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Processing Downers Could Bring Fine, Plant Shutdown

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Three senators have co-sponsored legislation that would fine and close livestock slaughter plants that repeatedly process downed animals. The bill, which was introduced March 13 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), is co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK); and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI). The bill would feature graduated penalties for offending packing plants that slaughter and process non-ambulatory animals

Three senators have co-sponsored legislation that would fine and close livestock slaughter plants that repeatedly process downed animals.

The bill, which was introduced March 13 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), is co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK); and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI).

The bill would feature graduated penalties for offending packing plants that slaughter and process non-ambulatory animals, those that cannot stand or walk without assistance.

First-time offenders would be fined a percentage of the facility’s gross income.

USDA inspection services would be halted for one year following a second violation.

Third-time offenders would face permanent shutdown of their slaughterhouse.

The bill would also require the USDA to release the names of establishments that have received recalled products. Two years ago, USDA proposed such a rule, but it was never approved.