For immediate release:
August 18, 2021
David Pearl 202-483-7382
DeCalb, Illinois. – PETA received a USDA report revealing a recent violation of the law at Northstar Meat LLC in DeCalba. In response, the group sent a letter today to DeCalb County Attorney Rick Amato calling for the issue and, if necessary, bring animal cruelty charges against the facility and workers responsible for what the report describes as a “blatant … incident.”
According to the report, the federal veterinarian found that the pig, hanging upside down on the slaughter line, was still alive and crying after passing through the carcass washer. The veterinarian told the worker to stun the animal, but instead the worker cut the conscious pig’s throat before she could stop him. The pig screamed again and the veterinarian called on staff to stop the slaughter line, but the pig was submerged in a hot water tank where the animal thrashed and screamed before finally being shot.
“This alarming report shows that this pig has gone through a long painful death at Northstar Meat,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphne Nachminovich. PETA is calling for a criminal investigation into this pig and calling on all compassionate people to go vegan and help prevent more animals from suffering in slaughterhouses.
PETA, whose motto is in part that “the animals are not ours to eat” – opposes specisism, a worldview focused on human excellence. The group notes that pigs, sheep, cows, chickens and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just like humans.
For more information visit PETA.org or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram…
This is followed by a letter from PETA Amato.
August 18, 2021
The Honorable Rick Amato
DeCalb County State Attorney
Dear Mr. Amato,
I hope this letter will correct you. I would like to ask your office (and the relevant local law enforcement agency, if you deem appropriate) to investigate and bring appropriate criminal charges against Northstar Meat LLC and the employee (s) responsible for slitting a conscious pig’s throat and flooding the spoilage. a crying animal in boiling water August 5 at a slaughterhouse located at Harvestore Dr. 108 in DeKalba. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in an attached report, which states the following:
“[T]The FSIS Public Health Veterinarian (SPHV) … watched the market hog straighten up, shackled, and move down the slaughter line as he exited the wash cabinet. This cabinet has rotating brushes to clean carcasses after animals are stunned, shackled, lifted and stuck before entering the burn tank. The SPHV raised the animal’s ear to observe the eye. The pig’s eye darted back and forth, looking around. The pig raised its head and screamed when touched near the eye. The SPHV then noticed that the pig was not stuck as it had no stick on it. SPHV staff immediately notified the staff member that the pig had regained consciousness and was to be stunned with a captive bolt pistol. The SPHV repeatedly put his fist to his forehead, verbally communicating that they needed a bolt action pistol. The clerk then returned with his knife and thrust the pig into consciousness. SPHV tried to stop him but failed. the pig exclaimed. The employee was again informed that the pig needed to be inserted with a captive bolt, and the workers at the site were told that the chain must be stopped to prevent the pig from entering the burn tank. During this time, the pig was at the entrance to the burn tank and was then seen being dragged towards the grates of the burn tank. When the rods were lowered to lower the boar into the water, it was noticed that he began to beat and make sounds. Then the tank was stopped. [Redacted]and then arrived and stunned the animal with a shutter, rendering the pig insensitive. “one
This behavior appears to violate 510 ILCS 70 / 3.01 (a). It is important to note that FSIS action does not invalidate state criminal liability for slaughterhouse workers who commit acts of cruelty to animals.2
Please let us know what we can do to help you. Thank you for your attention and for the hard work you are doing.
Assistant Investigation Manager
oneDistrict 50 FSIS Governor Dr. Donald B. Fickey, Suspension Notice, Northstar Meat LLC (5 August 2021) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2021-08/M47788-NOS-08052021.pdf.
2See Nat’l. Meat Assoc. v. Harris, 132 C. Ct. 965, 974 n.10 (2012) (“… states may impose civil or criminal sanctions for cruelty to animals or other conduct that also violates [Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA)]… See [21 U.S.C.] §678; Wed Bates vs. Dow Agrosciences, OOO, 544 US 431, 447 (2005), holding that a preemptive right clause prohibiting state laws “in addition to or different from federal law” is not inconsistent with a “equivalent” state provision. While FMIA is ahead of many state slaughterhouse laws, it leaves some room for regulation in the states. “)