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FSIS Announces Changes to Improve Humane Handling of Veal Calves

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a final rule amending its humane handling inspection regulations at facilities that produce veal meat. FSIS will now require that veal calves that are brought to slaughter but cannot rise and walk be promptly and humanely euthanized, and prohibited from entering the food supply. Previously, FSIS allowed veal calves that are unable to rise from a recumbent position to be set aside and warmed or rested, and presented for slaughter if they regain the ability to walk. FSIS says the change would also ensure compliance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act by improving the treatment of veal calves, as well as enhancing inspection efficiency by allowing FSIS inspection program personnel to devote more time to activities related to food safety.

FSIS also removed a provision that requires ante-mortem inspection to be conducted in pens. Instead, the final rule gives FSIS inspectors the authority to conduct ante-mortem inspection and condemn non-ambulatory disabled veal calves the moment they arrive on an establishment’s premises.

The final rule becomes effective September 16, 2016.

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