while some of the footage provided shows unacceptable treatment of cattle, it does not show anything that would compromise food safety. Therefore, we have not substantiated a food safety violation at this time. We are aggressively continuing to investigate the allegations."
USDA food safety regulations state that, if an animal is non-ambulatory disabled at any time prior to slaughter, it must be condemned promptly, humanely euthanized, and properly discarded so that it does not enter the food supply.
CLick here to see the news release and video from the animal rights group- Compassion Over Killing, that has prompted this USDA action.
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