Feds Cite Local Slaughterhouse After Cow Is Shot Four Times

Animal Cried Out and Stood Back Up After Rifle Blasts—PETA Says Incident Warrants Public Scrutiny, Operational Overhaul

For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Cynthiana, Ky.

Following federal officials’ report documenting that a cow at C & W Meat Packers in Cynthiana was shot in the head four times while the animal repeatedly fell, stood back up, and cried out, PETA has fired off a letter urging one of the co-owners to stop slaughtering cows and to livestream video footage from the facility in order to help prevent workers from mishandling and abusing animals during slaughter. Or preferably, the facility could stop killing farmed animals altogether and switch to butchering only wild animals who’ve already been killed in collisions with vehicles and salvaged by customers.

“Publicly livestreaming slaughter operations—or ending them altogether—would help prevent animals from experiencing agonizing, prolonged deaths,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging C & W Meat Packers to overhaul its facility immediately and encouraging anyone disturbed by this incident to help keep animals out of slaughterhouses everywhere by going vegan.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. PETA also asked C & W Meat Packers to report the staff responsible for the botched shooting to local law enforcement and reassign them to a position that doesn’t involve contact with live animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Carla Courtney, co-owner of C & W Meat Packers, follows.

June 22, 2020

Carla Courtney


C & W Meat Packers

Dear Ms. Courtney,

Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report documenting the shooting of a cow in the head four times while he repeatedly dropped to his knees, stood back up, and cried out at C & W Meat Packers, we ask that you immediately make changes to your operations in order to reduce—if not end—animal suffering at your slaughterhouse.

In light of the egregious pain and terror that your staff caused this cow to endure in violation of federal law, won’t you please stop slaughtering these animals? Rather than risk committing similar violations in the future, 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? Your workers would surely take more seriously their duty to handle animals lawfully if they knew that people were watching. 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.” Members of your industry often complain that consumers today don’t understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could shed light on this by allowing the public to observe your workers as they move countless animals—individuals who value their own lives as much as humans do—off crowded trucks in all weather extremes, attempt to stun them, slash or stick their throats, and then bleed them to death.

At the very least, will you reassign your staff referenced in the federal report to a job that doesn’t involve contact with any live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and report the involved personnel to your local law-enforcement agency so that they might be investigated for possible violations of the state’s anti-cruelty statute?

Finally, if you want to stay in business without causing animals to suffer and die needlessly, you could switch to butchering exclusively wild animals killed in collisions with vehicles and legally salvaged by customers who wish to eat their flesh, as state law allows. Thank you for your consideration.


Colin Henstock

Assistant Manager of Investigations

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