LOS ANGELES — The U.S Department of Agriculture is telling slaughterhouse veterinary inspectors to ensure cattle are euthanized when they are too sick or injured to stand.
The directive issued Wednesday is meant to keep potentially contaminated meat out of the food supply. It alters current rules that allow so-called downer cows with treatable conditions to receive veterinary care and then be slaughtered for meat.
Consumers Union food safety expert Michael Hansen says the rule change appears to be in reaction to the 2008 abuse allegations at a California slaughterhouse that led to the largest beef recall in U.S. history.
Workers at Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. were caught on videotape dragging sick and injured cows with chains and committing other abuses.