(NaturalNews) An article posted by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on their Web site on Jan. 30, 2008 revealed the disturbing results of a six-week undercover investigation into Hallmark Meat Packing Co., of Chino, located in southern California. Video evidence showed employees of the plant, which supplies beef to the National Lunch Program, kicking, electrocuting, and downright torturing sick or injured animals, forcing them to walk on their own ability into the slaughterhouse and into our food chain.
A link to the video can be found here: (https://community.hsus.org/campaign/CA_2008_investigation) . Be aware that this is very disturbing footage.
The practice of forcing sick or injured animals into the slaughterhouse presents a danger because of the established link between "downer" cattle and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. A downer cow is one that is sick or injured and unable to stand on its own. According to the HSUS, of the 15 known cases of BSE-infected animals discovered in North America, at least 12 involved downed animals. Mad cow disease is a progressive fatal neurological disorder of cattle which can be transmitted to other species, including humans. In humans, it is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
Hallmark's Chino, Calif., slaughter plant supplies the Westland Meat Co., which processes the carcasses. The facility is the second-largest supplier of beef to USDA's Commodity Procurement Branch, which distributes the beef to needy families, the elderly and also to schools through the National School Lunch Program, which served more than 30 million children daily in 2006. Westland was named a USDA "supplier of the year" for 2004-2005 and has delivered beef to schools in 36 states.
The Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act (H.R. 1726) would set modest animal welfare standards, including humane euthanasia of any downed animals, for producers who sell food to federal government programs, and the Downed Animal Protection Act (S. 394 and H.R. 661) would ban any slaughtering of downed animals for human consumption.
A married mother of two young children, Julie Hurley is a freelance writer with a strong interest in natural living. She is also the Grand Rapids Healthy Food Examiner for Examiner.com. Visit her page at: tinyurl.com/healthyfoodexaminer.
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