Cruelty to Calves

Vermont-based Bushway Packing Inc. has been suspended from slaughtering days-old male dairy calves for veal. These animals are so young they are unable to stand on their own. Investigative video HSUS released in November shows several appalling images including a worker attempting to skin a live calf in front of a USDA inspector (responsible for enforcing federal humane law) and the plant's co-owner shocking calves with electric prods in a vain attempt to force them to stand. Bushway received four suspensions for humane slaughter or handling violations in 2009 demonstrating that reform is urgently needed to prevent such abuse. Though state and federal officials have launched an investigation to end the most egregious cruelty, AWI calls for a ban on the slaughter of downer calves for food with a humane euthanasia requirement, a ban on the transport of calves under 10 days of age and escalating monetary and administrative penalties for violations of humane law.

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