From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1995:

FORT COLLINS, Colorado– –
Colorado State University assistant professor
of animal sciences Temple Grandin, the most
outspoken inside critic of the meat industry
since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle i n
1906, is hopping mad at Canadians for the
Ethical Treatment of Food Animals. Twice
in two years, CETFA has attacked Grandin’s
ethics and competence, in response to one of
her series of reports on Canadian slaughterhouses,
with evident disregard for what
Grandin actually said.
Starting in 1981, the Canadian
Federation of Humane Societies has hired
Grandin three times to assess conditions at
Canadian slaughterhouses, in cooperation
with Agriculture Canada. Visiting 11 of
Canada’s biggest federally inspected slaughterhouses
in 1994, which together kill 44%
of Canadian cattle and hogs, Grandin noted
much improvement since she visited 23 federally
inspected slaughterhouses with similar
market share 13 years earlier. She observed
that the Canadian plants are, on the whole,
more humane than U.S. counterparts––but
listed many changes they should make, and
regretted that she hadn’t been able to visit
any provincially inspected slaughterhouses,
which escape federal scrutiny because they
don’t sell meat to other provinces.

“Humane Societies linked to
CETFA, whose objections were that Grandin
hadn’t visited either provincially inspected
plants, or kosher/halal slaughterhouses,
which kill without prestunning, in keeping
with Jewish and Islamic religious laws originally
adopted to insure quick death.
This year Grandin gained access to
four kosher/halal plants and two provincially
inspected plants, among a total of 21 visited.
“Which leaves 15 federally registered slaughterhouses
visited (out of 160 total), with
prior notification, and in the company of
vested-interest personnel. Hardly the stuff of
a credible survey,” the CETFA newsletter
editorialized, disregarding that health and
safety laws, union contracts, and insurance
policies all keep visitors out of any kind of
industrial plant without notice and an escort.
“She expresses no concern about
hundreds of regional slaughterhouses all
across Canada, that are inspected for structure
and cleanliness only, with the humane
aspect totally ignored,” CETFA further
charged. “Recommendations for change are
sparse, and deal with cosmetic concerns,
such as slippery ramps and shade and shadows
that no doubt contribute to the animals’
fears. No MAJOR concern of those fears is
addressed or dealt with. The slant of her
report is always to declare Canadian slaughterhouse
conditions acceptable––and everyone
goes home for a good night’s sleep.”
What Grandin said
In fact, Grandin rated stunning
conditions unacceptable at four of 14 conventional
cattle, pig, horse and sheep slaughtering
plants, and at two of four poultry plants.
She also found killing procedures to be inhumane
at two out of four kosher/halal plants,
though none shackled and hoisted live, conscious
animals, as do many U.S. kosher/halal
plants. Overall, Grandin rated 23% of the
slaughterhouses she visited “Not acceptable.”
She kept an eye open for attempts
to fool her: “One plant had a brand-new
waterer that looked as if it had been installed
to impress us,” she wrote. However, “Only
two plants had floor or waterer improvements
which appeared as if they were done because
the survey was announced…It is easy to see
new welds or moisture on walls which indicates
that a large build-up of manure was
recently removed.”
Grandin noted that downed cattle
now rarely come to Canadian federally
inspected plants, due mainly to more stringent
self-policing, but said, “I do not think
that all the downers have just disappeared. It
is very likely that they are just being diverted
to provincial plants,” mainly in British
Columbia and Quebec––meaning that downers
may be hauled farther than healthy cattle.
“There is a need to review practices
in provincial plants that are not federally
inspected,” Grandin continued. “In British
Columbia there are concerns about provincial
plants that have no inspection at all. All
plants in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec are
either provincially or federally inspected, but
provincial regulations are not equal to the
federal humane slaughter regulations. In
Alberta it is still legal to stun sheep by blunt
trauma. During interviews I learned about an
Alberta provincial plant where sheep were
bashed repeatedly with a wooden board. I am
also concerned about ritual slaughter moving
into provincial plants.”
Grandin’s description of how one
provincially inspected plant drains blood
from fully conscious sheep before slaughter,
for use in making cell cultures, would upset
any ANIMAL PEOPLE reader.
Indeed, it upset Grandin, who
called ANIMAL PEOPLE to describe it as
one of the worst things she’s seen in her long
career of persuading the grisliest of industries
to spend money to reduce animal suffering.

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