This morning, PETA filed a formal complaint with Sheridan County Attorney Jamian Simmons asking her to prosecute the AgriProcessors-owned Local Pride kosher slaughterhouse in Gordon for apparent violations of Nebraska’s cruelty-to-animals statute. PETA’s complaint follows a two-day undercover investigation during which an investigator documented the following abuses:
* Cows remained conscious for up to two minutes after their throats were cut open
* Workers ripped into conscious cows’ throats with a metal hook
* Workers mutilated conscious cows’ ears to remove identification tags
PETA submitted its findings for scientific review by top experts in animal welfare, slaughter systems, and veterinary medicine?including a former federal chief slaughterhouse inspector?all of whom strongly condemned Local Pride’s practices. Colorado State University Professor Dr. Bernard Rollin, a leading scholar in the field of animal consciousness wrote, “the evident insertion of the meat hook to increase bleeding is both inhumane and a violation of the principles of [kosher law]. The vocalization and struggling after the cut is made speak for themselves and should be abhorrent to and condemned by all observant Jews.” PETA has also sent letters to both AgriProcessors and the Orthodox Union which certifies kosher meat asking assurances that these abuses will be stopped.
PETA has also filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service asking it to investigate possible violations of the federal Humane Slaughter Act documented at Local Pride.
This is the second time that PETA has revealed atrocities at an AgriProcessors slaughterhouse; a 2004 PETA undercover investigation of the company’s Postville, Iowa slaughterhouse documented conscious cows having their trachea’s ripped from their throats. The investigation prompted an investigation by the USDA, which concluded that AgriProcessors had violated federal law.
“AgriProcessors should not be allowed to continue violating state, federal, or kosher laws,” says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. “We’re asking Ms. Simmons to prosecute AgriProcessors for its allegedly illegal and cruel practices, and we’re reminding the public that the best way to stop cruelty to animals is to go vegetarian.”
(PETA press release)
(Photo of Cattle restrained for stunning just prior to slaughter.Courtesy of Temple Grandin)