USDA report alleges inhumane treatment of cow at NDSU lab

Associated Press
Farm Forum

FARGO, N.D. — Cass County prosecutors said March 16 that they are looking into a U.S. Department of Agriculture report alleging inhumane treatment of a cow at the North Dakota State University Meat Laboratory.

The USDA outlined the incident in a notice to the lab last month that it was suspending inspections at the school. The report said it took several shots from a “captive bolt device” for employees to stun the cow. At one point a manager disassembled and reassembled the gun, but it misfired before a fifth shot rendered the cow unconscious, the notice said.

The allegations indicate an “egregious violation of the humane handling requirements” specified by federal rules, the report stated.

Federal inspectors will not be assigned to the meat laboratory until the school provides “written corrective actions and preventive measures” to assure that the handling and slaughter of animals will be done humanely, the USDA said.

A school spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.

The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick to investigate.

“We will review it, decide what next steps seem appropriate and proceed accordingly,” Burdick said in an email.