Thursday, April 10, 2008

Four Packing Plants Cited

Four plants that supply meat to schools cited
By Julie Schmit, USA TODAY

Four of 18 beef slaughterhouses that supply the nation's school lunch program were cited for inhumane treatment of cattle in a recent federal audit, and one was temporarily shut down.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the results Tuesday to Congress, which asked for the audit in February after the shutdown of Westland/Hallmark Meat in Chino, Calif., a school lunch supplier cited for egregious violations of federal rules on humane handling.

The USDA didn't name the suspended plant. But a letter from the USDA to Sen. Herbert Kohl, D-Wis., chair of an agriculture subcommittee, said the plant failed to effectively stun cattle on the first attempt before slaughter, a somewhat common humane-handling violation. The plant corrected the problem and lost about a half day of production, says Amanda Eamich, USDA spokeswoman. Read More

All of us in livestock production are going to be under a microscope in the media, because of the beef recall. It is important for everyone, up and down the production chain, to realize how important it is that we handle our livestock in the proper ways. Groups like HSUS would love nothing more than to find anything they could sensationalize and use it to deal another blow to the livestock industry’s reputation.

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