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Cows Electrocuted, Abused at California Slaughterhouse

Cows Electrocuted, Abused at California Slaughterhouse

After seeing an undercover video of shocking cruelty to cattle at California slaughterhouse Central Valley Meat Company, the USDA shut the plant down, according to the Associated Press and National Public Radio. At least two USDA inspectors worked on-site at the facility; both have been suspended.

View a four-minute excerpt of the video here.

Compassion Over Killing taped the torture at Central Valley Meat Company over the course of two weeks this summer. It showed workers abusing cows who could not walk by shocking them with electric prods, shooting them repeatedly with captive bolt guns, kicking them, pulling them by their tails, and prodding them with forklifts. Workers also killed conscious animals, leaving them to bleed to death while hoisted in the air by one ankle.

The USDA visited the slaughterhouse after receiving the video from animal advocacy group Compassion Over Killing and found “egregious inhumane handling and treatment of livestock.” According to the USDA, this means “an act or condition that results in severe harm to animals,” and it includes seriously repulsive conduct:

1. Making cuts on or skinning conscious animals;

2. Excessive beating or prodding of ambulatory or nonambulatory disabled animals or dragging of conscious animals;

3. Driving animals off semi-trailers over a drop off without providing adequate unloading facilities (animals are falling to the ground);

4. Running equipment over conscious animals;

5. Stunning of animals and then allowing them to regain consciousness;

6. Multiple attempts, especially in the absence of immediate corrective measures, to stun an animal versus a single blow or shot that renders an animal immediately unconscious;

7. Dismembering conscious animals, for example, cutting off ears or removing feet;

8. Leaving disabled livestock exposed to adverse climate conditions while awaiting disposition, or

9. Otherwise causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals, including situations on trucks.

Slaughterhouse owners Brian and Lawrence Coelho denied any wrongdoing. According to the Better Business Bureau, Central Valley Meat Company has been in business since January 1989.

Central Valley Meat Company provides ground beef to the USDA for its food programs, including school lunches. The cows it slaughters are dairy cows who no longer produce enough milk to be profitable to their owners. Dairy cows make up approximately 2.8 million of the 150 million cattle who are slaughtered for meat each year in the United States.

It is illegal to slaughter sick cows for human consumption. The USDA’s investigation of the slaughterhouse includes ascertaining whether the cows abused because they could not walk were weak from illness.

Compassion Over Killing’s undercover investigators have documented abuses of animals raised for food at many facilities, including those producing chicken, eggs, turkey and foie gras.

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Photo credit: flinkthink

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192 comments

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8:31AM PDT on Mar 10, 2014

These are the kind of people who would have been prime candidates for jobs, working in Nazi Extermination Camps, in the 40's. There are hundreds of these examples, with videos, on the internet. I start to watch, but am unable to, because of the horror. Makes me want to thow up. Just do a search for "cattle abuse". I wish I knew what I could do about it.

10:17AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

Unbelievable. What has happened to the human conscience? Don't these people have souls?

5:05PM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

Most of humanity has become a planetary disease. The only reason for their entirely worthless existence is to fill their foul, putrid stomachs no matter what the cost in destruction and cruelty. The only comfort is within a few thousand years, humans will go extinct. Hopeully earth survives that extinction event..it will unfortunately take a few million years for earth to cleanse itself of the human poisons, but life will experience a renassaisance after that.

7:41AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

I just cannot understand how people can trat animals like this. I'm veg and cannot accept to eat them but if humans have to eat them, at least they have to treat them with respect and with no cruelty. Shame on these workers that go home at nights and smile at their children

6:40PM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

What kind of cretins are hired at these facilities? And now Obama has passed into law another egregious act that permits the return to US of slaughter for horses in order to appease cattle farmers and BLM lobbyists and save money shipping them to Mexico for slaughter. The only people who are eating horse flesh are the French--and they consider themselves civilized? Bad enough the horrible abuses continue with cattle and chickens to appease our US constituents without protest to the inhumane slaughter--now Obama permits horses to be added to the horror.
Take a cue Obama from Temple Grandin's humane system for slaughtering the cattle and if you must persist with the horse trade to appease our French "allies?" get with a humane program and get rid of the cretins that are currently employed in this endeavor!!!!! Where are you "leader of the free world" when we need you to speak up for all of the voiceless?????????????????????

6:40PM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

What kind of cretins are hired at these facilities? And now Obama has passed into law another egregious act that permits the return to US of slaughter for horses in order to appease cattle farmers and BLM lobbyists and save money shipping them to Mexico for slaughter. The only people who are eating horse flesh are the French--and they consider themselves civilized? Bad enough the horrible abuses continue with cattle and chickens to appease our US constituents without protest to the inhumane slaughter--now Obama permits horses to be added to the horror.
Take a cue Obama from Temple Grandin's humane system for slaughtering the cattle and if you must persist with the horse trade to appease our French "allies?" get with a humane program and get rid of the cretins that are currently employed in this endeavor!!!!! Where are you "leader of the free world" when we need you to speak up for all of the voiceless?????????????????????

4:17PM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Those horrible videos of that cruelty should be showed at all schools and universities maybe that way people become vegan and learn to respect animals.

4:59PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Absolutely heartbreaking...

12:34PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

If more people were aware of the abuses inflicted on their carefully packaged meat, maybe something tangible could be done to stop it. Unfortunately, most people choose not to know how those "packages" are processed from beginning to end so the factories are allowed to continue their completely irresponsible, cruel, sadistic butchering. Obviously these people have no regard for life whatsoever.

10:59AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Thes so-called workers are unfit to be called humans. They are nothing but disgusting, sickening, cruel, barbaric savages and should all be fired immediately and charged with animal cruelty and abuse. Its time ALL slaughterhouses were manned with CCTV and monitored properly by those who are paid to do so. This blatant and wanton cruelty should not be allowed to continue, nothing can justify this damming behaviour. Shame and name the workers, stand up for the defenceless and innocent.

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