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NMA, AMI seek to overturn California slaughter law

Feedstuffs, (12/25/2008) ,
Rod Smith

The National Meat Assn. (NMA) has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in California seeking to overturn part of a California law passed this summer that bans the slaughter of non-ambulatory livestock for meat for human consumption, and the American Meat Institute (AMI) has moved to intervene in and broaden the action, according to an announcement yesterday.

The law, passed in the aftermath of the scandal at Westland-Hallmark Meat Packing Co., becomes effective Jan. 1, and NMA is seeking to block enforcement of the law as it applies to hogs at federally inspected meat plants. AMI is seeking to prevent enforcement of the law as it applies to other livestock except cattle that were banned from processing for meat for human consumption by the U.S. Department of Agriculture if non-ambulatory earlier this year.

USDA’s ban on non-ambulatory cattle and California’s ban on all non-ambulatory livestock are intended to prevent diseased animals from being processed for meat for human consumption and from being abused in attempts to get them to their feed prior to federal inspection.

NMA and AMI maintain that federal law permitting the slaughter of non-ambulatory hogs, goats and sheep takes precedent over the California law and that animals are often non-ambulatory due to injuries, not disease. They argued that federal inspectors should be permitted to determine the health and slaughter status of non-ambulatory animals.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Posted by Admin on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Meat/slaughter plants, Regulations
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