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US slaughterhouse suspended as cruelty alleged

January 27, 2014

One of the largest veal and lamb companies in the U.S. has been temporarily suspended from processing meat after federal officials viewed secretly shot video showing animals being treated inhumanely at a slaughterhouse.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended operations at Catelli Brothers Inc. The company promised cooperation with investigators and said it has already hired an expert on animal care and handling.

In one video clip, a cow had its neck slit and was bleeding profusely but was still conscious after being shot several times with a stun gun. In another, a calf that was unable to walk was being dragged.

Both instances violate federal rules which require that animals slaughtered for human consumption be treated humanely leading up to and during slaughter.

The Humane Society of the United States, which sent the video to the agriculture department and posted excerpts on YouTube, said in a statement the video shows “egregious inhumane handling of calves in violation of federal law.”

The Food Safety and Inspection Service, part of the agriculture department, said Monday the length of the suspension will depend on how quickly the company responds to the allegations.

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