Yes, this is a photo of a California slaughterhouse worker stepping on a cow’s muzzle to try to suffocate him. It’s part of the shocking video that the USDA received about this slaughterhouse showing abused–and possibly sick–cows that may be ending up on your plate.
Shot undercover by the animal welfare group, Compassion Over Killing, the video from Central Valley Meat Co. in central California was sent to the USDA earlier this week who responded by halting operations at this slaughterhouse.
The footage shows animals bleeding and thrashing after being repeatedly shot in the head with a pneumatic gun in unsuccessful efforts to render them unconscious for slaughter (animals are supposed to be unconscious before they are killed). The video also shows workers abusing cows as they struggle to walk.
Other clips show cattle lying in pens unable to move, cows with swollen udders that are unable to keep their legs under them, a downed cow trembling and unable to stand as workers try to pull her up by the tail, and a cow who is still conscious and flailing as a conveyor lifts it by one leg to transport him to an area where the animals’ throats are slit.
It’s shocking and horrific, and sadly, all too true with many factory farms and slaughterhouses today.
Aside from the abuse, officials are investigating whether these cows were indeed sick and if so, how they are ending up in grocery stores and ultimately on the dinner table. Under federal regulations, sick animals cannot be slaughtered for human consumption. If these cows are too sick to even walk or stand, what exactly are Americans putting in their mouths?
The USDA Food Safety Inspection Service said they are investigating all of this and will determine if sick cows were indeed used and if a recall of certain meat products needs to be made. So stay tuned.
In the mean time, at least one fast food restaurant, In-N-Out Burger, has severed ties with this meat company after learning about the abuse of these animals, according to Mark Taylor, chief operating officer:
In-N-Out Burger would never condone the inhumane treatment of animals and all of our suppliers must agree to abide by our strict standards for the humane treatment of cattle.
It’s horrifying to think that this type of treatment goes on every day and is more widespread than most people think–or want to acknowledge. Erica Meier, executive director of Compassion Over Killing was equally outraged:
The horror caught on camera is sickening. It’s alarming that this is not only a USDA-inspected facility but a supplier to the USDA.
Take a look at this clip from the video and let us know what you think. Does something like this change your mind about eating meat?