Westland/Hallmark Meat Company Slaughterhouse Video of Abused Cows (“Downers”)

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Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. Slaughterhouse Video Raises Abuse: USDA to Investigate.

The video documents several weeks of mistreatment of dairy cows at a California slaughterhouse. Workers would do “anything” (inflict pain) to get cows to stand up and remain standing for USDA inspection to qualify to be slaughtered for meat. Instead the “downer” cows should have been humanely euthanized.

A Southern California meat-packing company was barred from supplying school lunch and other programs Wednesday while federal investigators look into videotapes that show slaughterhouse workers mistreating sick or “downer” cattle. The video has prompted the largest beef recall in history.

From the USDA …

Statement by Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer Regarding Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company Two Year Product Recall

February 17, 2008

“Today, USDA is announcing additional actions as a result of the ongoing investigation at Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has evidence that Hallmark/Westland did not consistently contact the FSIS public health veterinarian in situations in which cattle became non-ambulatory after passing ante-mortem inspection, which is not compliant with FSIS regulations. Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection FSIS has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall … more …

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