Senators Ask Probe in Big Beef Recall

US - Lawmakers turned up the heat on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tuesday for gaps in animal inspection at a Southern California slaughterhouse that necessitated a recall of 143 million pounds of beef, the largest beef recall in U.S. history.
calendar icon 20 February 2008
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Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, both California Democrats, have asked for investigations of the facility, the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., a supplier to federal food and nutrition programs, into possible violations of laws intended to prevent animal cruelty and preserve food safety.

Boxer and Feinstein are also co-sponsors of legislation, introduced by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, that would take that safety precaution one step further and require that nonambulatory - or downer - cattle be euthanized, although the proposal might be met with resistance because downer cattle can be successfully treated.

The senators said they are appalled by a video, distributed by the Humane Society of the United States, that showed animals treated inhumanely at the company's slaughterhouse in Chino (San Bernardino County).

"It's so sad on so many levels," Boxer said Tuesday. "It's sad for the children whose health might be threatened" with tainted beef. "It's sad for the animals that deserve not to have their lives end like this."

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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