A huge scandal has emerged regarding the slaughter of “downer” cows — cattle that can’t walk to their slaughter. This is a problem because it is believed, and known in Europe, that cows that can’t walk are more likely to have mad cow disease.

USDA will step up inspections at slaughterhouses. By Julie Schmit, USA Today.

The WWP blog has some graphic video. Have a burger and watch!

When I criticize the “cattle industry” some might read “ranchers.” This is not what I mean. I am referring to the industry, not necessarily a particular part of it.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

11 Responses to USDA will step up inspections at slaughterhouses

  1. avatar Kevin says:

    The whole livestock industry is totally broken. My response to it is giving up meat, which can be pretty tough at times. But worth it every time I hear about stuff like this!

  2. avatar kt says:

    Beef raising is a system of land abuse however it is done. Of lying, cheating and thieving from the government (and us) by public lands ranchers. Whose cows, by and large, go spend their last 18 or so weeks on feedlots getting plumped and poisoned by their feedlot diet and commingling germs. Then off to knacker house …

    And the energy and chemical cost of producing meat … Time to just say NO.

  3. All of the cows shown in the video are culls from dairy herds.
    These are old, sick, milk cows that can no longer produce milk or calves. There is the possibility that they are infected with bovine tuberculosis, mastitis, pneumonia, mad cow disease and other animal diseases. They should be not used for human consumption even if they could walk.
    Slaughter house (illegal alien) employees don’t use fork lifts to move cows without approval from higher ups in the plant. The CEO should be in jail. This looks like standard operating procedure.

  4. avatar kim kaiser says:

    whether you like beef or not is fact of life, ,, its not gonna go away. It is quite sad to see the animals abused in that manner. More a testament to humanity and its lack of respect for most of everything.

  5. avatar Heather says:

    Just more evidence for me to be vegetarian and going vegan. (been a year now) I do support organic, free range beef for those of you who just cant quite quit the carnivore habit..

  6. Here in Europe we had our fair share of meat scandals over the last years. Tons of really “delicious” things the industry successfully sold and resold on the market – it was just a matter of re-labelling those long expired packages of frozen meat. Everything was envolved, from chicken parts to beef. It´s often a matter of the price a consumer is willing to pay. If you want healthy and high quality meat from a trustworthy provider (and there are plenty) you have to accept a realistic price – and that could also mean “no longer meat every day of the week”!

  7. avatar Catbestland says:

    I have been a vegetarian for 18 yrs. Vegetarians who have been vocal in preaching the advantages of a guilt free diet and pointing out the abominations of the beef industry, have been largely ignored. However, after the coverage of this issue in the news, I have recieved several calls from acquaintances asking about alternative for lunches etc. The more coverage this gets the more people realize that beef industry is a boil on the butt of humanity. So please, stop eating beef. Your body, the earth and it’s wildlife will thank you for it. Cows will be happy too.

  8. avatar Heather says:

    I am glad your acquaintenaces called you catbestland, very glad. I am the only vegetarian at work.. has anyone talked to me? no. they stay in their silent comfortable denial.

    This news is just the tip of the iceberg. For our society, it begins to delve into AR philosophy etc. In other words, Peta’s been there, done that…. I watched ingrid newkirk’s video “I am an animal” last weekend– Whether you are vegetarian or not, it will break your heart…stuff the general public does not want to think about, much less confront. it is good there is news of this, and supposedly the USDA will clean up their act, but I dont have much faith in change in slaughterhouses. It is a health issue, but it more an ethics issue – the way animals are treated in slaughterhouses. Inhumane, abusive and Disgusting. talk about the butt of humanity.

  9. avatar JB says:

    Larry Thorngren Says: “Slaughter house (illegal alien) employees don’t use fork lifts to move cows without approval from higher ups in the plant. The CEO should be in jail. This looks like standard operating procedure.”

    Sorry; did you just suggest that everyone that works the floor of the slaughter house is an illegal alien? If so, it should be relatively easy to shut down these slaughter houses!

  10. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    i hope the national news media will continue to report on this story. People need to know this industry cares only about money and control. People get paid lots of money to assess all possible negative scenarios to determine if the risk will effect the bottom line, and if it worth taking a risk. It might be “risk assessment”??? I am not sure if that is the correct term. It think is something to think about. Cattle have been given growth hormones, anti-biotics, rBST to produce more milk, etc., The cattle have suffered terrible side effects and humans consuming those products can’t be good either. But, it’s probably just a small number of animals and people negatively affected, so let’s make some more money! —They don’t have a conscience.—

  11. The number of people and the number of inspections is also just pathetic.

    This should serve to build pressure for more acceptable oversight of the meat supply, although hardly anything moves the Bush Administration.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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