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American Meat Institute Condemns Handling Depicted in New Undercover Video
Senseless Treatment is Harmful to Livestock and Industry’s Reputation

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Washington, DC, June 25, 2008 – The American Meat Institute (AMI) today condemned handling practices depicted in an undercover video shot at a livestock auction market and released by the Humane Society of the U.S.


AMI said that its own industry guidelines and audit prohibit the dragging of non-ambulatory cattle.  According to the Institute, if these animals arrived at a meat packing plant, they would most certainly be condemned by federal inspectors as unfit for the food supply.  Animals that are unable to walk or that exhibit signs of disease are condemned by federal inspectors that are present at all packing plants.  Federal oversight is limited to the packing plant and does not extend into livestock markets.


“Humane handling is both ethically appropriate and has real economic benefits in terms of safer workplaces and better meat quality,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle. “This type of handling is harmful to animals and to the industry’s reputation.  The fact that this occurred is simply inexplicable.”


Boyle said the meat industry believes that “you manage what you measure” and uses measurable criteria developed in 1997 by leading expert Dr. Temple Grandin to evaluate welfare on a routine basis.  The audit has become so well-regarded that it is used as a condition of doing business with many restaurant and retail chains and is the basis for many certification programs run by the American Humane Association and Certified Humane.


He said the industry will strongly encourage markets that supply their plants to embrace this same type of approach. 


To view a video about the meat industry’s animal welfare programs and use of audits, go to www.YouTube.com/MeatNewsNetwork.  AMI’s guidelines and audit may be downloaded at http://www.animalhandling.org/.






CONTACT:           JANET RILEY, 202/587-4245, jriley@meatinstitute.org        

                                DAVID RAY, 202/587-4243, dray@meatinstitute.org


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