Undercover investigation reveals abusive handling and inhumane slaughter


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reacted strongly to a complaint filed by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), ordering Catelli Bros. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, to suspend its operations for egregious inhumane handling of calves in violation of federal law.


Calf - Jaboticabal, Brazil, 2009

Calf - Jaboticabal, Brazil, 2009

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service withdrew its federal inspectors, which are required for slaughter operations. The HSUS commended the agency for its enforcement action, and called on the USDA to close a loophole in federal policy that allows the slaughter of “downed” veal calves – those too sick or injured to walk on their own – and does not give calves the same protections as adult cattle.
The enforcement action comes after federal officials reviewed a legal complaint and video footage provided by the HSUS showing serious and systematic violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.


The investigation included compelling evidence of:

•    still-conscious calves struggling while hanging upside down on a conveyor belt;
•    calves being shot numerous times before reaching unconsciousness;
•    a truck driver dragging a downed calf with a chain around his neck;
•    plant managers twisting downed calves’ ears and tails when they were too exhausted or weak to stand, lifting the entire weight of some calves by their tails, and telling employees never to do the same when USDA inspectors are watching; and
•    employees shocking, hitting, and spraying calves with water.


You can read the full article and see a video of the undercover investigation on the HSUS website.

Please be advised that you may find the video content very distressing.