The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for suspending Westland Meat Co. as a supplier to the National School Lunch Program and other federal nutrition programs, in response to the weeks-long HSUS investigation of the plant.
At the same time, however, The HSUS urged the federal government to go further and indefinitely shut down this plant and prevent the company from selling to other customers until a thorough inspection is completed.
The USDA announced the suspension and opened its own official inquiry only hours after the release of an investigation by The HSUS showing that animals at the slaughter plant were tortured in unimaginable ways in daily efforts to force them onto their feet and into the human food chain – even though these animals are known to be at higher risk for carrying pathogens.
"Americans should be thankful that the USDA took a step to protect its own programs, but this slaughter plant absolutely must be locked up and shut down – for the good of all Americans and the many cows who might otherwise face continued abuse and mistreatment," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS.
In making its announcement, USDA officials said it was "unfortunate" that The HSUS had not brought the information to federal officials sooner. Perhaps U.S. government officials were unaware, however, that The HSUS turned over to appropriate California law enforcement officials extensive videotape evidence once the investigation was concluded.read full article