JBS Under Fire: Whistleblowers Report Cows Suffering on Trucks for Many Hours

PETA Takes Action Over Complaint That Animals Stand for 10 Extra Hours in Trailers Outside the Facility Before Slaughter

For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Grand Island, Neb.

Following accounts that JBS forces cattle transported from as far away as Montana to languish in idling trucks outside its Grand Island plant for up to 10 hours before being unloaded, causing extra suffering and even leading to deaths, PETA has called on the company to take immediate action to end the wait time.

PETA points out in a letter that leaving cows on transport trucks for longer than 28 hours violates federal law. JBS previously stated that it was constructing new pens to keep them in—but neither denied the allegations nor pledged to make any immediate changes to avoid such delays, such as by better scheduling trucks’ arrivals. According to reports, deliveries of cattle are overbooked in an effort to maintain a high “kill ratio.” In light of the allegations, PETA has also requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigate JBS.

“According to disturbing firsthand accounts, JBS knowingly lets cows languish in transport trucks for hours in the heat and cold, increasing its bottom line at the expense of the animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA wants immediate assurance that JBS will end the backups—which is the absolute least it can do for animals headed for slaughter.”

PETA previously urged the U.S. attorney for the District of Nebraska to investigate JBS for persistent violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act after obtaining USDA reports revealing that Grand Island facility workers repeatedly shot conscious cows in the head with a captive-bolt gun, causing them to bleed from the nose, struggle, and cry out. In one incident, workers apparently failed to attempt to stun a cow before shackling her and hoisting her onto the bleed rail while she was fully conscious. The group has also released eyewitness photographs and video footage showing improper bolt-gun positioning at the facility and a conscious cow whose throat had been slit hanging on the rail.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that other animals have a central nervous system and sense of self-preservation, just as humans do, and that the best way to help prevent cows, pigs, chickens, and others from suffering in slaughterhouses is to go vegan.

PETA’s correspondence with JBS and the USDA is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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