Westland/Hallmark Cruelty an 'Isolated Event'

US - The USDA Inspector General concluded after an audit of pre-slaughter operations at cull cow facilities that the violations that occurred at the Chino based slaughterhouse were isolated, but oversight of antemortem inspection processes needs to be improved.
calendar icon 11 December 2008
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According to a report by Tom Johnston of MeatingPlace, OIG's findings derive from an audit of 10 of the nation's top 49 cull cow slaughter facilities from March to June 2008 and past Food Safety and Inspection Service inspections at Westland/Hallmark. The audit sought to determine whether the events that occurred at Westland/Hallmark were isolated or systemic, he writes.

MeatingPlace reports that the OIG said the actions by employees at Westland/Hallmark — which included ramming non-ambulatory cows with a forklift to force them upright in order to pass antemortem inspection before slaughter — were deliberate efforts to circumvent required inspections. Furthermore, in-plant FSIS staff did not comply with required inspection procedures, and supervisors did not detect and/or prevent these incidents.

Among the infractions, no in-plant inspectors at Westland/Hallmark wrote noncompliance records (NRs) despite finding violations between December 2004 and February 2008, and, in some cases, inspectors shifted responsibilities to the company's employees.

Further Reading

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