For immediate release:
September 7, 2021
David Pearl 202-483-7382
Olivia, Minn. – PETA received a USDA report revealing a recent violation of the law at Prairie Meats Inc. in Olivia. In response, the group sent a letter this morning urging Renville County Attorney David Torgelson to address the matter and, if necessary, bring animal cruelty charges against the plant and workers responsible for the lamb’s head shot. four times with rifles with captive bolts. The lamb bled out of its mouth, nose and head after the first explosions, and even got up and walked away after two shots to the head before being dragged across the floor and finally stunned.
“This alarming report shows that the lamb survived a long, agonizing death at Prairie Meats,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphne Nachminovich. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on behalf of the lamb injured at this site and calling on all compassionate members of the public concerned about this atrocity to help prevent the suffering of more animals in the slaughterhouse by becoming a vegan.”
PETA, whose motto is in part that “the animals are not ours to eat” – opposes arrogance, a worldview focused on human superiority. The group notes that sheep, cows, pigs, chickens and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just like humans.
For more information on PETA news gathering and reporting visit PETA.org or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram…
This is followed by PETA’s letter to Torgelson.
September 7, 2021
The Honorable David Torgelson
Renville County Attorney
Dear Mr. Torgelson,
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 Prairie Meats Inc. and workers responsible for repeated shots in the head of a conscious sheep, leaving him bleeding from the skull, nose and mouth – on August 11 at the slaughterhouse located on st. Lincoln, 2505 at Olivia. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in an attached report, which states the following:
“After the first amazing try [an establishment employee]the animal was still conscious. Bleeding was observed from the area of the skull where the stun device was released and could be seen from the nose and mouth. The lamb moved its head, neck and tracked objects around it. The establishment clerk then used a second, pre-loaded, portable locking bolt to attempt a second stun. After the second stunning, bleeding from the wound, nose and mouth could still be observed. The lamb lost mobility of the head, the head and neck fell, he stopped following objects with his eyes. An employee removed the lamb from the restraint and he regained consciousness, got to his four legs and walked around the harvest area, taking about six steps to the nearest cattle pens. An employee of the establishment then held the lamb with his hands and feet while another employee of the establishment performed a third stunning attempt with a recharged manual locking device. Bleeding continued from the stunning wound, nose and mouth. The lamb lost mobility and was dragged to the sewing area. Around the same time, an employee of the establishment touched his eyes and noticed that his eyes twitched on contact with his hands. Then an employee of the establishment reloaded the portable device for fixing the bolt and made a fourth stunning, after which it was confirmed that the animal was insensitive.1
This behavior appears to violate the stat. Minn. § 343.21 (1). 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
1FSIS District 25 Manager Dr. Dawn Sprouls, Suspension Notice, Prairie Meats, Inc… (11 August 2021) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2021-08/M47273-NOS-08112021.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), stating that a preemptive clause prohibiting state laws “in addition to or different from federal law” does not conflict with a “equivalent” state provision. While FMIA is ahead of many state slaughterhouse laws, it leaves some room for regulation to states. “