Catelli Bros., a slaughterhouse for veal calves and lamb, has been shut down by the United States Department of Agriculture for egregious animal cruelty in violation of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978 according to a press release on Monday morning by The Humane Society of the United States' (HSUS) blog, "A Humane Nation."
The HSUS provided footage and other documented material to the Department, and on Friday the plant was ordered closed.
An undercover investigation at the Shrewsbury plant documented such horrible cases of animal cruelty, that just watching the video is heart wrenching. A fully conscious baby calf is shown shackled by his back legs fiercely struggling to escape his agonizing pain as he travels down the slaughter line. A calf with a broken leg is dragged to the slaughter line; a handler stating although the calf had a broken leg, the animal was just being lazy.
A downer cow was lifted by its tail, another one dragged to the line by a chain around his neck, and others kicked, pulled by their ears, and sprayed with water just moments before their lives were slated to end on a slaughter line.
Colorado State University professor of animal science, Bernie Rollin stated:
“Of all the atrocity videos I have viewed, the current video of the slaughterhouse at Catelli Brothers must be ranked among the three worst. The conclusion to be drawn from this video data is self-evident. This plant should be closed down immediately.”
The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act demands all animals are to be rendered unconscious before they are shackled and sent through the slaughter process. In one case, the video showed a veal calf fully conscious for more than two minutes after his throat had been slit.
Veal has been a by-product of the dairy industry as an extremely lucrative method to dispose of male calves. It is estimated more than one million veal calves are raised and killed annually. Most are slaughtered between 18 and 20-weeks of age, but during that time the suffering has already started. Babies are immediately taken from their mothers and placed in small wooden crates, and chained to restrict all of their movement. They are fed a milk substitute deficient in iron and nutrients to produce anemia - accounting for their desired pale flesh.
By the time they are ready to be slaughtered, they have such little muscular development, most can hardly walk.
And to make matters even worse, the manager of the slaughter line at Catelli warned his workers to be careful of the handling of the calves when the Department of Agriculture inspectors were present; indicating this egregious abuse may be happening more than anyone knows.
The Humane Society of the United States asks everyone to take action and to strengthen regulations for the humane treatment of slaughter animals and to address that downed calves be euthanized rather than to suffer outrageous treatment.
WARNING: The video is extremely graphic and not suitable for all audiences.
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