Undercover investigation reveals abusive handling and inhumane slaughter
Shrewsbury, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture reacted strongly to a complaint filed by The Humane Society of the United States, ordering Catelli Bros. of Shrewsbury to suspend its operations on Friday for egregious inhumane handling of calves in violation of federal law. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service withdrew its federal inspectors, which are required for slaughter operations. The HSUS commended the agency for its enforcement action, and called on USDA to close a loophole in federal policy that allows the slaughter of “downed” veal calves—those too sick or injured to walk on their own—and does not give calves the same protections as adult cattle.
The enforcement action comes after federal officials reviewed a legal complaint and video footage provided by The HSUS showing serious and systematic violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. The investigation included compelling evidence of:
Still-conscious calves struggling while hanging upside down on a conveyor belt;
Calves being shot numerous times before reaching unconsciousness;
A truck driver dragging a downed calf with a chain around his neck;
Plant managers twisting downed calves’ ears and tails when they were too exhausted or weak to stand, lifting the entire weight of some calves by their tails, and telling employees never to do the same when USDA inspectors are watching; and
Employees shocking, hitting, and spraying calves with water.
“Downed calves are still suffering the sort of appalling abuses that we exposed in 2009 at another calf slaughter plant in Vermont,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO for The HSUS. Continue reading →
Of course, I know what a “family farm”can mean as do many of my kind readers. My background is marketing and I know very well how important that little term is for yanking cloth over the public’s eyes. Folks – it means a family owns the company. That’s it. That’s all it means.
A family farm is still a company and animals are still left in the dust (be they so lucky) when it comes to animal welfare.
A Forbes article exposing the inherently cruel and violent existence of pigs used and killed by the pork industry caught my attention today. No matter how you slice it, pork is nasty business. Ecologically, ethically, and in terms of human health, it’s … Continue reading →
Ever heard someone promote eating grass-fed beef because it’s natural? It’s true, isn’t it? Uh. Sorta. The way we kill them certainly isn’t. But here’s my question: Are they eating dairy products or drinking cows’ milk? If proponents of eating … Continue reading →
During my time overseeing the undercover investigations at Mercy For Animals (MFA) we documented horrific animal abuse. Much of it so shocking it was featured on national and international news media. This photo being featured by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on its Facebook page is from our (MFA’s) case at Willet Dairy in New York state. The photo shows a painful procedure called “disbudding.” This was one of our earlier employment-based cases (earlier = 2009, so hardly long ago).
At Willet Dairy we documented “disbudding,” which is the painful removal of horns shown here without any pain relief or medical care.
This is the Dairy Industry.
It doesn’t want you to know the truth.
Using a cautering device, this worker digs and burns the horn out of calf after calf. According to dairy experts who reviewed the footage, these calves were all far too old for the procedure not that it’s any less cruel or painful at a younger age.
Ag Gag laws are there to keep you from knowing the truth. You deserve to know the truth and these animals don’t deserve to suffer for absolutely no reason.
Today in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed an historic lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of “ag gag” laws. Given my years overseeing some of the most important undercover investigations for farmed animals in U.S. history, I am a plaintiff in the case.
Ag-Gag laws are unconstitutional.
What better way to show how much animal agribusinesses have to hide than for them to push for laws that violate our constitutional rights and target a specific demographic of “rabble-rousers?” Some of my biggest heroes are the people who wire up with hidden cameras and pull back the curtain on the meat, egg, and dairy industries. They show us exactly what would happen on any other day.
We legally expose and educate the public on all of the gruesome violations of basic human decency to those who are incapable of fighting back – nonhuman animals – and I ask that you stand with us in this fight.
Former Mercy For Animals [sic] (MFA) US Director of Investigations Daniel Hauff speaking to reporters at a Boston news conference following the Quality Egg of New England investigation, a Maine Contract Farming facility owned by Austin “Jack” DeCoster of the salmonella outbreak.
Police officers in Hawthorne, California, if you haven’t already heard of or seen this situation, handcuff a man who has done nothing but film them from a public sidewalk, which is his constitutional right. He has done what he can and should have done to protect the police from a very calm and pleasant dog by placing his companion animal in his car. After the police have overstepped their authority by handcuffing the man who has, again from what I’ve seen, done absolutely nothing illegal, the dog tries to defend his guardian – as any pooch might – and although the dog has come over and is interacting with the police and his “owner” – who is being, again, completely mishandled by police officers, an officer FIRES at the dog WITH HIS GUN WHILE THE DOG IS IN RETREAT AND DOING NOTHING AGGRESSIVE WHATSOEVER.
Those police officers could have pet that dog and calmed him and coaxed him, frankly.