California Slaughterhouse Gets The Okay To Reopen After Cattle Controversy

The California slaughterhouse accused of abusing cows has apparently gotten the go-ahead to resume operations, after a temporary shutdown last week by the United States Department of Agriculture. When a controversial video reportedly showing ill treatment of cows hit the media, including footage of some cows that seemed unable to walk, big customers like the USDA itself, McDonald’s and In-N-Out Burger announced they weren’t using beef from that plant any longer.

The company said last night it’s gotten approval from the feds to reopen today, reports the Fresno Bee.

“Sunday afternoon, the USDA informed us that it has accepted our action plan and we are free to reopen,” the company said in a statement, adding that it will resume operations today and is welcoming its employees back to work. About 450 people work for the slaughterhouse.

The controversy erupted over an undercover video shot by Compassion Over Killing, an animal rights group, that purported to show sick animals or “downer cows” being abused and in some cases, dragged to slaughter. It’s illegal to use cows that can’t walk for human consumption, as they may carry mad cow disease.

The USDA was upset enough over the video to order the plant to stop what it was doing for a few days last week. The agency also said it wouldn’t be using meat from the plant in its school lunch program, while chains In-N-Out and McDonald’s also let the public know they wouldn’t be buying beef from the plant there as well. It remains to be seen if the big-ticket clients will return to the fold now that everything has apparently been tidied up.

Central Valley Meat says USDA OKs reopening of Hanford slaughterhouse [Fresno Bee]