Since the investigation into animal cruelty and the closing of the Hallmark/Westland slaughterhouse in Chino, the state of California has taken steps that would improve the treatment of nonambulatory of downed animals, specifically cattle, swine, sheep, and goats.
Under AB 2098 which is now law, market agencies and dealers as well as slaughterhouses, stockyards and auctions are prohibited from buying, selling or receiving these downed animals for human consumption. This law broadly prohibits any person from selling, consigning, or shipping or a nonambulatory animal, or receiving such an animal for transport or delivery, to a slaughterhouse, stockyard, auction, market agency, or dealer.
Slaughterhouses are specifically prohibited from processing, butchering, or selling meat or products of downed animals.
Under this legislation slaughterhouses must humanely euthanize these animals immediately. Also stockyards, auctions, market agencies and dealers are required to humanely euthanize downed animals or obtain veterinary treatment.
Violators would face fines up to $20,000 and 1 year in the county jail.
The state senate has also passed SB 200 which requires video surveillance at cattle slaughterhouses in all areas where the cattle are located.
The new law also requires notification of meat recalls within 24 hours and mandates public notification.
The bill is pending in the House.