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February 12, 2008

USDA oversight at Chino, CA, meatpacking plant

According to a recent statement made by the U.S.D.A, operations at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company in Chino, CA, have ceasedfter the Humane Society of the United States raised concerns about oversights in inspections at the plant. From an L.A. Times article:

Backpack_cow_2 “...hidden camera video showed workers there using various inhumane methods to force "downer" -- or non-ambulatory -- cattle to their feet and into the slaughter box.

"We rely on a system, and the system dropped the ball,” said Dean Cliver, a food safety expert who has served in advisory roles with the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture.

Blue_cow_4 Cattle that are unable to walk are banned from use as human food because they show a higher occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease.

Undercover activists with the Humane Society of the United States insist that downer cattle have entered the commercial food chain and that they have "very clear documentation" on video of at least four downer cows being slaughtered for human food.”

Link to statement by Agriculture Secritary Ed Schafer on U.S.D.A. website:

Link to statement by U.S.D.A on U.S.D.A. website:

Thanks to William Mitchell College of Law student Rebecca Steffen for preparing this post. (Photography credits also Rebecca Steffen.)

February 12, 2008 in food safety | Permalink


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I am horrified, shocked and completely disappointed at the lack of supervision and care for helpless and defenseless animals! Shame on you!!
Steve Mendell and his supervisors should also be reprimanded and heavily penalized for their lack of responible oversight.
I am so grateful for the USHS for intervenening!

Posted by: Rachel Gray | Feb 18, 2008 8:00:09 AM

Steve Mendel is a DISGRACE to the WORLD..........
as well as his employees. I hope that he is thrown in JAIL AND THE KEYS THROWN away.

Big man huh...lol.....he is not a man at all nor are the employees of this company. They are the WORST in the world...IDIOTS....

Big money ha ha $$$$$$ but soul is gone....Money can't pay to replace that....To bad Steve Mendell and your employees.....lol.....Karma is a bitch...I believe in Karma....and I hope you get everything due to you and your employees.

Evil, horrible, sick, you are the WORST........
I would rather be poor and have a soul.........
I fear God and also Karma is alive and well....

I know many people who have even emailed President Bush in regard to doing something about you and your company and your employees.

We pray you get exactly whatis coming to you....Just a fine or 5 counts won't be enough...for the People of the United States and their loved ones...and for the poor cows may they rest in peace.

Hey Idiot's....sick cows being slaughtered in a inhumane way.......YOU COULD HAVE KILLED OUR FAMILYS KIDS, LOVED ONES...by your actions.....
We hope you get EXACTLY WHAT YOU DESERVE....I hope President Bush also does something about you and your employees.

You took these poor sick cows, major abuse to them....teased them tortured them, hurt them and fed them to the WORLD POPULATION....which also might have caused DEATH TO OUR LOVED ONES.......
yes, I hope the keys get thrown away on you and your employees.

Posted by: Barbara | Feb 18, 2008 2:21:51 PM


Posted by: RC | Feb 18, 2008 2:42:29 PM

I too am shocked and heart broken that humans can treat any animal that way. After watching a bref clip of the news it made me sick to my stomach to think that some people can be so horrible and not think twice. Animals feel pain too. I hope this is not taken lightly and something is done to keep this from happening again. The people invloved should be charged a hefty fine and donated to an animal rights foundation. I am very proud to say "I am a vegetarian".

Posted by: Jodi Leininger | Feb 18, 2008 5:12:06 PM

I would expect the sort of behaviour and practices that have taken place at the Hallmark Meat Packing Company to be a matter-of-fact in the third world and not in the United States - obviously they have the same standards. Mr Mendell and the company's supervisors should be in line for many years of prison time and the sadistic, psycho, lowest-on-the-rung workers who actually carried out the savage brutality against those poor innocent creatures should be committed to a State-run psychiatric institution for a good number of years, then serve prison time. More of a tragedy is that this sort of thing is most certainly taking place in many other slaughterhouses across the United States.

Posted by: Martha Lyons | Feb 19, 2008 8:13:07 AM

I am horrified and saddened by the findings at the Chino meat packing plant. I have zero tolerance for cruelty to any animal. Not only do I hope they close this plant for a very long time but I also hope the persons seen on the video are held personally accountable for their crime. The USDA needs to take some responsibilty here also and let the public know how they are dealing with this and what tighter controls they will be enacting. Unfortunately I don't believe this is an isolated incident but Cheers to the Humane Society for their diligent efforts to help stop cruelty to animals and keeping us all safe from eating meat that could kill us. I will be checking with all my local grocery stores from now on as to where they are getting their meat.

Posted by: M. Barnes | Feb 19, 2008 8:46:49 AM

Happy cows in California? Not the video I saw...It made me vomit! The USDA, the state of California, the management of this facility, and the rest of the low life scum sucking degenerates who partisipated in this horrific,disgusting,inhumane and unconscionable act, should be neutered, and locked up along with any offspring of theirs as to not contaminate the gene pool hence-forth. Every one of you worthless degenerates. What this country really needs is a good culling of the human herd...get rid of vile cur's that have no place in civilization. You are a disgusting bunch. By the way, I'm a farmer, I come from a long line of hunters, I'm an avid outdoorsmen, I raise meat, I eat meat. And you still make me puke. Can't imagine what the PETA people are thinking...Guess if I were you, I'd hole up in a sewer somewhere. All of you are worthless.

Posted by: carla van ess | Feb 28, 2008 12:39:20 PM

this horrific treatment goes on at all slaughter houses--cows-pigs-chickens-lambs-everyone knows about it but all are in denial-check the internet- horror videos everywhere -I have sent emails to the govonor of Calif. many times to look into this-but he could not be bothered--finally its out in the open for the world to see-now our gov. has to take action and pretend they are outraged- maybe now the animals we eat with die with dignity

Posted by: chris arnold | Feb 29, 2008 10:08:11 PM

The unfortunate thing about this whole situation with Westland is that this type of abuse in the slaughter houses is a standard practice not simply an oversight or an accident. Read FAST FOOD NATION!

Posted by: Heather | Mar 12, 2008 9:49:07 PM

Animal care is a big problem, in my opinion. There has to be a cost effective way to treat them kindly and still get efficiency for all of our meat needs.

Posted by: California Fast Food Insurance | Aug 1, 2008 11:07:06 AM

Why are people taking about treating cows nicely? They're going to the slaughter house. Does it really matter if we hurt the cow's feelings? No matter what way you slice it(pun?), the cow is going to be slaughtered and shipped all over the country.

Posted by: Chino Affordable IT | Jul 15, 2009 9:05:11 AM

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