AMI Says Practices in Meat Plant Video “Disturbing”Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Institute Says Practices Shown in Meat Plant
Video are Disturbing and in Sharp Contrast to
Animal Handling Practices in Meat
American Meat Institute Says Practices Shown in Meat Plant Video are Disturbing and in Sharp Contrast to Animal Handling Practices in Meat Industry
The practices shown in a just-released video filmed in a meat plant in California are disturbing and stand in sharp contrast to animal handling practices in the meat industry broadly, the American Meat Institute (AMI) said today.
were disturbed by what we saw in the video
because those practices directly conflict with
our widely adopted industry best practices and
because the video is simply not typical of
animal handling at
In 1991, the industry created an animal handling program that sought not just to meet regulatory requirements, but to exceed them. This effort started with a partnership with livestock welfare expert Temple Grandin, Ph.D., whose innovative approach to understanding and handling livestock has literally transformed the industry’s practices.
authored the industry’s comprehensive
“Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines and
Audit Guide,” originally released in 1999.
That guide is endorsed by groups like the
American Humane Association and Certified
Humane and is widely used as a condition of
business by major restaurant and retail
chains. The industry also launched an
annual animal welfare conference in 1999 to
bring these guidelines to life through colorful
and compelling instruction by Dr. Grandin and
other experts. The conference occurs each
year in February in
The meat industry’s commitment to animal welfare was underscored when AMI’s members voted to make animal welfare a non-competitive issue in 2002. As a result, AMI member plants share good ideas and assist each other in developing and refining animal handling programs and solving challenges.
“There are ethical and economic imperatives to handle animals humanely,” Riley said. “Optimal animal handling results in better quality products but most importantly, it’s simply the right thing to do.”
She added, “We hope that in the future, when problems like this are uncovered, plant management and USDA will be notified immediately so that prompt action can be take to correct the situation. It is regrettable that the video was held for months and that the first person contacted was a reporter and not someone in a position to stop the practice immediately.”
For more information on AMI’s Guidelines, visit the Institute’s dedicated web site www.animalhandling.org.