For Immediate Release:
August 3, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Tucson, Ariz. – Following a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report documenting that a goat remained conscious and cried out after being shot in the head at the University of Arizona Food Products and Safety Laboratory, PETA fired off a letter this morning to the facility’s manager, Samuel Garcia, calling on him to livestream video from the slaughterhouse in order to help prevent workers from mistreating more animals.
The facility’s history of violations underscores the need for transparency and change:
- On January 26, workers repeatedly shot a steer, whose front legs collapsed as he bled from the forehead and cried out, until a fifth attempted shot finally ended his suffering.
- On January 19, a steer remained conscious after being shot in the head.
- On January 8, a cattle pen contained deep mud and pigpens had sharp wires and rusty metal protruding into them.
- On July 16, 2021, a worker ran a steer into a concrete pen whose floor was covered with standing water and mud, causing the animal to fall.
- On June 16, 2021, sheep were left without water for at least 35 minutes in 93-degree weather.
“These disturbing reports show that a goat and multiple cows sustained repeated shots to the head, that sheep endured blistering temperatures without water, and more,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA is urging the University of Arizona Food Products and Safety Laboratory to publicly livestream its slaughter operations and reminding everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”
PETA has also asked Garcia to report the personnel involved in the incidents to local law-enforcement officials and reassign those individuals to positions that don’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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Garcia follows.
August 3, 2022
Samuel Garcia, Ph.D.
University of Arizona Food Products and Safety Laboratory
Dear Dr. Garcia:
Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report detailing the repeated shooting of a goat who remained conscious and cried out after being shot in the head at your facility, we ask that you immediately change operations there in order to reduce animal suffering.
A history of violations at the facility you manage underscores the need for change. On January 26, workers repeatedly shot a steer, whose front legs collapsed as he bled from the forehead and cried out until the fifth attempted shot ended his suffering. Officials have also documented several other federal violations since last summer: On January 19, a steer remained conscious after being shot in the head; on January 8, a cattle pen contained deep mud and pig pens had sharp wires and rusty metal protruding into them; on July 16, 2021, a worker ran a steer into a concrete pen, the floor of which was covered with standing water and mud, causing the animal to fall; and on June 16, 2021, sheep were left without water for at least 35 minutes in 93-degree weather.
Given your statement that “we strive to be transparent in all we do,” will you please publicly livestream video from all areas of the facility where live animals are handled? Workers and students 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.” You’ve lamented that today’s consumers “are removed from how food is grown and raised.” You could help improve understanding 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 conditions, attempting to stun them, slashing or sticking their throats, and bleeding them to death.
At the very least, will you reassign the individuals referenced in the federal reports to jobs that do not 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.
Assistant Manager of Investigations