The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced several measures that will better ensure the humane treatment and slaughter of all cattle presented for processing at FSIS-inspected facilities.

"Under this administration, we have significantly strengthened our ability to enforce the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, but we have more work to do and must continue to look for ways that ensure the safe and humane slaughter of animals," said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. "That is why we are taking concrete steps to address outstanding humane handling issues, ranging from enhanced employee training to clearer guidance on existing rules."

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The agency is pursuing the following new measures:

  1. Issuing procedures to inspection personnel to clarify that all non-ambulatory mature cattle must be condemned and promptly euthanized to ensure they are humanely handled, regardless of the reason for the animal's non-ambulatory status.
  2. Responding to and soliciting comments on petitions from the Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary.
  3. Appointing an Ombudsman in the Office of Food Safety, designated specifically for humane handling issues.
  4. Requesting the USDA Office of Inspector General audit industry appeals of noncompliance records and other humane handling enforcement actions by FSIS inspection program personnel.
  5. Delivering enhanced humane handling training to give inspection personnel more practical, situation-based training.

For more information, visit the USDA-FSIS website.