Statements By Whistleblower Slaughterhouse Workers ..
The preferred method of handling a cripple is to beat it to death with a lead pipe before he gets into the chute. It’s called piping. When I worked as a hog driver, I would kill up to 11 hogs a day by beating them to death with a lead pipe.
If a cow is unable to walk they put a big long chain around her neck then drag her all the way up to where we are. Usually she’s dead by then. Strangled. Sometimes a steer would get its head stuck in the restrainer. You couldn’t stun it at that point so you’d end up cutting its head off while the beef was still alive.
When workers are in a hurry, they scoop disabled hogs up on a dead run with the bobcat. If the hog stays in the bucket, he stays in. If he falls out, he falls out. Or you run him over with the bobcat if he’s able to run some more. Pin him up against the wall. Finish busting the rest of his legs so he can’t run any further.
In the winter, some hogs come in all froze to the sides of the trucks. They tie a chain around them and jerk them off the walls of the truck, leave a chunk of hide and flesh behind. They might have a little bit of life left in them, but workers throw them on piles of dead ones. They’ll die sooner or later because there’s nothing left to them.
In the winter they always got 10 to 15 dead, frozen hogs laying around. Sometimes there’s a pile of hogs laying there when I go to work, and when I get off at 5pm that same pile is still lying there. A lot of times there’s live ones in there. You could see them still lifting their heads up, looking around.
If you get a stubborn hog that doesn’t want to go, workers are going to beat that hog until he does. They use a shackle, a pipe, anything they can get their hands on. If the government’s not around, which they’re not, employees can get to beating that hog all they want to.
I’ve seen them take those prods and stick them in the cows’ ears, their eyes, down their throat. They’ve prodded animals so much that they’ve gone down and wouldn’t get back up. Then they’ve had to shoot them or drag them with a chain. Or they stick them up the cow’s rectum and they just hold it there.
I’ve seen hogs beaten, whipped and everything else. I’ve seen hogs get kicked in the head by drivers who were attempting to get them up to the restrainer. One night I saw a guy get so angry at a hog he broke its back with a piece of board. I’ve seen hog drivers take their prod and shove it up the hog’s ass to get them to move.
The foreman will kick them, fork them, use anything he can get his hands on. He’s already broken three pitchforks so far this year, just jabbing them. He doesn’t care if he hits the cow’s eyes, head, butt. He jabs them so hard he busts the wooden handles. And he clubs them over the back.
The problem in the knocking box is that you have to work real fast because the chain is too fast and the animals that come into the box are jumping everywhere. And sometimes you don’t shoot the cow really right. And you let him go like that.
There’s a problem for me with knocking the cows. The chain goes too fast, more than 300 cows an hour. If I can’t get the animal knocked right, it keeps going. The chain doesn’t stop. The supervisors say, ‘Keep knocking, knocking’! You end up knocking the cow in the ear, not very good. The supervisors say, ‘It’s okay. Go, go, go, go’!
The knocker really only can hit the cows once. And sometimes the cow is moving and they don’t do it in the right spot. Sometimes even if they miss, they just hang them and send them out like that because they don’t have time.
Sometimes they shoot the cows maybe five times before they die. They’ll stun it once and it will keep moving like it wants to get up and then they do it again and again.
Outside of the weak ones, just about every cow I stunned had to be hit between three and five times just to get it to go down. There were plenty of times you’d have to make a big hole in their head, shooting them eight or nine times. And they’d still be alive. I remember one time I saw the other knocker at the plant shoot a bull twelve times, and still it wouldn’t go down.
All the workers can open the legs, the stomach, the neck, cut off the feet while the cow is breathing. It makes noise. And the cattle go down the line for many minutes and they’re still alive. They cut the legs and everything. The cattle move their eyes and their nose. They’re looking around. I would estimate that one out of ten cows is still alive when it’s bled and skinned.
It takes about four minutes for the cow to go from the knocker to the second legger. I think the cows are still alive because they move the head and the eyes and the legs like the cow wants to walk. And the cow makes noises. Also, if you put a knife into the cow, it’s going to make noise. It says, ‘Moo’!
I’d estimate that about 10 to 12 hogs an hour go into the scalding tank conscious. These hogs get up to the scalding tank, hit the water, and just start screaming and kicking. Sometimes they thrash so much they kick water out of the tank.
When workers open the cows’ skin and grab their legs, the cows try to kick us but we’ve already spread their legs open. And they’re looking at us and they’re sticking out their tongues. They make a “mmmmrrrrrr” noise. It’s a look like, “Don’t do this to me, you’re cutting me alive”! They blink their eyes and they stare up at us like, “Help me”!
I’ve seen beef still alive at the flankers, more often at the ears and horns. That’s a long way. I’ve seen them over where they take the hide off with the down-puller. I’ve heard them moo when people with air knives were trying to take the hide off. I think it’s cruel for the animal to be dying little by little while everybody’s doing their various jobs on it.
When a cow arrives at the first hind-legger, usually the legger tries to make a cut to start skinning out the leg. But it’s hard to do that when the cow is kicking violently. A lot of times the leggers will take their clippers and cut off the cow’s leg right below the knee, the skinny part. The cow will continue to kick, but it doesn’t have that long of a reach.
I have seen thousands and thousands of cows go through the slaughter process alive since I have been at the plant. I’ve been up to the side-puller where they are alive. The legs are gone and all the hide is stripped out down to the neck there. If I see a live animal, I cannot stop the line. Because the supervisor has told us that you can work on a cow that’s alive.
Before, USDA had more possibility of seeing what was going on, because they were able to see from the inspection station. Now they can’t, because IBP took a piece of metal and put up a metal wall. I think that they put the piece of metal there for the inspectors so they couldn’t see so USDA won’t be stopping the chain.
A long time ago, as soon as the head inspectors saw the cow alive at the stickers, they’d stop the chain. The company used to have a lot of problems with that so, about two years ago, they decided to put a metal wall so the inspectors can’t see what’s happening.
As sticker, they told me what I was going to do, but they never trained me. One day they just showed me how to do the job, and then I was just doing it. I didn’t have any training about how to handle or treat the animals or to make sure they were dead.
Training for that job consists of someone telling the stunner, “You put the stunner on the hog”. End of training.
They asked me who showed me how to re-knock cattle, and I said I learned on my own from watching the other guys.
The USDA used to come, but the USDA doesn’t come to see us now. They never, never get to the slaughter area. We don’t see the USDA. I’d estimate that USDA inspectors come back to look around about once a month. USDA used to go in and inspect the lines and things. The company is supposed to be supervised by the USDA so everything can go right. But, the USDA and the company kind of made a contract with each other. Before, the USDA would inspect, but now USDA has left it up to IBP. The USDA is never in the area. And even though workers gave reports to the USDA about how we have to skin the cows alive, still the USDA does not come to the kill area to observe what goes on.
The poor souls look into the eyes of the slaughter-man seeking help and compassion but see only darkness and ignorance.
( Rose Winfold )
Studies show that men who work in slaughterhouses lack compassion and consciousness. The cruelty and the torture inflicted on the animals suggest that many are psychopaths with sadistic tendencies.
USDA .. United States Department of Agriculture
IBP .. Iowa Beef Processors, now Tyson Fresh Meats
Simply Halal, A Slaughterhouse Awash With Blood ..
In a slaughterhouse awash with blood, a frightened bullock’s eyes widen in fear as the machinery it is trapped in raises its head so a knife-wielding butcher can hack open its neck. Seconds later, as the animal kicks out in pain and panic, a bolt is shot through its brain to stop it injuring workers who yank it up upside down onto a hook, blood gushing from its twitching carcass.
In another area of the killing floor, cameras capture sheep being ferried along a metal pen where a worker casually lifts their heads and slashes their throats. They are so distressed as they begin bleeding to death they wriggle over the sides and have to be hauled back in, legs flailing, and piled up at the end as they slowly die. This chilling footage was taken during an investigation into a slaughterhouse which supplied Morrisons. The abattoir, Simply Halal in Banham, Norfolk, UK, which provides halal and kosher meat appears to ignore all standards of animal welfare despite the presence of a government inspector and two vets and boasting all staff have had proper training.
Denmark and Poland have recently banned ritual slaughter without stunning, but the UK Conservative Government refuse to do so.
( An extract from an article by Lewis Panther and Vikki White, 01.05.2016 )
We inflict unimaginable pain on billions of animals before we brutally slaughter them, we destroy rainforests, we poison the environment, and we sell you products that are killing you. Thanks for your support.
( The Meat Industry )