Agriprocessors Gordon, Nebraska plant has been caught by PETA doing much the same things the Postville plant did – using a meat hook to partially rip out the throats of still-living animals. In this case, Rubashkin's workers also cut off sections of cows' ears to remove ID tags.
Here is PETA's brief video of this. It's easier to see the violations if you watch it this way rather than on the embedded video above.
One good thing is that Rubashkin is using standing shechita at Gordon. This gives faster bleed out, faster death and less pain overall than what takes place at Postville. Even so, sticking a meat hook into the gaping throat of a still-conscious animal is a violation of Humane Slaughter law. It is also immoral and cruel and perfectly in tune with Rubashkin's history.
And where, one must ask, is the OU? The KAJ? HaRav HaGaon Wiessmandl? The Crown Heights Beis Din? Where they always are – taking the money and looking the other way.
And the USDA? We know where they are, lost in the abyss of cronyism and corruption George Bush brought to Washington.
Now, here is PETA's take on what happens at Rubashkin's Gordon plant:
Experts in animal welfare, veterinary medicine, and slaughter systems reviewed the disturbing footage recorded inside the slaughterhouse and noted the following about the abuses documented by PETA:
- Cows remained conscious for as long as two minutes after their throats were cut open.
- A worker ripped into a conscious cow's throat with a metal hook in order to make the bleeding process go faster.
- Cows were handled improperly, resulting in fear and stress just prior to slaughter.
- Workers removed identification tags by mutilating live cows' ears.
Read all the expert statements.
As noted above, this is the second time that PETA has uncovered abuse at an AgriProcessors slaughterhouse. The investigator's log notes from the 2004 investigation state that a "worker followed the rabbi and gouged a chunk of flesh out of the cow's neck and then pulled his trachea or esophagus … outside of his throat so that it hung down."
The investigator's notes went on to say, "The first time I saw a cow stagger to his feet and walk around with his trachea dangling outside of his body, I thought to myself, this can't be happening—but after several days I knew better." Read more details about the first investigation.
After the first investigation into AgriProcessors, the company promised to stun any animals who remained conscious after throat-slitting. Unfortunately, the second investigation proved that AgriProcessors has not lived up to this promise. Rather, AgriProcessors allowed cows to remain conscious for up to two minutes after their throats were slit, leading several experts to condemn the company's practices. Dr. Holly Cheever stated, "This method of slaughter as depicted on this tape is brutal and should be amended to provide a humane end for these animals."