Non-Ambulatory Cattle Rule Issued

USDA  announced Saturday a final rule requiring a complete ban on the slaughter of cattle that become non-ambulatory disabled after passing initial inspection by Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) personnel.

Under the new regulations all cattle that are non-ambulatory disabled (“downer”) cattle at any time prior to slaughter at an official establishment, including those that become non-ambulatory disabled after passing ante-mortem (pre-slaughter) inspection, must be condemned and properly disposed of according to FSIS regulations. Inspection program personnel must be notified by processors when cattle become non-ambulatory disabled after passing the ante-mortem inspection.

Cattle that become non-ambulatory disabled from an acute injury after ante-mortem inspection will no longer be eligible to proceed to slaughter. Instead, FSIS inspectors will tag these cattle as “U.S. Condemned” and prohibit them from proceeding to slaughter. These cattle now must be humanely euthanized. 

“This rule is designed to enhance consumer confidence and humane handling standards and will provide clear guidance that non-ambulatory cattle will not be allowed to enter the human food supply. It is a step forward for both food safety and the standards for humane treatment of animals,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Tom Verquer on August 6, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Hopefully this rule will keep the downer cattle from being used in the human food chain on a large scale.Those types of cattle could still be used as pet food and very well should be used in the manner just described.


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