Catelli Brothers, Inc., a New Jersey veal and lamb processing plant, was shut down by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after five videos were received on Jan. 24, two which showed violation of federal regulation for humane slaughter.
According to an USA Today article, the edited videos were taken undercover and provided by the Humane Society of The United States.
The USDA issued a letter on Jan. 27 to Catelli Brothers outlining the offences found in the videos.
Video Exhibit A, dated September 24, 2013, showed a conscious calf on the bleed rail after employees failed to stun the calf with a hand-held captive bolt gun.
According to USDA regulation, “Immediately after the stunning blow is delivered the animals shall be in a state of complete unconsciousness and remain in the condition throughout shackling, sticking and bleeding.”
Video Exhibit C, dated October 17, 2013, recorded employees dragging a calf by the neck with a chain amongst other violations. These actions were noncompliant by standards which state, “The dragging of disabled animals and other animals unable to move, while conscious is prohibited.”
While regulation states that downed animals are able to be moved, it must happen by suitable equipment.
After taking actions to comply with USDA regulation, the plant has been cleared for reopen.
In a statement released on Catelli Brothers’ website, the company said it has installed Arrowsight, a remote controlled, 24/7, third-party surveillance system developed by Dr. Temple Grandin.
The company also said it has retrained all employees and will have an increase in quality assurance audits.