Slaughter Plant Owner Gets Jail Time for Selling Tainted Meat

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Yesterday, a federal judge sentenced Jesse “Babe” Amaral, Jr, the owner of Rancho Feeding Corp, a California-based slaughter plant, to one year and a day in prison followed by two years of supervised release. This sentence was handed down after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Federal Meat Inspection Act.

It was two years ago that Rancho Feeding Corp first made headlines after an initial 40,000-pound meat recall quickly expanded into a massive nationwide recall of 9-million pounds of meat plus a full blown federal criminal investigation.

Media reports at the time revealed that the company “was allegedly buying up cows with eye cancer, chopping off their heads so inspectors couldn’t detect the disease and illegally selling the meat.”

In the court case that ensued, a prosecution memo states: “Amaral ordered slaughterhouse employees … to 
carve ‘USDA Condemned’ stamps out of the flesh of slaughtered cattle and to process these condemned 
carcasses. He also ordered such employees to swap and slaughter un-inspected eye [cancer] cows behind 
inspectors’ backs, and then to trick the inspectors by putting heads of healthy cows next to the 
decapitated eye [cancer] cows.”

The company ceased all operations shortly after the massive meat recall was announced in 2014, and the facility was sold to Marin Sun Farms.

Three others charged this criminal case are still awaiting sentencing.

Want to know how you can be sure to avoid eating diseased meat? It’s simple: choose the vegetarian versions of your favorite foods — from veggie burgers to meatless hotdogs to chicken-free chicken strips, and more!  Start today at

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