McDonald’s suspends purchases of beef after slaughter house exposed in shocking video

This still image made from video provided by Compassion Over Killing, appears to show workers at a Central California slaughterhouse bungling the slaughter of cows. Federal regulators shut down the slaughterhouse Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, after receiving the animal welfare video, and are investigating whether beef from sick cows reached the human food supply. (AP Photo/Compassion Over Killing)McDonald’s has stopped buying beef from a California meat supplier after federal inspectors temporarily shut down the plant because of “inhumane handling and treatment of livestock”.

The action was taken by the US Department of Agriculture  followsthe emergence of shocking undercover video, shot by animal rights group, Compassion Over Killing, showing animals unable to stand and being mistreated at “Central Valley Meat in California.

The video aired publicly on Tuesday on ABC News and shows workers using electric prods on cattle that can barely walk.

In a statement McDonald’s, said: “Central Valley Meat (CVM) provided raw beef to several of our suppliers. However, upon learning about USDA’s decision to suspend CVM, we took immediate action and suspended supply from this facility, pending further investigation.

“McDonald’s cares about how our food is sourced and we have a long history of action and commitment to improve the welfare of animals in our supply chain. There are behaviors in the video which appear to be unacceptable and would not adhere to the standards we demand of our suppliers.”

It added that CVM as an “extremely small supplier” of beef to the chain, accounting for a “low single digit” percentage of its beef supply.

McDonald’s has become the second US burger chain to stop using beef from CVM. It follows trendy In-N-Out Burger, a favourite with celebs, announcing that it would suspend purchases from CVM.

It was a huge PR blow for In-N-Out Burger, which used CVM for as much as 20 to 30% of its beef.

In a statement to ABC News, the chain’s chief operating officer, Mark Taylor, said, “In-N-Out Burger would never condone the inhumane treatment of animals, and, in fact, all of our suppliers must agree to abide by our strict standards for the humane treatment of cattle.”

ABC News also reported that CVM is also a supplier of beef to US schoolchildren.

The president of Central Valley Meat, Brian Coelho, said Tuesday that his company “[takes] these allegations [of abuse] seriously and we are committed to correcting any problems identified on the video as quickly as we possibly can.”

Erica Meier, the executive director of Compassion Over Killing, told ABC News that “these abuses inside slaughter houses across the country are often happening right under the nose of government inspectors”.

You can see the Compassion Over Killing video below, but be warned some images are disturbing.