The fallout from undercover video footage that reportedly shows inhumane treatment of cattle at a California meat company continues. Yesterday we reported that popular California chain In-N-Out had stopped buying beef from the company, and now McDonald’s and the USDA are also temporarily suspending business with the plant. The government says it hasn’t seen any evidence yet that meat from potentially sick cows has made it into our food supply
Just to be safe, McDonald’s and the government are both halting purchases from the company. The investigation into the meat company started when an animal rights group, Compassion Over Killing, shot a video that showed cows that could barely stand being abused as workers tried to force them to walk to slaughter.
“There are behaviors in the video which appear to be unacceptable and would not adhere to the standards we demand of our suppliers,” McDonald’s said in release, according to the Associated Press.
It’s illegal to kill cows for human consumption that are so-called “downer cows” that may be diseased, spreading things like mad cow disease. Most of the cows at the plant are dairy cows that aren’t able to produce milk anymore.
The animal welfare group says it gave the USDA information that wasn’t on the tapes.
“We do know that workers were trying to make non-ambulatory cows not eligible for slaughter go to slaughter,” said Erica Meier, executive director of the animal welfare organization. “We believe red flags are raised for sure with our video, but it’s up to the USDA to decide.”
The USDA purchased 21 million pounds of beef from the company in 2011 for its federal food programs, but a USDA spokesman said he didn’t know which programs had received the meat.