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USDA Announces Directive on Humane Handling Enforcement Measures

Monday, August 15, 2011

(American Meat Institute)The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today issued a directive with new instructions to its inspectors about the humane treatment and slaughter of livestock at FSIS-inspected facilities. The directive, FSIS Directive 6900.2, Rev. 2, Humane Handling and Slaughter of Livestock, informs inspection program personnel (IPP) of the requirements, verification activities and enforcement actions for ensuring that the handling and slaughter of livestock, including disabled livestock and livestock slaughtered by religious ritual methods, is humane.
 
Among the reasons FSIS states for the directive’s reissuance is to:  
 
• Provide a definition of “egregious inhumane handling” and detail the actions that IPP are to take when they find that egregious inhumane handling has occurred; and
 
• Provide IPP with verification instructions when an establishment has a written animal handling program that incorporates the guidelines in the Federal Register Notice to such an extent that establishment management believes the program rises to the level of a robust systematic approach for humane handling.
 
FSIS Directive 6900.2 is available in its entirety at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISDirectives/6900.2.pdf.

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