Following Animal Outlook’s first-ever undercover investigation of a lamb slaughterhouse in the U.S., we blew the whistle on Superior Farms, alleging violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA). On August 12 of this year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that an incident where a sheep was stunned several times before being rendered unconscious was “an egregious act of inhumane handling of animals in connection with slaughter…this is a violation” of the regulations under the HMSA.
When Animal Outlook investigator Scott David completed the investigation, Animal Outlook filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against the facility. Animal Outlook’s suit alleged that Superior Farms had committed fraud against the government by violating the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act while fulfilling contracts for federal food assistance programs. In 2019, this case became the first-ever intervention and settlement by the U.S. Department of Justice over animal handling allegations at a ritual slaughter establishment. As a part of this settlement, Superior Farms’ parent company Transhumance entered into a consent decree with the USDA involving oversight and compliance with the law.
Superior Farms Consent Decree
The consent decree requires that Superior Farms abide by animal handling and slaughter regulations. These regulations require that stunning methods “produce immediate unconsciousness.”
Animal Outlook swiftly moved to pen a letter to the USDA requesting that the agency fine Superior Farms for violating the 2019 consent decree.
We strongly urge the USDA to do its part in enforcing the law intended to provide basic protections for animals in the final moments before they are killed.
Superior Farms is proof that farmed animals suffer. Animal Outlook’s legal team works diligently to hold the animal agriculture industry accountable for its cruel treatment of animals.
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Cheryl works on the strategic direction of Animal Outlook, especially focusing on the use of undercover investigations as a mechanism for high-impact advocacy, and on targeting large-scale abuse of farmed animals through proactive litigation. Her work includes challenging cruel, yet standard, practices forced upon farmed animals as well as the misleading marketing of meat, milk, and eggs often found in grocery stores. Cheryl received a J.D. from UCLA School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Chicago in Environmental Studies.