July 19, 2006

Missouri Triumph plant draws suits and concern

Here's a bit from St. Joseph, MO based KQTV which deals with the issue of hogs being delivered to slaughter suffering from extreme stress. (though the idea that you can't yell at a hog is kinda odd, considering that they've just been loaded and packed tightly together in a bouncing, swaying semi and driven for great distances. I guess workers may end up being required to take hog sensitivity training?
Another safety issue for Triumph Foods concerns the livestock.

The high heat can be deadly on hogs -- literally stressing them to death.

Triumph loses revenue every time a hog doesn`t make it to slaughter, but that`s not the only concern.

The handling of the hogs could be a food quality issue, and perhaps a legal matter.

Truckloads of hogs ready for slaughter approach Triumph Foods in the dead of the night. It`s the coolest time of day, easing some of the stress put on the hogs.

"The stress of course would be heat and then yelling. Anything that stresses us, stresses [the hogs]--terrifies them," Gary Silverglat, a 30-year veteran of the pork processing industry, says.

University and veterinarian research shows stress in hogs causes lactic acid to build up, resulting in mediocre meat.

"There are hormones in your body that cause the stress condition. In cattle, it`s called `firery carcuses` because when they kill the animal and take the hyde off, the fat would be bloody red, because the blood comes to the surface,similar to when the human body gets excited, your blood goes into stress mode to fight. The same thing happens in hogs, so you want a hog calm when you go to slaughter because the meat will be better," Silverglat says.

But it`s not just the heat or the quality of the meat that worries one animal rights group. KQ2 showed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, footage of hogs being off loaded at Triumph Foods. Some of the hogs were dead. Others were yelled at and whipped to move off of the truck.

"What we see on this video is cruelty to animals," Bruce Friedrich, vice president of PETA`s international grassroots organization, says.

PETA believes the video may be in violation of state and federal laws.

"The beating the animals until they squeal appears to violate the American Veterinary Medicine protocol for moving pigs to slaughter. The, by definition, it would not be standard agricultural practice, at least by Missouri state law, and it would be illegal," Friedrich says.
You can inject me with drugs, raise me in confinement pens, feed me the waste of other animals, haul me packed in trucks, use stun guns on me, beat me with bars, hang me upside down from chains while you slit my throat and then dunk me in boiling water, tear out my guts and cut me up, but please don't yell at me."

"Ohhhhh. I don't feel so good. To think I made it this far just to die before they kill me. Give me some quiet before I die of my injuries. No yelling."

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