Home 5 Ag Stories Obama Administration bans downer calf slaughter

Obama Administration bans downer calf slaughter

by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: World of Agriculture 7-20-16

The Obama Administration finalizes a rule banning the slaughter of downer calves.

Packing plants are now not allowed to slaughter downer calves. Downer calves are considered young animals too sick or injured to walk to their own slaughter.

Paul Shapiro is Vice President of Animal Protection with HSUS.

“Undercover investigations by HSUS have revealed extraordinarily cruel and inhumane treatment of downer calves who are being shipped to slaughter. Many times these calves are within a one, two, or three or four days old. Some of them still have their umbilical cords.”

Shapiro says their investigation took place at a calf slaughter plant in New Jersey and at one in Vermont. Those plants ended up getting shut down.

The rule closes what HSUS calls a loophole in a 2009 federal regulation banning killing downed cattle for human consumption.

“The law requires the calves be humanely euthanized which is the same thing for adult downer cows. If an animal is too sick or injured, even to stand up, she or he is in serious distress and should be put out of their misery.”

Talking to Food Safety News, USDA Administrator Al Almanza says “Food Safety Inspection Service is dedicated to ensuring the veal calves presented for slaughter at FSIS-inspected facilities are treated humanely. Prohibiting the slaughter of all non-ambulatory veal calves will continue this commitment and improve compliance with the Human Methods of Slaughter Act.”