Feds See Steer Beaten, Electroshocked at Local Slaughterhouse; PETA Seeks Criminal Probe

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Fruita, Colo.

After obtaining U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documentation revealing that a man repeatedly beat and electroshocked a steer at Mountain Meat Packing Inc. near Fruita, PETA sent a letter this morning to Mesa County District Attorney Daniel P. Rubinstein calling on him to review the matter and file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the responsible individual as appropriate.

According to the report, on April 27, 2021, a USDA inspector witnessed the man “pounding on” a steer with his closed fist approximately 10 times before grabbing an electric prod and ramming it against the steer’s hindquarters. As the animal cried out and struggled, the man proceeded to electroshock him “approximately 15-20 times within approximately 20 to 30 seconds.” After the inspector repeatedly raised his voice, the man ceased electroshocking the steer—who collapsed to the ground—and yelled at the federal agent.

“If a person beat and electroshocked a dog at length, people would rightfully demand that charges be filed, and this steer is also protected by law,” says Dan Paden, PETA’s vice president of evidence analysis. “Steers feel pain and fear just like the dogs and cats who share our homes, and PETA is calling for a criminal investigation into the violence inflicted upon this animal.”

This is not the first time federal officials have documented illegal animal suffering at Mountain Meat Packing. In 2020, a worker repeatedly shot a pig in the head and left the animal crying out and struggling in between shots.

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 Rubinstein follows.

March 8, 2022

The Honorable Daniel P. Rubinstein

Mesa County District Attorney

Dear Mr. Rubinstein:

I’m writing to request that your office (and a law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the individual responsible for beating and electroshocking a steer more than a dozen times at Mountain Meat Packing Inc. located at 951 17 ¼ Rd. near Fruita. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in a report that the agency recently made available to the public. (See the attached table. You can find this information in its original format by clicking here and searching for this slaughterhouse’s establishment number, M4979; scrolling to the date below; and then scrolling to the right.)

On April 27, 2021, an FSIS inspector saw a man “pounding on” a steer “very aggressively with his closed fist … yelling for the cow to move.” The federal official saw the suspect “thumping the [steer] repeatedly in the side with a closed fist approximately 10 times,” before grabbing an electric prod and proceeding to “ram [it] into the hind end of the animal [and] use the weight of his body to press with force … at the same time that he was discharging the … electric prod.” The steer cried out but couldn’t fit into the chute that the man was attempting to drive him into. The agent saw the suspect electroshock the animal “approximately 15–20 times within approximately 20 to 30 seconds.” After the federal agent repeatedly raised his or her voice, the man ceased electroshocking the animal, who “dropped to the ground.” The suspect then yelled at the FSIS official, “exclaiming that it is not [the official’s] job to be out [where the incident occurred] at all.”

This abuse may violate C.R.S. § 18-9-202. It’s not the “accepted animal husbandry practices utilized by any person in the care of livestock animals” otherwise exempt from prosecution. Please note that FSIS’ action carries no criminal or civil penalties and doesn’t preempt criminal liability under state law for acts of cruelty to animals. For more details on FSIS’ findings, please contact District Manager Dr. Robert Reeder. Thank you for your time and consideration and for the important work that you do.


Daniel Paden

Vice President of Evidence Analysis

Cruelty Investigations Department

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