USDA Veterinarian Speaks Out

A veterinarian employed by the USDA testifies that the government ignored slaughterhouse abuses.

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Last Thursday, Dean Wyatt, a supervisory veterinarian for the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), testified to Congress that government officials refused to act on his reports of illegal slaughterhouse practices. Wyatt claims that FSIS management violated food safety and humane slaughter laws by ignoring serious infractions, such as shocking and killing downer calves and conscious pigs. Wyatt also testified that when he questioned superiors about these issues, he was threatened with transfer or demotion. In 2008 and early 2009, negligence reports that Wyatt filed against Bushway Packing Inc., went unaddressed. Bushway was later shut down, after a Humane Society of the United States investigation revealed egregious animal-welfare violations.