For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Olivia, Minn. –
Following newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture records documenting that at least six conscious cattle and lambs were repeatedly shot in the head at Prairie Meats Inc., PETA fired off a letter today to the facility’s owner, Tony Paskewitz, calling on him to livestream video footage from the slaughterhouse in order to help prevent more egregious violations of law.
On June 28, a worker shot a steer in the head three times—he remained standing, looking around, and bleeding from the nose and head after the first two blasts. On April 20, a lamb was still standing and looking around after being shot in the head and it took a second shot to stun the animal. On March 25, a cow remained standing and crying out after being shot in the head and workers shot her two more times before she was rendered unconscious. On November 23 and September 16, 2021, two steers remained standing, crying out, and looking around after workers shot them in the head. The animals had to be shot a second time. And on August 11, a lamb stood up and walked away after two shots to the head—workers shot the lamb a third time, dragged the animal along the floor, discovered that the animal was still conscious, and delivered a fourth shot.
“These disturbing reports show that cattle and lambs endured prolonged, agonizing deaths, as they were left bleeding and conscious after repeated blasts to the head,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on Prairie Meats to publicly livestream its slaughter operations and reminds everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”
PETA has also asked Paskewitz 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 on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Paskewitz follows.
November 30, 2022
Prairie Meats Inc.
Dear Mr. Paskewitz:
Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture reports detailing workers’ botched, repeated shootings of six cows and lambs—who were left severely injured and conscious—at Prairie Meats Inc., we ask that you immediately change operations there in the hope of lessening animal suffering at your slaughterhouse.
Will you please publicly livestream video from all areas of your facility in which 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 conditions, 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 contact with any live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and report the involved personnel to your local law-enforcement agency for investigation into possible violations of the state’s anti-cruelty statute?
Thank you for your consideration.
Investigations Project Manager