AVMA Calls for Video in Slaughter Facilities

The American Veterinary Medical Association has called for installation of video cameras in slaughter facilities. This after the latest undercover investigation revealed horrific abuse at E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas. For more information….

AVMA Executive Vice President W. Ron DeHaven, DVM, MBA, posted a letter on the organization’s website, stating, "We’re seeing this happen much too often, and it’s time we take a stronger stance against such abuse. The bottom line is that we must have zero tolerance for these abuses, isolated or otherwise.

"Too often, those in the industry seem more concerned about attacking those responsible for producing the videos than addressing the abuse depicted in them, and that attitude has got to change. Attempting to shift the blame is a denial of the real issue.

"If producers were treating the animals in a humane manner, there would be no need for undercover filming. Frankly, we can’t understand why responsible producers would object to being filmed, and would encourage producers, as Dr. Temple Grandin and others have suggested, to install cameras in their operations to show the world that they are treating their animals humanely."

DeHaven also said that "greater involvement and oversight by veterinarians would help to stop and prevent this kind of abuse."  

Recognizing that, in fact, veterinarians are often involved in companies where horrific abuse is occuring, DeHaven continued, "That being said, if it comes to our attention that any AVMA member is complicit in this type of abuse, we will bring them before the AVMA Judicial Council. We will also encourage the relevant authorities to investigate their involvement and take enforcement action as appropriate. This would include consideration of disciplinary action by the applicable state veterinary medical board.

"A variety of organizations, including the AVMA, industry groups, humane organizations, and state and federal regulatory agencies, offer guidelines to protect the health and welfare of animals used to produce our food supply. Too often, however, these guidelines are ignored. There is no excuse for this. If those responsible for the good welfare of the animals in their care are unable or unwilling to follow these guidelines, then additional oversight, either through public pressure or regulation, may become a necessity. We can do it the easy way or we can do it the hard way. But either way, it must be done."

Will AVMA really get behind more enforcement and even stronger laws against farm animal cruelty? For years, AVMA has stood by or even encouraged efforts to eliminate protections for farm animals, favoring self-policing by the industry instead. AVMA has long championed inhumane methods of slaughter for birds, horses, and other animals. Only time will tell if the call for videotaping inside slaughter houses is simply to improve the organization’s poor image when it comes to farm animal and equine welfare. Or if AVMA is truly serious about putting animal welfare above industry profits.      

Requiring video in slaughter houses is a good first step. Call on AVMA to oppose industry supported bills pending in Minnesota, Florida and Iowa that would make undercover investigations impossible. 

One thought on “AVMA Calls for Video in Slaughter Facilities”

  1. Thank you AVMA (and Dr. DeHaven) for standing up and adding your voice to the opposition to today’s latest trend in corporate America.

    As a Minnesotan I am appalled at these unAmerican efforts to ram through legislation which effectively grants criminals protection from oversight. These efforts were mentioned in the last line above.

    Minnesota’s HF 1369/SF 1118, if passed, will trample First Amendment rights by prohibiting investigative journalism and undercover investigations into the treatment of animals in factory farms and puppy mills.

    What’s next? We prosecute detectives for investigating suspected murderers? How can a right-thinking legislator be this blatantly “owned” by corporate America?

    Thomas Cole
    – National Animal Shelter Reform Advocate –

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