Day After Lawmakers’ Anti-HIMP Letter, HIMP Plant Suspended for Inhumane Handling
Jan 21, 2016 — Just one day after 60 federal lawmakers expressed concern about the animal welfare implications of USDA’s HIMP program, Quality Pork Processors (QPP), the Hormel-affiliated slaughter plant recently investigated by COK, was temporarily suspended for a humane handling violation.
The fact that humane handling problems persist at QPP does not come as a surprise—as a HIMP facility, it churns out animals faster than almost any other pork slaughter plant in the country, and does so with fewer government inspectors on the line than in non-HIMP plants. As the members of Congress sagely predicted, “Rapid line speeds present some of the greatest risks of inhumane treatment as workers are often pressured to take violent shortcuts to keep up.”
Sadly, QPP is already back in operation after claiming that the employee will be “retrained.” Even worse, however, is USDA’s ongoing failure to take meaningful enforcement action following our investigation, which revealed egregious, and sometimes intentional, animal abuse.
USDA cannot deal with the systemic animal abuse at QPP and the four other HIMP plants by issuing occasional slaps on the wrist—it must properly address the numerous abuses we revealed in November, and terminate HIMP altogether.
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