Feds See Cows Repeatedly Shot in the Head; PETA Seeks Kill-Floor Cameras

For Immediate Release:
May 5, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Hettinger County, N.D.

Following a recent federal report documenting that a steer remained conscious and attempted to sit up after an employee shot him twice in the head at South 40 Farms near Mott, PETA fired off a letter this morning to owner John Roswech, calling on him to livestream video from inside the slaughterhouse to prevent workers from mishandling more animals.

The incident follows federal reports documenting other violations at South 40 Farms, which claims to sell “ethically harvested” meat. During two separate incidents—on October 7 and April 30, 2021—cows cried out and remained standing after workers shot them in the head. A broken metal wire protruding from a gate also gouged a large amount of hair from cows.

“These reports reveal that South 40 Farms is a miserable hellhole for animals, where cows have died in agony after being repeatedly shot in the head,” says Dan Paden, PETA’s vice president of evidence analysis. “PETA is urging South 40 to livestream its slaughter operations publicly and reminding everyone that the only ‘ethically harvested’ meal is a vegan one.”

PETA has also asked Roswech to report the personnel involved in the incidents to local law-enforcement officials for investigation under the state’s anti-cruelty statute and permanently reassign those workers to positions that do not 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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Roswech follows.

May 5, 2022

John Roswech


South 40 Farm LLC

Dear Mr. Roswech:

Given the April 20 U.S. Department of Agriculture report detailing the botched shooting of a steer, which left the severely wounded animal attempting to sit up after having been shot twice in the head, at South 40 Farm LLC, we ask that you immediately change operations in the hope of reducing animal suffering at your slaughterhouse.

Despite your claim that the animals you slaughter are “ethically harvested,” other recent incidents at your facility underscore the need for changes. On October 7, a cow cried out and remained standing after workers shot her in the head twice. Officials also documented two other violations last year: On April 30, a cow remained standing after being shot between the eyes, and on December 7, a broken metal wire protruding from a gate was found to have gouged a “large amount” of hair from cows.

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 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 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 your local law-enforcement agency for investigation for possible violations of the state’s anti-cruelty statute?

Thank you for your consideration.


Colin Henstock

Assistant Manager of Investigations

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