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Veterinarian to Detail Slaughterhouse Breaches
WASHINGTON — Department of Agriculture officials failed to act on reports of illegal and unsafe slaughterhouse practices, letting suspect operations continue despite public health risks, a USDA veterinarian alleges in testimony to be aired today at a congressional hearing.
The charges by Dean Wyatt, a supervisory veterinarian at the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, detail instances in which he and other inspectors were overruled when citing slaughterhouses for violations such as shocking and butchering days-old calves that were too weak or sick to stand. He also describes being threatened with transfer or demotion after citing a plant for butchering conscious pigs, despite rules that they first be stunned and unconscious.