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212. Don’t Eat the Meat
The Meatland Packing Company is a cattle slaughterhouse
southern California. Because of rumors that workers were
animals, a member of the Humane Society managed
visit the slaughterhouse one day. With his video
, he secretly filmed a worker prodding a lame
with an electric shock stick, a worker pushing
sick cow with the metal bars of a
, and a worker shooting water from a hose
the nostrils of a sick cow. He filmed
forklift operator lifting and transporting dead cows onto
"kill floor." The video made national TV news.
workers told federal investigators that they were only
The US Department of Agriculture requires humane
of sick and lame cows. It allows the
of healthy cows only. Meatland Packing Company is
major beef supplier to US school systems and
food outlets. USDA demanded a recall of all
beef—143 million pounds, the largest amount of beef
recalled in the US. “Unfortunately,” said a health
, “the USDA became aware of the problem too
.” Almost all of the beef had been consumed
the recall was announced.
“Consumers got lucky this
,” the official said. “We haven’t had one report
illness. Next time consumers won’t be so lucky.
there will be a next time, because USDA
only five percent of the nation's meat supply.”
federal prosecutor has charged two Meatland supervisors with
animal cruelty. Both men could spend six years
prison if convicted. The Humane Society asked the
to donate more money to help it prevent
cruelty to animals.