Feds Shut Calif. Slaughterhouse After Abuse Video
Dairy cows shocked, kicked, shot repeatedly before slaughter
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2012 1:43 AM CDT
Updated Aug 21, 2012 1:56 AM CDT
A worker shot footage over two weeks in June revealing heartbreaking treatment of dairy cows before slaughter.   (?Joseph Philo Powell)

(Newser) – Federal officials have shut down a California slaughterhouse after receiving an undercover video showing dairy cows, some unable to walk, being repeatedly shocked, kicked and shot, according to authorities. Investigators, sent to the Central Valley Meat company after officials viewed the heartbreaking footage, found evidence of "egregious inhumane handling and treatment of livestock," said a statement from the USDA's Office of the Inspector General. "The horror caught on camera is sickening," said the executive director of Compassion Over Killing, an animal welfare organization that placed an undercover worker in the plant to shoot the video in June.

Footage shows animals repeatedly shocked, kicked, and shot with bolts in their heads that fail to kill them even as they are hoisted, struggling, for slaughter. The USDA "considers inhumane treatment of animals at slaughter facilities to be unacceptable and is conducting a thorough investigation," a spokesman told AP. A statement from the company said owners were "extremely disturbed to be informed by the USDA that our plant could not operate based upon a videotape that was provided by a third party group that alleged inhumane treatment," adding that owners aim not "just to meet federal humane handling regulations, but exceed them." The animal welfare group plans to post the video on its site today.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Aug 21, 2012 3:06 PM CDT
People are horrified to learn that atrocities happen both in war and slaughterhouses. Well, duh! Don't support these things, and don't pretend that it will be innocent or painless for all involved.
Aug 21, 2012 1:19 PM CDT
Sounds like a few people; owners, managers, operators should either lose their jobs or be hit with some HEAVY fines and be required to undergo training. We don't need idiots or incompetents running ANY business - there are plenty of good, honest people out there that want the jobs!
Aug 21, 2012 10:55 AM CDT
Notice that the owners were angry that the place was shut down due to a videotape "provided by a third party group that alleged inhumane treatment." No comment about the actual abuse WHICH WAS CAUGHT ON TAPE!!