For Immediate Release:
May 11, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Petaluma, Calif. – Following recent federal reports documenting that a pig and a cow remained conscious after workers shot them in the head at the Petaluma-based Bay Area Ranchers’ Cooperative’s mobile slaughter unit, PETA fired off a letter today to the cooperative’s president, Kevin Maloney, calling on him to record and publish raw video of all daily operations at the facility in order to help prevent workers from mishandling more animals.
According to the reports, on April 29, a cow began walking as a worker shot her in the head for the third time, which the inspector described as an “egregious act of inhumane handling.” On February 3, a federal inspector observed a worker shoot a pig in the forehead and prepare to hoist the animal upside down to slit their throat—even though the worker saw that the animal was still conscious. The inspector had to instruct the worker to shoot the pig in the head again, just as the animal stood up. Meanwhile, the Bay Area Ranchers’ Cooperative has publicly boasted of its commitment to “super humane” slaughter and “transparency.”
“This slaughterhouse on wheels is a miserable hellhole for animals, where a pig and a cow endured agonizing pain as they were repeatedly shot in the head,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Dan Paden. “PETA is urging the Bay Area Ranchers’ Cooperative to make good on its transparency claims by publishing raw video of all its slaughter operations—and is reminding everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”
PETA has also asked Maloney to report the personnel involved in the incidents to local law-enforcement officials and to permanently reassign those workers 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 Maloney follows.
May 11, 2022
Bay Area Ranchers’ Cooperative Inc.
Dear Mr. Maloney:
Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture reports detailing the botched stunnings of a cow and a pig—which left the severely injured animals standing and conscious after being shot in the head—at Bay Area Ranchers’ Cooperative’s mobile slaughter unit, we ask that you immediately improve operations by the unit in order to reduce animal suffering.
Despite board member Adam Parks’ recent claim that your slaughter unit is designed to be “super humane,” recent incidents reveal the need for change in its operations. On April 29, a severely wounded cow—who had already been shot twice with a captive-bolt gun—stood and began walking as a worker ineffectively shot her in the head for the third time. On February 3, a worker bungled shooting a pig in the head and then began preparing to hoist them—despite seeing that the animal remained conscious. The suffering pig had already stood up by the time an inspector had to tell workers to shoot the animal again.
Since the cooperative claims to operate with “transparency,” will you please film and publish full, raw video of all handling and slaughter areas at the end of each day? 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.” Your industry often complains that today’s consumers do not understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could improve understanding by enabling us to observe your workers moving individual animals—who value their lives as we value ours—into your slaughter unit, attempting to stun them, slashing or sticking their throats, and bleeding them to death.
At the very least, will you reassign the workers 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 the appropriate law-enforcement agency to be investigated for possible violations of California’s anti-cruelty statute?
Thank you for your consideration.
Assistant Manager of Investigations