HIKE Scenario 04-08: Cattle in Chute and Drive Alley
You are the IIC in a small cattle slaughter and processing operation. While you are performing ante mortem inspection, you decide to verify that animals are treated humanely (under Category IV of the Humane-handling Activities Tracking System (HATS) as per instruction in FSIS Notice 16-08). Upon completion, you also decide to verify that the establishment has made water accessible to cattle in holding pens (HATS category III).
|The Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act of 1978 [7 USC 1901 1906] states that the handling and slaughtering of livestock are to be carried out only by humane methods. The Federal Meat Inspection Act [21 USC 601 et seq.] authorizes Federal Meat Inspectors to inspect, verify compliance, and enforce humane methods of handling and slaughtering of livestock so as to prevent needless suffering of animals. FSIS personnel verify that an establishment is meeting these requirements by performing procedure 04C02 daily and recording the results on the procedure schedule for each inspection shift. They also should record the time spent verifying human handling and slaughter activities in the Humane-handling Activities Tracking System (HATS).
The following references should be used when studying this HIKE:
You know that the regulations require that animals have access to water in the holding pens. Specifically, 9 CFR 313.2(e) states, "Animals shall have access to water in all holding pens and, if held longer than 24 hours, access to feed. There shall be sufficient room in the holding pen for animals held overnight to lie down." In addition, you realize that
makes a distinction between pens, driveways, and ramps.
You observe cattle in all the holding pens and verify that they have access to water in all pens. However, at 12:24 PM, toward the end of the lunch period, you observe that cattle are in the drive alley and in the single file chute that leads to the knock box. You determine that these cattle have been in the drive alley and single file chute since 12:00 PM, and you know that water is not accessible to cattle in these areas. However, the drive alley and single file chute are under cover, and you observe that cattle are not crowded, they show no signs of stress or discomfort, and the temperature is 70° F.
You are aware that the establishment has developed a written program, using the systematic approach, for humanely handling and slaughtering cattle. This program describes how the establishment will handle cattle during lunch and break periods. The procedure is that during a break (or the lunch period), if there are cattle in the drive alley or single file chute, they will be adequately spaced to avoid any discomfort, stress, or injury. However, if the establishment encounters an extended delay more than an hour in the slaughter operation, the establishment's handling procedures change. The handling procedure then directs that establishment employees provide the cattle with water in the single file chute and the drive alley or move them to the holding pens with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals.
Establishments may include in their procedures for humane handling a period of time after which water will be provided to animals being held in the drive alley or single file chute. In the absence of a specified period, you need to consider whether the establishment considers relevant factors in deciding whether to give animals water. Some of these factors include amount of time in the chute or alley, whether the animals are adequately spaced, whether the chute or alley is covered, the outside temperature, the age of the animals, and the physical and health condition of the animals. Inspection program personnel should determine compliance for each situation on a case by case basis after examining all the applicable facts and conditions that are relevant to a determination under 9 CFR 313.2(e).
You consider all of the factors that you observed, and based on the cattle being under a roof; not being crowded; showing no sign of stress or discomfort; the cattle not being left in the drive alley and single file chute for an inordinate period of time; and the establishment following its humane handling plan, you determine that the cattle in the drive alley and single file chute are not being treated inhumanely. The single file chute and the drive alley are not considered as holding pens in this situation. Therefore, the establishment is in compliance with requirements in 9 CFR 313.2(e).
- Time spent verifying that animals are treated humanely should be entered into HATS under Category III and Category IV.
- The Inspection System Procedure (ISP) code 04C02 in Performance Based Inspection System (PBIS) is checked as performed (acceptable).