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Need New Leadership at the USDA

Story ID:9035
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:? Iowa USDA
Year:2013
Person:varuiys
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I am so terribly disappointed in the people who head important
facets of government. The USDA is one such. How can we get
new leadership there?

Today HSUS clued us into problems with the USDA's oversight
at slaughter plants. It was so good that they were able to
to get this news re the lack of humane treatment of pigs in
a slaughterhouse - not from an animal rights videotaper, but
from a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

This past weekend Mike McGraw of the Kansas City Star wrote
a front-page story re the failure of the US Department of
Agriculture to enforce federal animal welfare laws at slaughter
plants.

In recounting details of a recent USDA Office of Inspector
General Audit about abuses of pigs at plants, he revealed that
a USDA federal inspector was being transferred after he blew the
whistle on abuse at a Tyson slaughter plant in Iowa.

Let me write that again -A USDA FEDERAL INSPECTOR WAS BEING
TRANSFERRED AFTER HE BLEW THE WHISTLE ON
ABUSE AT A TYSON SLAUGHTER
PLANT IN IOWA.

This is shameful. Here was an inspector who BECAUSE HE WAS DOING
HIS JOB was transferred, and somehow the USDA leadership gets away
with this type of injustice - not only to the inspector but to the
poor pigs whose suffering will continue unabated because the
inspector's report went for naught -thanx to incompetent and
uncaring USDA leadership.

Where is Congress? Where is the President? Hello- anybody there?
You are not doing your jobs unless failure to uphold the Animal
Welfare Act is meaningless and unnecessary. That people who are
representing us and are not concerned that the Animal Welfare
Act is not being enforced - then we have put the wrong people
in office.

I don't even bother writing the USDA any more when I hear about
animal cruelty because I know they won't do a thing to prevent
it. Shouldn't we have people in place here who are responsive
to our views re suffering animals? Even their own GOOD inspectors
have difficulty in trying to enforce the law re animal welfare.


A SPECIAL USDA FEDERAL INSPECTOR - DR. DEAN WYATT.

The HSUS asked us if we remembered Dr. Dean Wyatt, a food safety
inspector who blew the whistle on cruelty to calves at a Vermont
slaughter plant. Yes, I did. I didn't remember his name, but I
knew that there was at least ONE good inspector doing his job.

He also testified before Congress about the lack of enforcement
action when it comes to violations of the federal Humane Methods
of Slaughter Act.

Obviously, most of the Congresspeople were asleep when he tried
to convince them to try to improve the lives of so many farm
animals who face cruel slaughtering methods. Why don't we have
people like him at the helm of the USDA?

How could not Congress and the USDA not be moved by Dr. Wyatt's
revelation that at the plant he witneseed the horrendous treatment
of infant calves, some so young they still had their umbilical
cords hanging from their bodies?

This courageous man died not long after testifying before Congress
about the lack of enforcement action of the Humane Methods of
Slaughter Act. God bless him for being such a caring and
compassionate man.


ANOTHER SPECIAL USDA FEDERAL INSPECTOR -JIM SCHRIER

And Journalist McGraw wrote about another compassionate and
courageous USDA inspector-JIM SCHRIER who came forward and
called out Tyson's huge Columbus Junction Iowa pig slaughter
plant for its inhumane slaughter practices. He saw conscious
pigs being shackled and hoisted in violation of federal law
and the USDA's OWN regulations which they are charged to
enforce.

Iowa passed an Ag-Gag bill in 2012 which prevents animal welfare
groups to conduct investigations. Now -even the USDA is taking
away any means to protect pigs from inhumane deaths by ignoring
the citations of their own inspectors.

And it is obvious that the USDA doesn't even want to hear about
what happens to our poor pigs because they have transferred Mr.
Schrier, a 29-year veteran of the USDA for fighting to make
Tyson abide by the federal humane slaughter law.

Now Mr. Schrier is transferred to another plant two hours from
his home. That means he now works an 11 hour shift with a two
hour commute before and after every shift -a 15 hour workday.
This is not fair to Mr. Schrier who was only doing his job.

DO YOU CARE? WRITE THE PRESIDENT.

I read somewhere that the president gets "tons" of mail each day,
and his workers will pick out 10 each day for the president to
personally read. Yes, I intend to write him re my displeasure
with the USDA. I hope some of you will too - that would make the
odds of his getting our thoughts re the USDA not doing its job
adequately in this regard much greater.

I would also like to include my anger and sadness that a good man
is suffering because he stood up to Tyson's Iowa pig slaughterhouse
cruelty.

A SLAUGHTER VIOLATION REPORT

The HSUS reviewed a number of slaughter violation reports obtained
through the Freedom of Information Act. In January 2013 this
incident was documented by a USDA inspector in Tyson's Logansport,
Ind. slaughter plant. One worker tried to kill a pig not healthy
enough to go through the slaughter line by using a captive bolt
gun.

"The hog dropped to a kneeling position, immediately began to
squeal loudly, and crawl away from the stunner operator. RPHV
(redacted) observed blood coming from the hog's nose. Mr.(redacted)
reloaded the captive bolt gun... He proceeded to discharge a second
shot into the same area on the head of the hog. The hog immediately
dropped into a kneeling position and continued to squeal. The hog
rose and attempted to ambulate away from the area. Aproximately
30 -60 seconds afterwards, the hog was placed into the bucket of
a bobcat, facilitating restraint. An additional employee placed
his hands on the side of the hog. At this time, a third attempt
to stun the hog was made. The hog was effectively stunned on this
third attempt."

Thank you God. I am a vegan.