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FSIS Issues Notices on Humane Handling Practices

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS or the agency) issued two new notices: Notice 16-08, Humane Handling Activities and Documentation in Livestock Slaughter Establishments, and Notice 17-08, Increased Verification of Humane Handling Requirements in Livestock Slaughter Establishments. 

Notice 16-08 is a reissuance of Notice 14-08, providing additional information in the documentation section and instructions regarding how inspectors are to document Humane Activities Tracking System (HATS) activities.  Specifically, the notice includes a new bullet that reads, “Immediately take any necessary regulatory control action to prevent continued egregious inhumane handling” for situations where there are egregious humane handling noncompliances.  In addition, FSIS has also updated the sample memorandum of interview provided in the attachment

Notice 17-08 announces that, as of March 10, inspection program personnel assigned to federally inspected livestock slaughter establishments are to increase significantly the time spent verifying humane handling regulatory requirements and document those verification activities in HATS.  Inspection personnel are to increase their HATS activities a minimum of 50 percent and up to 100 percent, depending on the type of livestock being slaughtered.  Increased HATS activities will continue until May 6, 2008.

To view the notices in their entirety, please visit the agency’s website at:  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/FSIS_Notices_Index/index.asp

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