Following the downer cow incident at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. incident in California, enforcement of the Humane Methods Slaughter Act has been under scrutiny. With the resulting stepped-up enforcement, several Tennessee slaughter facilities have endured operation suspensions in recent months. Ineffective stunning violations have been cited most commonly. (By law, animals must be rendered insensible to pain by “a single blow or gunshot or an electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective” prior to being shackled, hoisted or cut.)
It is imperative that a united agricultural community proactively respond to this issue. The Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation (TFBF) and the industry unequivocally support the humane slaughter of animals in the food chain process. We realize local meat processors are vital to the success of livestock production.
Information regarding humane handling (pdf format)