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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As Executive Director of Animal Outlook, a national nonprofit animal protection organization, Cheryl is responsible for development and oversight of investigations, litigation and policy, and effecting mainstream corporate and cultural change to shift away from animal products and reduce the suffering of farmed animals.
Cheryl and her work have been featured in media outlets including NPR, The Washington Post and many others. She is a regular speaker at law schools and conferences.
Cheryl received a J.D. from UCLA School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Chicago in Environmental Studies. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and California bars and is based in Los Angeles.