USDA Sides with Humane Society to Stop Slaughterhouses Using Disabled Calves for Veal

Saturday, February 12, 2011
(photo: Farm Sanctuary)
At the urging of a leading animal rights organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to ban the slaughter of disabled calves for veal production. The Humane Society of the United States called for the new regulation in light of its investigation of slaughterhouse practices found to be cruel towards young cows and potentially dangerous to humans.
According to the rules of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, animals being prepared to be turned into meat must be able to walk to their slaughter. This is to prevent the use of sick animals that may carry diseases such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy agent, which can cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.
In the case of veal calves, slaughterhouses were allowed to give disabled (“downer”) calves a “second chance,” leading the farm workers to shock, kick and otherwise abuse the weakened animals to make them stand up.
In 2009, an undercover member of the Humane Society documented work at Bushway Packing, Inc. in Grand Isle, Vermont, where handlers shocked and kicked infant calves that struggled to move under their own power. Some were so young that their umbilical cords had not been removed. In some cases, animals had hooves cut off or were partially decapitated while still conscious. Bushway was eventually shut down by the government and its operators convicted of felony aggravated animal cruelty.
About 700,000 calves are slaughtered for veal annually.
Another animal rights group, Farm Sanctuary, has petitioned to apply to same limitations to disabled pigs, sheep, goats, and other livestock.
The USDA under President Barack Obama previously banned the slaughter of all adult downer cattle, requiring that they be humanely euthanized.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Humane Society Wants Disabled Calves Killed (by Tish Kraft, Courthouse News Service)
USDA Proposes New Protections for Downer Veal Calves (Humane Society of the United States)


Bea Ⓥ Elliott 13 years ago
Of course everything we do regarding meat "production" and meat "consumption" is so very "humane". "Humane" euthanasia. "Humane" slaughter. And of course... our very "humane" diet choices. "Humane" means to be concerned with the alleviation of suffering... Seems like everything about eating animals is the cause of all this suffering to begin with. It would be much different if this were a requirement to our bodies... Killing stolen babies with their umbilical cords still attached - how gruesome! If it were a true matter of nourishment and subsistence, perhaps then, we wouldn't seem like such ogres. But it's not! We can thrive on a plant based diet. And do quite well without the blood, bone and flesh of these innocent beings. We could totally skip allowing them a "second chance" to walk to their slaughter altogether! And we would in turn, walk a more peaceful and enlightened path in doing so. Please opt for a more compassionate world -
Luke Thomas 13 years ago
Excuse me..but that's already law. So they are just proposing something that is already on the books? Figures.
Luke Thomas 13 years ago
Why do you think Alzehimer's and dementia is so common in the USA. I betcha if they biopsied those brains of people who died of this they would find some form of mad cow disease. Why do you think it's rare in India. duhhh.

Leave a comment