Meat, milk firms hit for cruelty

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1999:

Humane organizations challenged
routine abuses at milk and meat production
facilities in Arizona, Florida, New
Jersey, and Virginia during October and
November 1999, winning one case out of
court, with the other outcomes pending.
Accepting a consent agreement
instead of facing cruelty charges,
McArthur Farms of Okeechobee, Florida,
is to help the University of Florida and the
Florida Agriculture Depart-ment develop a
training program to teach staff how to
properly kill culled calves; pay up to
$27,500 to produce training materials;

allow local inspectors to see how it kills
culled calves; pay $1,000 restitution to the
Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office; and adopt a
humane slaughter policy. This is to include
killing animals only on flat, dry land, with
a proper instrument, and confirming that
they are dead before burial.
McArthur Farms is also to “support
and actively assist in the passage of
legislation” to require “humane euthanasia
of sick and culled animals.”
On January 23, 1999, an investigator
from the Humane Society of the U.S.
allegedly videotaped McArthur Farms staff
dropping 15 one-day-old calves into a
ditch holding as much as a foot of rainwater,
and shooting them––often repeatedly
––as they tried to escape.
The Arizona SPCA on October
14 called Tolleson city police to TriWestern
Meat Packing Inc., after videotaping
injured calves who were allegedly
thrown into bins with rotting carcasses.
AZ/SPCA spokesperson Barb Goethe told
Beth DeFalco of the Arizona Republic that
the AZ/SPCA personnel and Tolleson
police continued videotaping until TriWestern
Employees menaced them with
knives. Realizing that Tri-Western was
just outside the Tolleson limits, the police
then summoned the Maricopa County
Sheriff’s Office. The videotape was shared
with the USDA, but as of late November
no charges had been filed.
People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals in November asked the North
Carolina Veterinary Medical Board to discipline
Fred L. Cunningham, DVM, chief
veterinarian for Williams Farms. Williams
Farms owns Belcross Farm, Inc., of Camden
County, N.C. A grand jury recently
brought cruelty charges against three
Belcross workers for allegedly beating pigs
with wrenches and iron bars, as reportedly
documented by PETA on video. PETA
charges that Cunningham knew about the
beatings, yet did not try to stop them.
In the fourth case, municipal
summonses were issued on November 23
to Paul Waters Jr., owner of Meredith
Farms in Franklin Township, New Jersey,
for allegedly leaving 31 hens to starve
when he closed a bankrupt killing plant that
had handled up to 40,000 chickens per day.
In a fifth case involving farm animals
in an institutional setting, In Defense
of Animals announced on October 8 that
the University of California at San Francisco
had been cited by the USDA Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service for
“significant non-compliance” with the
Animal Welfare Act in connection with
allegedly improper surgery done on lambs.

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