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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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HIKE Scenario 01-04

You are the IIC of a cull cow and bull slaughter and processing establishment. Slaughter operations have been working overtime, including Saturdays, to meet the increased production demand, and the establishment is having difficulty with finding enough pen space to hold animals needed for a ten hour slaughter day.

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:
One morning, as you arrive at the livestock holding area to perform ante-mortem inspection, you observe that two of the alleyways leading to the holding pens contain 12-15 cattle that have been left in these improvised pens overnight. You observe these animals a few minutes and realize that they can not reach the water troughs in the adjacent holding pens, and drinking water has not been provided by other temporary means.

As the IIC, you need to determine whether a noncompliance has occurred and consider what actions need to be pursued, if any, at this time. You determine that a noncompliance exists with respect to regulation 9 CFR 313.2(e); access to water had not been provided to these animals (The alleyways were closed and animals were placed inside; therefore, the alleyways became holding pens. The cited regulation requires access to drinking water in all holding pens). You inform plant management of the noncompliance, and their immediate corrective action is to fill several buckets with water and place them in the alley where the cattle can reach them. Verbally, the barn foreman informs you that the preventative measures that will be taken to ensure that all animals have access to water is to provide barrels of water for animals in an alley which will be secured by chains to prevent the barrels from being tipped over. Additionally, a receiving log will be implemented so that the plant employee(s) who receives cattle must document that water was provided to the animals penned in the alleyways.

You write a Noncompliance Record (NR) using 04C02 task code and the "Protocol" trend indicator (FSIS Notice 50-02), citing the appropriate regulation, 9 CFR 313.2(e), and send a copy of the completed NR to the District Office along with the establishment's corrective actions and preventative measures.

The following day you arrive at the barn and notice that animals have again been penned in the alleyways. You view the alleyways and see that filled barrels of drinking water have been placed in the improvised pens, and you observe a notation in the receiving log that the receiving employee documented that water was provided to the animals in the alley. You conclude that the animals in the alley have adequate access to water as required by 9 CFR 313.2(e).

The plant employee who was responsible for unloading and penning the cattle was unaware that the cattle that he penned in the alleyways did not have access to water. Under normal circumstances, the establishment has adequate pen space to accommodate all the cattle slaughtered in a production day and these pens have permanent watering troughs. The establishment was informed, regardless of the circumstance, that they are required to actively monitor both the animals&146; environment and their handling procedures to assure regulatory requirements are being met. In this case, noncompliance should and was documented and regulatory control action taken accordingly. Moreover, the effectiveness of the corrective actions that were implemented by the establishment should be verified by inspection personnel.

Appendix
Regulatory References:
  • 9 CFR 313.2(e): 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.
  • FSIS Notice 50-02: ISP Procedure Code For Humane Slaughter
  • Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act of 1978,
The Humane Interactive Knowledge Exchange (HIKE) is a service of the FSIS Technical Service Center and DVMS to foster awareness and regulatory compliance for the welfare of livestock. It is important that everyone understands that HIKE and the information herein is intended for the use of all field employees and to be shared with plant management. If questions pertaining to any of the scenarios, or answers provided on HIKE are not resolved through discussions within the work-group or with the supervisor, they should be submitted to: HIKE@fsis.usda.gov.
Last Modified Sep 11, 2013