USDA Finally Defines “Egregious Cruelty”

The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service today released new regulations on livestock handling, which for the first time defines “egregious cruelties”: Here’s the USDA’s brand new list of no-nos.

1. Making cuts on or skinning conscious animals;
2. Excessive beating or prodding of ambulatory or nonambulatory disabled animals or dragging of conscious animals;
3. Driving animals off semi-trailers over a drop off without providing adequate unloading facilities (animals are falling to the ground);
4. Running equipment over conscious animals;
5. Stunning of animals and then allowing them to regain consciousness;
6. Multiple attempts, especially in the absence of immediate corrective measures, to stun an animal versus a single blow or shot that renders an animal immediately unconscious;
7. Dismembering conscious animals, for example, cutting off ears or removing feet;
8. Leaving disabled livestock exposed to adverse climate conditions while awaiting disposition, or
9. Otherwise causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals, including situations on trucks.

Remember, everyone: no more “excessive beating,” or skinning animals alive.

Worth noting that none of these items were pulled out of thin air. Each of these items is known to happen or it would not have made the list. And the reason for the list is that, without being explicitly told these actions are unacceptably cruel, slaughterhouse inspectors couldn’t be counted on to report them. (Via Jolley and AMI.) Link [PDF].