Follow Ups | Post Followup | Back to Discussion Board | VegSource
See spam or
inappropriate posts?
Please let us know.

From: TSS ()
Subject: Handling violations found at 4 beef slaughterhouses Problems persist despite big recall earlier this year
Date: April 9, 2008 at 2:45 pm PST

April 8, 2008, 9:35PM

Handling violations found at 4 beef slaughterhouses

Problems persist despite big recall earlier this year

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal audit of 18 beef slaughterhouses after the nation's largest beef recall found humane handling violations in four of them, including one serious enough for the plant to be temporarily suspended.

The audit by the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service concluded that a plant was insufficiently stunning animals, failing to make them insensible to pain on the first attempt. That plant has taken corrective actions and its suspension has been lifted, said Agriculture Secretary Edward Schafer. None of the plants was identified.

The audit, which covered slaughterhouses that supply beef to the National School Lunch Program and other federal food assistance programs, was requested by Sen. Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat who chairs the Senate Appropriations agriculture subcommittee. Schafer provided the results to Kohl in a letter for a hearing on the beef recall Tuesday.

Earlier this year, the department recalled 143 million pounds of meat from Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, Calif., following an undercover video by the Humane Society of the United States that showed slaughterhouse workers abusing "downer" cattle — those too sick or injured to stand.

The USDA's audit didn't uncover problems with downer cattle, but it did issue "noncompliance" records to plants for excessive use of electronic stunning prods, overcrowding of animals in the pens and bunching up of cattle going into the stunning area. Those three were in addition to the plant that was suspended for insufficient stunning.

In addition, one plant received a "letter of concern" for using a high-powered hose to wash cattle before slaughter. While not a violation, FSIS informed the plant that care should be taken to avoid undue stress to the animals.

The problems uncovered by the audit have been corrected, Schafer told Kohl on Tuesday.

"We are confident that USDA can do a better job," he added.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, argued that the findings show there is a systemic problem. He said that following his group's investigation, slaughterhouses would likely be on higher alert — especially these 18, since Schafer had announced in February that they would be audited.

"That is a pretty high rate of violation in light of the fact that USDA inspectors were known to be present, and that this occurred after the Hallmark investigation," he said. "This letter is not reassuring. This confirms there are major problems with the inspection program and inadequacies with the law."

> The USDA's audit didn't uncover problems with downer cattle

r i g h t...

maybe not that day. but i assure you the chino slaughterhouse was not the only one slaughtering downers for your children's school lunches. and with the violations that were seen from this audit after the chino episode, knowing the inspectors were there, and knowing an audit was taking place, it is not very reassuring.
what does it take to get the industry to start comply with rules and regulations, most of which have been in place for years, some a decade or more i.e. BSE ruminant to ruminant feed ban. sure, it looks good on paper, but in reality, how much is still in commerce, still being fed out ???

there are about 1 million 'HIGH RISK' animals a year. i don't think all are burried in the SSS policy i.e. shoot, shovel, and shut the hell up. ...tss

We also disagree with APHIS/FSIS’ contention that because they have tested
over 375,000 of their 446,000 estimate of high risk cattle, few in the
high-risk population are being missed, including those that might be
pre-screened before entering a slaughter facility’s property. In our prior
audit, we reported that APHIS underestimated the high-risk population;

*** we found that this estimate should have been closer to 1 million animals
(see Finding 1).


The policy stated in the preamble to 9 CFR 309.2(b)104 states that FSIS has
excluded all nonambulatory disabled cattle from the human food supply,
regardless of the reason for their nonambulatory status or the time at which
they became nonambulatory (emphasis added). If an animal becomes
nonambulatory in route to the establishment due to an acute injury, it must
be humanely removed from the truck, humanely euthanized, and the carcass
properly disposed of. Likewise, cattle that become nonambulatory on the
establishment premises, such as an animal that breaks its leg as it is
unloaded from the truck, are also required to be humanely moved, humanely
euthanized, and the carcass disposed of properly. However, an FSIS notice105
states that if cattle are ambulatory at ante mortem inspection and become
nonambulatory disabled prior to slaughter, the VMO should verify that the
animal suffered an acute injury and allow the animal to proceed to slaughter
and post mortem inspection. FSIS would expect such situations to be
extremely rare because cattle, when handled and moved under proper humane
handling conditions, should not be injured while being moved in pens. For
cattle that become nonambulatory disabled after ante

mortem inspection, if the VMO cannot determine that a specific, acute injury
occurred that caused the animal to become nonambulatory disabled, the animal
is to be condemned and cannot enter the slaughter establishment. There
appears to be inconsistent USDA policies related to slaughtering
downers/nonambulatory cattle. Regarding animals for slaughter, it is clear
that downers will not be slaughtered. In fact, one report106 states: “The
U.S. Policy is to condemn all cattle that are nonambulatory or disabled when
presented for slaughter." The Department has widely publicized that one of
the firewalls put in place to prevent the spread of BSE is the prevention of
downers from entering the food supply. Our review at the 12 plants visited
showed the following variations in application of the policy for condemning
or passing nonambulatory cattle for slaughter.

This was the only documentation of the condition of the cattle available at
the plants. Plant inspection personnel believed that FSIS Notice 5-04
allowed the slaughter of nonambulatory cattle if the cattle had passed ante
mortem inspection and then went down as the result of an acute injury.
Therefore, they had allowed the plant to slaughter these cattle for human
consumption. We observed use of a forklift and a rail above the pens to
transport nonambulatory cattle to the slaughter area.

snip...see full text 130 pages ;

March 28, 2008, 12:10AM

USDA CERTIFIED DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM LIST OF SCHOOLS AFFECTED STATE BY STATE (dead stock downers i.e. non-ambulatory, the most high risk for mad cow disease)

FDA lists school districts that got recalled meat
Lawmakers had demanded info be released

(see schools listed state by state)

January 2008 Update on Feed Enforcement Activities to Limit the Spread of



Sunday, March 16, 2008

MAD COW DISEASE terminology UK c-BSE (typical), atypical BSE H or L, and or
Italian L-BASE


House committee subpoenas Hallmark/Westland CEO - i call for an
investigation of the investigators



*Acquired in UK
** Acquired in Saudi Arabia
*** Includes 17 inconclusive and 9 pending (1 from 2006, 8 from 2007.
**** Includes 17 non-vCJD type unknown (2 from 1996, 2 from 1997, 1
from 2001, 1 from 2003, 4 from 2004, 3 from 2005, 4 from 2006) and 36
type pending (2 from 2005, 8 from 2006, 26 from 2007).


-- Cases are listed based on the year of death when available. If the
year of death is not available, the year of sample receipt is used.

-- Referrals: Cases with possible or probable prion disease from
which brain tissue or blood in the case of familial disease were submitted.

-- Inconclusive: Cases in which the samples were not sufficient to
make a diagnosis.

-- Non-vCJD type unknown are cases in which the tissue submitted was
adequate to establish the presence but not the type; in all cases,
vCJD could be excluded.

Communicated by:
Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

[In submitting these data, Terry S. Singeltary Sr. draws attention to
the steady increase in the "type unknown" category, which, according
to their definition, comprises cases in which vCJD could be excluded.
The total of 26 cases for the current year (2007) is disturbing,
possibly symptomatic of the circulation of novel agents.
Characterization of these agents should be given a high priority. - Mod.CP],F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1010,39963

There is a growing number of human CJD cases, and they were presented last
week in San Francisco by Luigi Gambatti(?) from his CJD surveillance

He estimates that it may be up to 14 or 15 persons which display selectively
SPRPSC and practically no detected RPRPSC proteins.

1997 TO 2006. SPORADIC CJD CASES TRIPLED, with phenotype
of 'UNKNOWN' strain growing. ...


MARCH 26, 2003

RE-Monitoring the occurrence of emerging forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob

disease in the United States

Email Terry S. Singeltary:

In light of the findings of Asante and Collinge et al, there

should be drastic measures to safeguard the medical and surgical arena

from sporadic CJDs and all human TSEs. I only ponder how many sporadic

CJDs in the USA are type 2 PrPSc?

[Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk
Materials for Human Food and Requirement for the Disposition of
Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle


2 January 2000

British Medical Journal

U.S. Scientist should be concerned with a CJD epidemic in the U.S., as well

15 November 1999

British Medical Journal

vCJD in the USA * BSE in U.S.

Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Singeltary, Sr et al. JAMA.2001; 285: 733-734.

APHIS-2006-0041-0006 TSE advisory committee for the meeting December 15,

Subject: [Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] FSIS Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine
Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

E-mail: (optional)


Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL: