Lamb Beaten With a Crowbar at Local Slaughterhouse; PETA Seeks Criminal Probe

For Immediate Release:
September 26, 2023

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Middlesex County, N.J. – Today, PETA sent a letter to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone calling on her to investigate and file appropriate criminal charges against the Carteret Abattoir worker responsible for beating a lamb with a crowbar at the company’s slaughterhouse at 2 Roosevelt Ave.

As revealed in a just-released U.S. Department of Agriculture report, a federal inspector witnessed the employee “hitting a lamb on the back with a crowbar” on September 8. The worker lifted the crowbar above his head and struck the animal so hard that the agent could hear the impact of the strike.

“Lambs in slaughterhouses experience such terror and pain when their throats are slit, yet for this little lamb, the experience was made even more horrific by a slaughterhouse worker who beat her with a crowbar,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on behalf of this lamb and urges everyone to help prevent all slaughterhouse violence by going vegan.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—points out that sheep, pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, 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 since at least 2007.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Ciccone follows.

September 26, 2023

The Honorable Yolanda Ciccone

Middlesex County Prosecutor

Dear Ms. Ciccone:

I hope this letter finds you well. I would like to request that your office (and the proper local law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file suitable criminal charges against the Carteret Abattoir worker responsible for beating a lamb with a crowbar on September 8 at its slaughterhouse located at 2 Roosevelt Ave. in Carteret. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:

[T]he Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI) observed an employee driving lambs to the pens. … [H]e saw the employee hitting a lamb on the back with a crowbar. The employee raised the crowbar above his head before striking the animal. When the crowbar struck the animal, the CSI could hear the impact of the strike.

This conduct appears to violate N.J.S.A. § 4:22-17. Importantly, FSIS’ action carries no criminal or civil penalties and does not preempt criminal liability under state law for slaughterhouse workers who perpetrate acts of cruelty to animals. Given that the FSIS has not initiated a criminal prosecution of a licensed slaughterhouse for inhumane handling since at least 2007, charges under state law are this victim’s only chance at a measure of justice.

Please let us know if we can do anything to assist you. Thank you for your consideration and for the difficult work that you do.


Colin Henstock

Investigations Project Manager

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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