An undercover video HSUS released of animal mishandling at a Chino, Calif. packing plant is causing a major stir. The video shows packing house workers kicking and shoving sick and crippled cows and forcing them to stand with electric prods, forklifts and water hoses. This is clearly in violation of industry rules prohibiting downer cows from entering the food chain. Quite frankly, it’s not just the activists but also the industry that is upset about this video. That’s the message the industry needs to work to get out.
By showing that as an industry we are outraged by this video and the issue is being handled, we have an opportunity to minimize negative impact and even inform the public. Industry members should express their concern and explain why the video is not indicative of common industry practices. This gives them the opportunity to contrast the video with reality. Messages like this will help minimize impact, although we’ve already seen a backlash because of the video. In particular, school lunch programs that have pulled beef because of the video should be targeted with positive messages about beef and explanations that the video is a single, deplorable incident and not the norm.
FINAL THOUGHT – If the HSUS was really concerned only with how animals are treated why did they sit on this video for over a month rather than releasing it right away? Clearly there are ulterior motives at hand. Namely the complete demise of the animal agriculture industry. ALSO, the person filming the incident was clearly an animal rights activist mole placed in the packing house for that reason. Whose to say the workers in the video weren’t in similar situations?