New COK Investigation: First-Ever Exposé Inside a US Lamb Slaughterhouse
“After reviewing this video several times, In My Professional Opinion there were several violations of The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act…”
Dr. Lester Castro Friedlander
Former USDA Chief Veterinary Meat inspector
In a new eye-opening investigation, COK offers the first behind-the-scenes look inside a US lamb slaughterhouse. This gut-wrenching undercover footage reveals egregious animal cruelty and alarming food labeling practices at Superior Farms—the largest lamb producer in the US and a supplier of the nation’s top two grocers, Walmart and Kroger. Sign & share our petition.
Filmed by a COK undercover investigator working for Superior Farms at the largest lamb slaughter plant in the country located in Dixon, California, the graphic video captures the violent and bloody death that these young, gentle animals are forced to endure.
While Superior Farms touts its meat as “humanely harvested,” and uses a Halal certification seal on some of its products, COK’s undercover video reveals:
- Multiple violations of the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act
- Ineffective stunning, leading to some animals experiencing the shock of the electric stunner more than once
- Even after having their throats cut, many lambs are kicking or thrashing their heads – signs they can still feel pain – as their tails are cut off
The shocking footage also shows lambs being repeatedly jabbed with an electric prod, a herding dog biting these frightened animals to force them to move, workers grabbing and pulling lambs by their wool, and a very small young lamb confined in a garbage can.
Superior Farms Investigation Photos
“I find too many instances of animals who appear to still feel pain sensations after stunning and throat-cutting.”
Dr. Holly Cheever
Cornell Veterinary School graduate
Fresh? “Best By” Date Labels Changed
COK’s investigator also documented several other practices concerning finished food products, including Superior Farms violating its own metal detection policy by not sending all packaged meats through the detector.
Even more concerning, on more than a dozen occasions workers were documented changing “best by” dates on refrigerated meat labels, deceiving consumers about the freshness of those products as much as 15 days!
UGG! Their Skin and Wool are Turned into Boots & Other Body Parts Become Dog Treats
After these lambs are slaughtered, their skin and fluffy wool are ripped off to be sold to companies that turn them into car seat covers and designer boots like UGGs.
Other parts of these baby animals—their tails, ears, tracheas and lungs—are sold as dog treats.
Visit our Act Now page for cruelty-free alternatives to wool and lambskin!
About Superior Farms
Superior Farms is the largest producer of lamb in the US. Headquartered in Davis, California, the company’s Dixon, CA facility, where COK’s investigator worked, is the largest lamb slaughter facility in the nation, killing up to 1,400 lambs a day.
Though the company says it “has a long-standing commitment to the well-being and care of the flock,” and touts its products “humanely harvested,” COK’s heartbreaking video tells a starkly different story.
Superior Farms supplies the nation’s top two food retailers, Walmart and Kroger, among others including Amazon, Cabela’s, QVC, and Sysco. The company sells lamb meat under the brand names: Superior Farms, Farmer’s Mark, Cascade Creek, and Sabor a Rancho.
“Time and again, Compassion Over Killing’s investigations have shed light on egregious abuse kept hidden behind the closed doors of factory farms, showing that cruelty is standard practice in animal agribusiness. The best way to help lambs and all animals is to leave them off our plates.”
Executive Director, Compassion Over Killing
Sheer Horror at Superior Farms: Speak Up for Lambs!
Compassion Over Killing’s courageous investigators work undercover to shine a bright light on the suffering of farm animals kept hidden behind the closed doors of animal agribusiness.
Sadly, the gentle lambs documented at Superior Farms are not the only ones suffering and dying in this cruel industry. Lamb consumption is drastically lower in the US today than it was 50 years ago. Despite this decline, there are approximately two million of these gentle animals slaughtered annually nationwide. And as with most animals farmed for meat, lambs (or young and baby sheep) account for the majority of those killed.
Thankfully, there are simple steps YOU — and each one of us — can take to make a difference for lambs and all farm animals.
Sign our investigator’s petition
Tell Walmart and Kroger to cut ties with Superior Farms
Choose meat-free foods
The best way each of us can stand up for animals is by simply leaving them off our plates.
Thank our brave investigators
Our investigators are true heroes in every sense of the word — yet because of the nature of their jobs, they must keep their names and faces away from the spotlight. You can send a message to our investigators, letting them know how much you appreciate their painstaking work, bravery, and dedication to building a kinder world:
In 2015, the US produced 27.1 million pounds of shorn wool. Wool and sheepskins are found in outerwear, footwear like Uggs, and more. At Superior Farms, COK’s investigator documented large piles of lamb skins and wool, ripped off after the lambs meet a violent death, that Superior Farms sells to companies that turn them into UGGs and car seat covers. Cruelty should never be in style!
But there are plenty of compassionate alternatives in stores and online — so shop sweetly for sheep and lambs with stylish items from these vegan or vegan-friendly companies:
Coats & Clothing: