Truckloads of pigs kept waiting after controls

18-07-2008 | |
Truckloads of pigs kept waiting after controls

Approximately 20 trucks full of pigs have been kept waiting in the boiling sun for hours this week after USDA inspectors temporarily shut down the killing floor at a hog plant in Worthington, Minnesota.

The kill floor at JBS-Swift & Co.’s pig plant in Worthington, Minnesota, was temporarily shut down by inspectors as it was said the animals weren’t slaughtered according to humane slaughter practice rules.

The slaughter procedures stopped for about 14 hours when a pig passed the kill line but did not die, according to some media reports, quoting truckers waiting outside the plant.

“Supposedly a hog went through the kill line and didn’t die,” one trucker told the Worthington Daily Globe. “They shot it three times, and the USDA inspector said it was inhumane and shut them down. That is what a Swift employee told me.”

According to a spokesperson for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the problem was caused by insufficient stunning of at least one animal.

As a touch of fate, about 20 semi-trucks had to wait outside in the boiling sun (about 32ËšC) with cargoes of hundreds of squealing pigs. They drove around to give the live animals some air circulation. In addition, Swift employees also sprayed them with water to try to keep them cool.

“This is more inhumane than whatever happened last night,” one trucker told the newspaper.

According to the FSIS, the 14-hour time period was necessary in order to ensure that the Swift plant would be taking steps to address the problem.

The newspaper reported that Swift officials declined to comment on the situation.

Related websites:
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) 
• United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
• Swift-JBS
• Worthington Daily Globe

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