South Carolina

SC slaughterhouse accused of inhumane treatment

The suspension of a Duncan slaughterhouse was put on hold after its owner told the U.S. Department of Agriculture that action had been taken to correct the errors that led to a hog being shot multiple times, electrocuted and stabbed while it was still living.

A USDA notice of suspension states Foster's Meat was cited for an incident that occurred on May 22.

Three times in the following days, the company submitted plans of action to prevent similar occurrences, USDA records show. The plans were submitted to restart inspections and operations at the facility.

The USDA put the suspension on hold after Foster's Meat staff were retrained on using a rifle and electric device to stun a hog; bleeding livestock; documenting, training and modifying stun techniques; and developing a documentation system to maintain records for stun standards.

The original suspension notice states on May 22 a worker used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot a hog in the head, which made it squeal and step backward.

Workers then stunned the hog and hoisted it in the air, but the animal was still conscious, the notice states.

The hog was then shot again with the .22-caliber rifle, according to the notice. The notice states the hog's throat was then cut, but it didn't bleed out.

After being lowered again to the floor, the hog was shot two more times, leaving it unconscious, according to the USDA.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to 7th Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette asking his office to investigate the company, citing concerns about cruelty to animals.