Hidden video shows sick cows being abused at plant that reportedly supplies meat to US schools
Mike Sheehan
Published: Wednesday January 30, 2008

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The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has released footage taken by an undercover investigator which reveals horrifying abuse of cows at a California slaughterhouse which reportedly supplies meat to American school lunch programs.

Cows too sick or lame to walk are shown being shocked, prodded, shoved with forklifts, and even blasted with hoses in what the head of the HSUS describes as "torture ... right out of the waterboarding manual." Such "downer" animals normally would not be led to slaughter out of fear of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (i.e., "mad cow" disease) entering the food supply.

The abuses shown in the video violate state and federal laws intended to prevent cruelty to animals, the HSUS asserts. "This must serve as a five-alarm call to action for Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture," says HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle. "Our government simply must act quickly both to guarantee the most basic level of humane treatment for farm animals and to protect America's most vulnerable people, our children, needy families and the elderly from potentially dangerous food."

The Washington Post reports that mad cow disease is extremely rare in the US, but of those documented cases, "the vast majority have been traced to downer cattle."

More on the story at this link. The HSUS warns that the following footage is graphic.