Thursday, April 27, 2017

Vermont Packinghouse suspended multiple times by USDA for humane slaughter violations

Concerned for the welfare of the animals slaughtered at the Vermont Packinghouse in North Springfield, the Animal Welfare Institute issued a letter this week to the USDA, encouraging the agency to withdraw the plant’s grant of inspection.

In the past six months, the USDA has suspended inspection at the plant on five instances due to inhumane slaughter of animals. All of the suspensions have been for egregious incidents that caused serious pain and suffering to the animal(s) involved.

This number of enforcement actions at an individual slaughter establishment is extremely unusual, occurring only three other times during the past decade among the approximately 900 livestock slaughter plants under federal inspection throughout the US.

For each incident, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) would have been made aware, as state law requires reporting of any federally-cited humane slaughter violation within five days of receipt of the violation. (The law was passed in 2010, after the former Bushway Packing Co. in Grand Isle was suspended four times in six months for egregious inhumane slaughter.)

In reaction to the plant’s appalling record, Dena Jones, AWI farm animal program director, stated:

“Despite Vermont Packinghouse’s outward commitment to the slaughtering of animals with “respect and dignity,” it is clear that a serious problem exists at this establishment. The plant does not seem to be capable of handling animals humanely and, considering that government inspectors do not observe the actual slaughtering of all animals, the situation is likely even worse than it appears.

We encourage the USDA to pursue removal of the Vermont Packinghouse’s federal grant of inspection, protecting animals from further inhumane treatment by the plant. AWI also urges VAAFM to consider referral of the case to the state attorney general for possible criminal prosecution of the plant’s management.”
Source: Animal Welfare Institute

Animal rights group gives Vermont D-plus for animal slaughter practices, state cries foul
The Animal Welfare Institute has given Vermont a near failing grade when it comes to enforcing humane treatment of animals at slaughterhouse facilities, but the state’s agriculture agency disagrees with the rating.


  1. Guess I won't buy any more Black River meats...too bad

  2. I'm not sure why, if people are truly concerned about animal welfare - that this slaughterhouse, and any slaughterhouse, is not only stripped of its grant of inspection but shut down completely. We're living in modern times now. Enslaving, abusing, exploiting, murdering sentient beings for our comforts, pleasures and profits is barbaric and inexcusable at best.

    1. Let me guess, buy meat at the store so no animals suffer? Idiot, no farms, no food.

    2. Philip Caron4/30/17, 9:42 AM

      7:12 - Bigapple's post sounds like a call for restricting our diet to food from non-animal sources. So it wasn't saying no farms.

    3. Bigapple, your use of inflammatory language, while typical of 'special interest' argument, is not conducive to rational discussion. "Enslaving, abusing, exploiting, murdering sentient beings" can logically be replaced with "animal husbandry".

  3. I would like tot think the issues are not intentional and the owners will take immediate action to resolve. The employ quite a few people in Springfield and other businesses would suffer as well if they are shut down.

  4. Government regulators doing their jobs. Putting business out of business. Oh the humanity!!! Guess I'll go outside and eat my lawn. I hope the grass doesn't suffer as I chew away, killing it slowly, grinding it to a pulp....

  5. chuck gregory4/30/17, 7:41 PM

    8:34, you might not have read Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle. It described what body parts were going into human's food until the Food and Drug Administration-- fingers, toes and worse.

    It's not fun to die from mad cow disease, which is just one of those things the inspectors have to screen for.


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