Three Republican legislators from California have written to the USDA, asking them to reopen Central Valley Meat Company, which was closed this week for egregious abuse of animals. The facility was closed after an undercover video shot by Compassion Over Killing showed downed animals being repeatedly shot with bolt guns and abused.
The facility is closed while the USDA investigates the abuse and whether any of the downer animals entered the nation’s food supply. The letter states that the legislators want the facility reopened “in order to relieve the plight of its hard-working employees who need to provide for their families.” Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy, and Jeff Denham all signed the letter. Nunes said that the video was “posted by extremists who are actively working to undermine production agriculture in the United States.” He also accused Compassion Over Killing of practicing “economic terrorism”.
The USDA has said it will not reopen the plant until the company “submits a corrective action plan detailing how they intend to comply with humane handling regulations before USDA considers allowing them to operate,” according to spokesman Justin DeJong. The video shows workers kicking and shocking cows to try to get them to stand so they can walk to slaughter.
Central Valley Meat primarily slaughters dairy cows that have lost the ability to produce milk. In fact, the dairy cow that was found to be suffering from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease in April 2012, lived on a farm near the plant. USDA officials stressed that cow did not enter the food supply and was an “isolated case“.