Slaughterhouse Meat Recall, Immigration, and Animal Cruelty
February 18, 2008, 08:15 PM
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There's a food recall caused by a slaughterhouse's use of what are called "downer cattle"--cows that at some point after arriving at the slaughter house became unable to walk. These may not be good to eat, which is why it's a health concern, but it also involves animal cruelty, in that workers at the slaughterhouse were videotaped using cruel methods to try to force the cattle to their feet.

A reader asked us if immigration was involved in this case, since as we know, the media wouldn't say if it were, and the answer is "probably." Throughout the United States, meatpackers have been replacing American workers with Mexican workers.As Brenda Walker has written, Mexicans are more given to cruelty towards animals than Americans are. And the workers charged with animal cruelty are named Daniel Ugarte Navarro, 49, of Pomona, Calif., and Luis Sanchez, 32, of Chino.

Unless the Mexican Consul shows up to defend them, the press is unlikely to refer to or ask about their immigration status, but we keep being told that slaughterhouse work, now that wages have been cut drastically, is work Americans won't do.

Former slaughterhouse workers charged - A California prosecutor filed animal cruelty charges Friday ... Political Gateway

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Feb. 15 (UPI) — A California prosecutor filed animal cruelty charges Friday against two former employees of Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture shut down the Chino, Calif., slaughterhouse last week after a video from the Humane Society of the United States showed slaughterhouse workers at the Southern California facility forcing disabled cows to their feet using sticks, electric prods and water hoses.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos said five felony counts of animal cruelty and three misdemeanor counts were filed against Daniel Ugarte Navarro, 49, of Pomona, Calif., and three misdemeanor counts against Luis Sanchez, 32, of Chino.

"It doesn't matter whether the mistreated animal is a beloved family pet or a cow at a slaughterhouse," Ramos said in statement. "Unnecessary cruelty will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law."

USDA issued a statement Friday in support of the charges. "It is regrettable that these animals were mistreated and I am encouraged and supportive of these actions by the San Bernardino District Attorney in response to this mistreatment," Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said.