Kaua’i Man Repeatedly Electroshocks Downed Cow on the Head; PETA Seeks Federal Charges

For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Lihue, Hawaii – After a just-published U.S. Department of Agriculture report revealed that the owner of Sanchez Slaughterhouse near Wailua repeatedly electroshocked a downed, trapped cow on the head as the animal cried out, PETA sent a letter today calling on U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Clare E. Connors to investigate the facility and file federal criminal charges against those responsible for at least eight violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act since February 2020.

This latest incident follows recent federal reports that slaughterhouse workers shot cows and a pig up to five times each, causing them to vocalize in pain and show signs of distress. Federal agents have also repeatedly found cows without access to water at the slaughterhouse.

“Bad behavior starts at the top, and this latest victim’s cries went unanswered as she was repeatedly shocked by this chronic offender’s owner,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Dan Paden. “PETA is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a criminal investigation into the pervasive, illegal suffering at this slaughterhouse.”

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 Connors follows.

April 20, 2022

The Honorable Clare E. Connors

United States Attorney, District of Hawaii

Dear Ms. Connors:

I hope this letter finds you well. I would like to request that your office investigate and file appropriate criminal charges against Sanchez Slaughterhouse, near Wailua, and its workers responsible for repeated violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors witnessed workers there repeatedly shooting five animals in the head and the owner repeatedly electroshocking an immobile cow, as documented in the attached reports and as follows:

  • On November 27, 2021, a federal veterinarian saw the slaughterhouse owner repeatedly electroshock a downed and trapped cow on the head, causing the animal to cry out over and over.
  • On September 18, 2021, a heifer cried out and exhibited “signs of distress” after an ineffective shot to the head. A worker electroshocked her before a rifle shot to the head ended her suffering.
  • On June 5, 2021, a federal agent saw a worker ineffectively shoot a steer three times in the head with a rifle before finally ending his suffering with a fourth blast.
  • On May 29, 2021, a bull remained standing after being shot in the head with a rifle. A worker had to retrieve more ammunition before a second shot rendered him unconscious.
  • On May 15, 2021, an FSIS inspector heard a cow groaning after being shot in the head with a rifle. Again, a worker had to retrieve more ammunition before a second shot ended her suffering.
  • On February 22, 2020, staff shot a pig five times in the head before the crying animal was finally rendered unconscious. The pig stood throughout the first four shots, as a worker repeatedly left the scene to retrieve additional cartridges from a vehicle.

The Federal Meat Inspection Act classifies such offenses as misdemeanors. FSIS’ repeated warnings are clearly insufficient. Criminal prosecution is in the best interests of both the animals who are killed at Sanchez Slaughterhouse and the public. We respectfully ask that you bring appropriate criminal charges against those responsible for these violations. Thank you for your consideration and for the difficult work that you do.


Daniel Paden

Vice President of Evidence Analysis

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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