As the United States remains concerned about the safety of beef, the Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal rescue organization, is calling for laws that prevent the slaughter of "downer" pigs, sheep, goats and other animals that go into the food supply.
The largest meat recall in U.S. history (143 million pounds) resulted from a Humane Society investigation, which found that the Hallmark/Westland slaughter plant was apparently using extraordinary means to make cows appear to stand up, so they would meet U.S. regulations for slaughter. Animals that are too weak or old to stand can not be slaughtered because they may be sick, or smeared with excrement.
There are no such laws for other livestock, according to the Farm Sanctuary.
The weight of beef recalled equates to roughly 204,000 cows, most likely dairy cows that lived on industrial-scale farms, and which no longer could produce milk.
Congress has drafted a law, at the urging of animal rights organizations, The Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act, that would ban the slaughter of all downed animals, regardless of the species.
If it takes a recall of 143 million pounds of beef to change policy, then so be it, but the USDA hasnt protected our nations children who already ate the burgers, and who continue to eat other downed animal products," said Julie Janovsky, Farm Sanctuarys director of campaigns. "We can only hope that Congress reaction to public outrage is swift and thorough. Legislation is in play with the Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act. Its time to enact it.
Of the 226 cattle that the Farm Sanctuary has rescued, 79 were downed animals. The group pointed out that it had been advocating for laws against slaughtering downed animals for food since at least 1986, when it rescued Hilda, a sheep left for dead.
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