By Carol McCracken (Post # 665)
Yesterday the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced steps it will be implementing that will ensure the “humane treatment and slaughter of all cattle presented for processing at federal-inspected facilities,” reported the Sustainable Food News moments ago.
The new steps to be pursued include:
Insuring that all non-ambulatory mature cattle must be condemned and promptly enthuanized to ensure they are humanely handled, regardless of the reason for the animal’s non-ambulatory status.
Responding to and soliciting comments on petitions from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Farm Sanctuary.
Appointing an Ombudsman in the Office of Food Safety, designated specifically for humane handling issues. There are several other steps as well.
“USDA is taking important steps to promote more humane handling of animals at slaughter plants,” said the Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle. “We commend Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Under Secretary for Food Safety, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, and their full team for recognizing the seriousness of these concerns and being proactive to address them. The establishment of an ombudsman should help protect whistleblowers and others seeking to ensure industry compliance with the laws. We hope the agency will act quickly to expand the downer ban on adult cattle, to include calves….”
The “Sustainable Food News” is a daily, on-line newsletter to the organic food industry. It’s published by Dan McGovern of Munjoy Hill. He can be reached at (207) 749-5249 for subscription information.