Feds Cite Belcampo Butchery for Lamb’s Agonizing Death

PETA Issues Consumer Alert Following Slaughterhouse Violation

For Immediate Release:
October 20, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Yreka, Calif. – A damning federal report of cruelty to animals documented at Belcampo Butchery has prompted PETA to issue a consumer advisory: Recently distributed packages of Belcampo lamb may include parts of an animal who was unlawfully and repeatedly shot in the head and left to suffer at the company’s slaughterhouse near Yreka.

On September 3, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agent saw a Belcampo Butchery worker shoot a lamb in the head with a captive-bolt gun—but the animal remained conscious and stood bleeding from the forehead while employees shot three other lambs in the head. When a worker finally returned to shoot the severely wounded animal, the gun misfired twice. Another worker had to retrieve a “back-up” gun to end the lamb’s suffering. A federal veterinarian found that bolts penetrated the lamb’s skull twice and that the shots were misplaced.

“Shoppers beware: The Belcampo lamb in your local meat case might include the flesh of an animal who was shot in the head and left bleeding in agony,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “The only sure way to keep cruelty out of your grocery cart is to go vegan, and PETA stands ready to help anyone make the switch.”

Belcampo produces “Grass-Fed & Finished Ground Lamb,” “Lamb Merguez Sausage,” and “Organic Lamb Leg (Bone-In)” and distributes its products to its stores and restaurants in Oakland, San Mateo, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. The products may also have been sold at Erewhon Market locations in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Venice, Pacific Palisades, and Calabasas. The packaging’s USDA mark of inspection would include “M44932” or “EST. 44932.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—urges consumers who bought these Belcampo products after September 3 to return them to the place of purchase and offers everyone a free vegan starter kit filled with recipes and tips for making the transition.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind