Probe of Slaughterhouse Sought After Conscious Bovines’ Throats Slit

PETA Cites Federal Report Showing That Mississippi State University Meat Laboratory Workers Failed to Stun Animals Properly Twice This Year

For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Starkville, Miss.

Armed with damning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) records (available here and here), PETA sent a letter this morning calling on the Mississippi State University (MSU) Police Department to investigate the MSU Meat Laboratory and, as appropriate, file criminal charges against the workers there who, on two different dates this year, failed to stun bovines on the first attempt—and subsequently slashed the conscious animals’ necks.

According to the USDA documents, on March 2, an MSU Meat Laboratory worker ineffectively stunned a steer, whose jugular vein was then slashed while he was still conscious. The bleeding animal stood up and walked around for three minutes while workers fired a second captive-bolt shot into his neck and, finally, a third into his head. On August 17, a worker fired a captive-bolt shot into a cow’s head; after the blast, the animal was still standing and cried out while looking around. Then a worker cut the cow’s throat while the animal was still fully conscious. PETA notes that these instances appear to violate Mississippi’s cruelty-to-animals statute, which makes it a crime to injure an animal unjustifiably.

“PETA is calling for a criminal investigation of this slaughterhouse and the workers who caused a steer to stagger about with blood pouring from his neck,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “There’s no difference between the pain and terror that these animals felt and the way that dogs or cats would feel if their throats were slit while they were fully conscious.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that the meat industry kills more than 29 million gentle cows every year. Animals have the same type of central nervous system and sense of self-preservation as humans do, and the only way to prevent cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals from suffering on factory farms and in slaughterhouses is to go vegan.

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