"Animal rights organization Compassion Over Killing released a new undercover video shot at the Quality Pork Processors (QPP) plant in Austin, Minnesota. That cut-and-kill operation is part of the Hormel Foods Corporation's flagship complex.
QPP processes between 19,000 and 22,000 hogs per day depending on demand, making it one of the most productive facilities in the country. But the video also suggests that the volume and speed of processing results in shocking mistreatment of animals. Downed hogs are shown being kicked and dragged toward the slaughter area. Some conscious hogs are shown shackled to the conveyor chain, while others, still alive, have their throats slit and are sent to the scalding tank. The video also documents hogs with pus-filled abscesses and what appears to be fecal contamination being processed for food—as well as an employee who seems to be nodding off at his workstation.
Pablo Ruiz, a former process-control auditor at QPP, told me that the production line in Austin was running so fast that the lone government inspector just sat in a chair watching carcasses rush by, because he only had time to do visual inspections. I wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek:
USDA inspectors are typically required to check the tail, head and tongue, thymus, and all viscera of each hog. They palpate the lymph nodes of the large intestines and lower abdomen to feel for tuberculosis nodules, feel the intestines themselves for parasites, and turn over every set of kidneys to check for hardness resulting from inflammation or hidden masses.
At QPP, Ruiz said, the inspectors just visually double-checked the work of process-control auditors. And even QPP's auditors didn't have time to inspect viscera.
"We just check at the head," Ruiz says, adding that he doesn't think there is enough government oversight and that the USDA should double-check the work of process-control auditors. But the lack of oversight, he says, is "why the line goes so fast. When I was there, it was 1,305 per hour. This means 10,000 hogs achieved every eight hours. That's money in the bank—easy, quick." (QPP did not respond to telephone requests for comment, as well as a more detailed e-mail. Two messages left on Quality Pork CEO Kelly Wadding's voicemail also went unreturned.)"
As reported by MotherJones reporter Ted Genoways
Question: Please share your thoughts on the state of affairs in the animal industry?
That video was hard to watch, its very sad that so many animals are killed for meat! Just today I was in a shuttle to a hotel and a passenger in the van asked the driver about work and the driver said he worked in a factory before driving the van. He explained the factory was hard work because in was cleaning up after the slaughter of chickens, which he described as disgusting, the process of killing and processing the chicken to sell. So I asked him if he eats chicken and he said " yea!! I try not to think about what happens in the factory, because I l love to eat but USDA standards are terrible, so I eat less meat!" People just don't care because its out of sight and they are just plane greedy!!
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