For Immediate Release:
July 12, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Marion County, Fla. – Following a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report documenting that a bull remained conscious after being shot in the head repeatedly at Modern Heritage Wholesome Foods near Ocala, PETA fired off a letter this morning to the facility’s owner, Robert Hernandez, calling on him to livestream video footage from the slaughterhouse to help prevent additional egregious violations of law.
On June 21, a worker shot the bull with a captive-bolt gun but the animal remained standing and staring at employees. The worker then fired into him four more times before a sixth blast with a pistol finally knocked the bull down and ended his suffering.
“This animal endured an agonizing five shots to the head before the worker finally rendered him insensible to pain with a sixth shot,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on this facility to livestream its slaughter operations publicly and reminds everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”
PETA has also asked Hernandez to report the employee involved in the incident to local law-enforcement officials and reassign that individual to a position that doesn’t involve having contact with live animals.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Hernandez follows.
July 12, 2023
Modern Heritage Wholesome Foods
Dear Mr. Hernandez:
Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report detailing the prolonged death of a bull who remained conscious and standing after one of your employees shot him in the head five times at Modern Heritage Wholesome Foods, we ask that you immediately change operations there in the hope of reducing animal suffering in your slaughterhouse.
In light of the egregious pain and terror that your staff have caused this bull in violation of federal law, will you please stop slaughtering cows? Rather than risking further, similar violations, you could focus on minimizing the stress and suffering of the other farmed animals you slaughter.
Will you please publicly livestream video from all areas of your facility where live animals are handled? Workers would take their duty to handle animals lawfully more seriously if they knew that caring people were watching. As the world’s foremost expert on livestock welfare, Dr. Temple Grandin, writes, “Plants [t]hat are doing a good job should show what they are doing.” Your industry often complains that today’s consumers don’t understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could help by enabling us to observe your workers moving countless individual animals—who value their lives as we value ours—off crowded trucks in all weather, attempting to stun them, slashing or sticking their throats, and bleeding them to death.
At the very least, will you reassign your staff referenced in the federal report to a job that doesn’t involve having contact with any live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and report the involved personnel to your local law-enforcement agency for investigation for possible violation of the state’s anti-cruelty statute?
Thanks for your consideration.
Investigations Project Manager