A video guiding viewers through the cattle slaughter process produced by the American Meat Institute and Dr. Temple Grandin was already in development, but was expedited after the temporary closure of Central Valley Meat Company last week.
The video provides additional transparency to educate consumers about the meat and poultry they eat. While a blog post for AMI notes an in-person tour would provide a hands-on experience, a video tour reaches a wider audience and reduces food safety concerns group tours could encourage. Blog writer Janet Riley also notes the animal welfare dangers visitors add by visiting a slaughterhouse.
Grandin provides an explanation as she guides the video tour of a large beef plant. She discusses the aspects of handling and slaughter including the events leading up to, and after, the cow is stunned.
Although the video was not in response to the undercover video of Central Valley Meat Company released by the animal rights group Compassion Over Killing, it does address many of the same issues. One such topic was the involuntary movements of the cow after it is stunned which Grandin says is an uncoordinated movement. She says research supports the movement does not indicate the animal is conscious.
Grandin comments on undercover video
Temple Grandin also released a statement after the undercover video was released. Upon reviewing the video she calls some of the footage misleading, making viewers think some things are happening that are not.
Grandin does however acknowledges some practices in the video, including standing on the nose of the cow after captive bolt stunning and overuse of electric prods, are not a normal industry practice and must be stopped.
“In general, cattle are handled much more easily by calm and patient handlers. The more agitated they become, the more difficult they become to move. I have advised the company about specific strategies for improving handling,” Grandin said in the release.