Feds See Steers Repeatedly Shot in the Head; PETA Seeks Criminal Charges

For Immediate Release:
August 31, 2022

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Crawford County, Ga. – Following recently published federal reports documenting that three steers were repeatedly shot in the head at the Three Lakes Farm slaughterhouse near Knoxville, PETA fired off a letter today to Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney Anita Howard calling on her to investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the workers responsible.

According to the reports, on February 23 a steer remained conscious and bleeding from the nostrils after a worker shot him twice in the head with a firearm. It took a third shot to end his suffering. On January 31, a steer cried out and looked around after a worker shot him in the head before a second blast rendered him unconscious. Just three days earlier, another steer remained standing, moving and bleeding after a worker shot him in the head; a second shot rendered him unconscious.

“This slaughterhouse is hell on Earth for animals, where steers endured the pain and terror of multiple gunshots to the head,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on the district attorney to step in and help prevent more illegal suffering by investigating and bringing appropriate charges—and reminds everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”

PETA points out that cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do. The group is pursuing charges under state law because federal officials haven’t prosecuted any inspected slaughterhouses for acts of abuse like those at Three Lakes Farm since at least 2007.

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 Howard follows.

August 31, 2022

The Honorable Anita R. Howard
District Attorney
Macon Judicial Circuit

Dear Ms. Howard:

I’m writing to request that your office (and a law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against those responsible for repeatedly shooting three steers in the head—leaving them bleeding and/or looking around—at Three Lakes Farm, a slaughterhouse located at 211 Three Lakes Farm Rd. in Crawford County. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incidents in reports that the agency recently made available to the public. (See the attached table.)

According to the reports, on January 28 a worker shot a steer in the head, which left him bleeding from the nostrils and conscious until a second bullet ended his suffering. Just three days later, another steer cried out and was looking around after being shot in the head, before a second blast rendered him unconscious. On February 23, a third steer was left bleeding and looking around after two shots to the head failed to stun him—slaughterhouse personnel then shot him two more times.

This conduct may violate O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4(b)(1) and does not represent the agricultural or butchering practices otherwise exempt from prosecution. Please note that FSIS’ action carries no criminal or civil penalties and does not preempt criminal liability under state law for acts of cruelty to animals. Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.

Sincerely,

Daniel Paden
Vice President of Evidence Analysis
Cruelty Investigations Department

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind