In the news this week is the largest beef recall ever of over 143 million pounds of ground hamburger. The recall was triggered as a result of a video that was produced by the humane society. The recall presents more than issues of cruelty to animals. It also points out the flaws in supervision and inspection in the USDA facilities. How could such inhumane practices be tolerated at a USDA facility? This will, I’m sure, open the eyes of the regulating agencies to develop stronger and more enforceable standards of inspection.
Let me point out the other side of the coin or as Paul Harvey says- the rest of the story.
Processing animals through a USDA slaughter facility is a PRIVILEGE. By this I mean that if a producer has an animal that is fit for process for human food and it meets the inspection standards for slaughter then the producer gets full market price for his animal. On the contrary- a farmer that has an animal that is considered marginal for reasons of sickness, disease or other physical malady it is considered ( a downer cow). The general rule of thumb is that if the animal is able on it’s own forward movement to be alive before slaughter- it is considered a live kill human edible animal. This animal once slaughtered has to also pass the physical inspection of a USDA inspector. The difference between the two different animals is obviously the price. The farmer may get full market price for a healthy cow and only get ten cents on the dollar if the animal doesn’t make the cut. This opens the door for all kinds of under the table games to get that animal through the slaughter process. This is obviously what happened at the Hallmark plant. They were going above and beyond to get unhealthy animals through the process. Each time I hear about a plant that practices this type of deceptive behavior I can see why the USDA many times gets a black eye. Where were the inspectors when this violation occurred?
As a major producer of USDA human edible beef products for inclusion in our dog food, we pride ourselves by dealing with reputable USDA slaughter facilties. We must rely on the USDA inspection processes to assure us of a quality product. Not unlike the Menu Foods fiasco- we hope that situations like this recall will tighten the regulations and inspection processes for all USDA processing facilities so that we can all be proud of the humane treatment of all animals and belief in the value of the USDA inspection process.
Read LA Times article on recall, click here.
posted by Rob Mueller
[tags] BARF World, recall, inhumane, beef [tags]