U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has begun to lean on operators of small slaughtering facilities to implement "robust" humane handling plans, members of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) meat inspection and governmental affairs committee said at the organization's annual meeting.
The agency's initiative comes amid a swell of pressure from animal welfare organizations fighting recent attempts by companies to gain USDA approval for horse slaughter, noted Chris Young, AAMP's outreach specialist.
AAMP leadership is emphasizing to its members that they need to implement humane handling plans if they do not have them. They said few of the estimated 60 percent of the group's membership that do slaughter have plans that would meet USDA guidance. A "robust" humane handling plan is multi-layered, but basically one that would include various internal audits of processes and structured plans for corrective actions.