Terrible animal abuse caught on video at Westland/Hallmark meat company

It would have been difficult for anyone to have watched the CNN video yesterday morning regarding animal abuse at the Westland/Hallmark meat processing plant and to not have felt outraged.

The video, which was covertly recorded by a factory employee, showed cows being pushed, dragged and prodded in order to get them into the slaughter house. As was obvious from the video, some of these animals were so sick that they could not stand up on their own and were “scooped” up by fork lifts and dropped into the killing area.

The reporter commented how these animals’ symptoms were similar to that of the fatal “mad cow” disease. However, that did not stop the meat company from including them with the others that were being butchered and sold to fast food restaurants and to schools to feed the nation’s children.

Yesterday, two fast food chains: “Jack in the box’ and “In-out burgers”, stated that they were no longer purchasing beef products from Westalnd/Hallmark. Today, 150 school districts dropped the meat company as their vendor.

What is difficult to understand is how the company President, Steve Mendell, could come out with a statement assuring the public that they “have met the highest standards for harvesting and processing meat”. Either he is of the belief that the general public are about as sharp as bowling balls or the industry must have some really low standards overall.

Another difficult thing to understand is the fact that Westland/Hallmark claimed to have a full time USDA veterinary medical officer on site IN ADDITION to a full time officer from USDA’s Grading Service. “Full time” should mean that they are always there durng work hours, should it not? It seems that the USDA has a lot of questions to answer.

It is ironic that last week we saw so much in the press about the Congressional hearing into Roger Clemens and the allegations that he took steroids. If he did, he shouldn’t have, but is it right to devote so much attention and resources to an athelete when hundreds of thousands – possibly millions, of peoples lives and health are jeopardized by unscrupulous business practices that should have been detected by the very Govt. Agency assigned to over see such abuse?

I for one, will be reading labels in the supermarket more closely in the future. I would suggest that all of you do the same.

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