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Humane Methods of Slaughter Act: Actions are Needed to Strengthen Enforcement
Lisa Shames (au)
Concerns about the humane handling and slaughter of livestock have grown; for ex., a 2009 video showed employees at a Vermont slaughter plant skinning and decapitating conscious 1-week old veal calves. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978, as amended (HMSA) prohibits the inhumane treatment of livestock in connection with slaughter and requires that animals be rendered insensible to pain before being slaughtered. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for HMSA. This report (1) evaluates FSIS's efforts to enforce HMSA, (2) identifies the extent to which FSIS tracks recent trends in resources for HMSA enforcement, and (3) evaluates FSIS's efforts to develop a strategy to guide HMSA enforcement. Among other things, the report received survey responses from inspectors at 235 plants and examined a sample of FSIS noncompliance reports and suspension data for FY 2005 through 2009. Figures.
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