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Need New Leadership in the USDA

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Message Suzana Megles

(Image by Caroline Lawrence Photography)   Details   DMCA
/>by Caroline Lawrence Photography

I am so terribly disappointed in the people who head important facets of government.  The USDA is one such.  How can we get new leadership there?
Today HSUS clued us into problems with the USDA's oversight at slaughter plants.  It was so good that they were able to to get this news re the lack of humane treatment of pigs in a slaughterhouse - not from an animal rights videotaper, but from a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.
This past weekend Mike McGraw of the Kansas City Star wrote a front-page story re the failure of the US Department of Agriculture to enforce federal animal welfare laws at slaughter plants. 
In recounting details of a recent USDA Office of Inspector General Audit about abuses of pigs at plants, he revealed that a USDA federal inspector was being transferred after he blew the whistle on abuse at a Tyson slaughter plant in Iowa.
This is shameful.  Here was an inspector who BECAUSE HE WAS DOING HIS JOB was transferred, and somehow the USDA leadership gets away with this type of injustice - not only to the inspector but to the poor pigs whose suffering will continue unabated because the inspector's report went for naught -thanx to incompetent and uncaring  USDA leadership. 
Where is Congress?  Where is the President?  Hello- anybody there?  You are not doing your jobs unless failure to uphold the Animal Welfare Act is meaningless and unnecessary.  That people who are representing us and are not concerned that the Animal Welfare Act is not being enforced - then we have put the wrong people in office. 
I don't even bother writing the USDA any more when I hear about animal cruelty because I know they won't do a thing to prevent it.  Shouldn't we have people in place here who are responsive to our views re suffering animals?  Even their own GOOD inspectors have difficulty in trying to enforce the law re animal welfare. 
The HSUS asked us if we remembered Dr. Dean Wyatt, a food safety inspector who blew the whistle on cruelty to calves at a Vermont slaughter plant.  Yes, I did.  I didn't remember his name, but I knew that there was at least ONE good inspector doing his job. 
He also testified before Congress about the lack of enforcement action when it comes to violations of the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. 
Obviously, most of the Congresspeople were asleep when he tried to convince them to try to improve the lives of so many farm animals who face cruel slaughtering methods.  Why don't we have people like him at the helm of the USDA?
How could not Congress and the USDA not be moved by Dr. Wyatt's revelation  that at the plant he witnessed the horrendous treatment of infant calves, some so young they still had their umbilical cords hanging from their bodies?
This courageous man died not long after testifying before Congress about the lack of enforcement action of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.  God bless him for being such a caring and compassionate man.
And Journalist McGraw wrote about another compassionate and courageous USDA inspector- JIM SCHRIER who came forward and called out Tyson's huge Columbus Junction Iowa pig slaughter plant for its inhumane slaughter practices.  He saw conscious pigs being shackled and hoisted in violation of federal law and the USDA's OWN regulations which they are charged to enforce.  
Iowa passed an Ag-Gag bill in 2012 which prevents animal welfare groups to conduct investigations.  Now -even the USDA is taking away any means to protect pigs from inhumane deaths by ignoring the citations of their own inspectors.  
And it is obvious that the USDA doesn't even want to hear about what happens to our poor pigs because they have transferred Mr. Schrier, a 29-year veteran of the USDA for fighting to make Tyson abide by the federal humane slaughter law.  Now Mr. Schrier is  transferred to another plant two hours from his home.  That means he now works an 11 hour shift with a two hour commute before and after every shift -a 15 hour workday.  This is not fair to Mr. Schrier who was only doing his job.
I read somewhere that the president gets "tons" of mail each day, and his workers will pick out 10 each day for the president to with the USDA.  I hope some of you will too - that would make the odds of his getting our thoughts re the USDA not doing its job adequately in this regard much greater.
I would also like to include my anger and sadness that a good man is suffering  because he stood up to Tyson's Iowa pig slaughterhouse cruelty.  
The HSUS reviewed a number of slaughter violation reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. In January 2013 this incident was documented by a USDA inspector in Tyson's Logansport, Indiana slaughter plant. One worker tried to kill a pig not healthy enough to go through the slaughter line by using a captive bolt
"The hog dropped to a kneeling position, immediately began to squeal loudly, and crawl away from the stunner operator.  RPHV (redacted) observed blood coming from the hog's nose.  Mr.(redacted) reloaded the captive bolt gun... He proceeded to discharge a second shot into the same area on the head of the hog. The hog immediately dropped into a kneeling position and continued to squeal. The hog rose and attempted to ambulate away from the area.  Approximately 30 -60 seconds afterwards, the hog was placed into the bucket of a bobcat, facilitating restraint.  An additional employee placed his hands on the side of the hog.  At this time, a third attempt to stun the hog was made.  The hog was effectively stunned on this third attempt."
Thank you God.  I am a vegan.         

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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