Feds See Cows Beaten, Shot Repeatedly in the Head and More at JBS; PETA Seeks Kill-Floor Cameras

For Immediate Release:
August 23, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Grand Island, Neb.

After recently obtaining federal reports—which document that cows were beaten and two remained conscious after being shot in the head at the JBS Foods slaughterhouse in Grand Island—PETA fired off a letter today to the company’s global president of operations for North America, André Nogueira, calling on him to livestream video from the slaughterhouse in order to help prevent workers from mistreating more animals.

According to the reports, on February 21, a worker used a paddle to strike two cows approximately five or six times. On January 3, a federal agent observed a water trough between two pens filled with solid ice—leaving no available water for the animals—and up to 520 cows were found without water last August. In addition, last November, a cow cried out and remained conscious, lifting their legs and head in an attempt to escape, after being shot in the head. These violations are the latest in a history of similar incidents at the Grand Island slaughterhouse.

“This slaughterhouse is a notorious hell on Earth for animals, where cows have long endured terror while being beaten, repeatedly shot in the head, and more,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on JBS Foods to help prevent more egregious suffering by livestreaming video of its operations in Grand Island—and is reminding everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Nogueira follows.

August 23, 2022

André Nogueira
Global President of Operations–North America

Dear Mr. Nogueira:

Given the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports detailing a worker beating cows, the botched shooting of others in the head, and more problems at JBS Foods USA’s slaughterhouse in Grand Island, Nebraska, we ask that you immediately change operations there in order to reduce animal suffering.

A long history of alarming incidents at the facility underscores the need for significant changes. On February 21, USDA staff saw a worker “raise [a] paddle above his head” and strike two cows approximately five or six times each. On January 3, a federal agent found cows deprived of water in two pens, where the only trough was full of “solid ice.” In November 2021, staff repeatedly shot two cows in the head before rendering them unconscious. In August 2021, up to 520 cows were found without any water to drink.

In June 2020, workers botched the shooting of a steer who tried desperately to escape slaughter, leaving him bleeding from the head. Thirteen minutes passed before they repositioned the terrified animal for a second shot. In March 2018, workers apparently failed even to attempt to stun a cow before shackling her and hoisting her onto the bleed rail while she was still conscious. Operations were suspended four times between April 2016 and April 2017 after staff repeatedly shot conscious cows in the head, causing them to bleed from the nose, struggle, and cry out. And in 2017, a concerned whistleblower provided investigators with photographs and video footage documenting improper bolt-gun positioning and a conscious cow—whose throat had been slit—hanging on the bleed rail.

Will you please publicly livestream video from all areas of this facility where live animals are handled? Workers might take their duty to handle animals lawfully more seriously if they knew 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.” At the very least, will you reassign the staff referenced in the federal reports to jobs that don’t involve having contact with any live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and report the involved personnel to the local law-enforcement agency for investigation for possible violations of the state’s anti-cruelty statute? Thank you for your consideration.


Daniel Paden
Vice President of Evidence Analysis

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