The following statement is attributed to Chip Lines-Burgess, President of the American Veal Association (AVA) on USDA action at Bushways Packing plant:
"The veal industry has an ethical obligation to provide for the proper treatment and well-being of the animals in our care. The treatment of calves depicted in the videos taken at Bushways Packing Plant in Vermont are unacceptable and not consistent with the standards of the American Veal Association (AVA), the Veal Quality Assurance Program or federal law. The AVA supports the swift and strong action of the USDA and the Vermont Department of Agriculture. We do not condone animal abuse and expect that the USDA and Vt. Department of Agriculture will determine the appropriate action once they conclude their investigation.”
The American Veal Association
represents 1,000 farmers, processors and others involved in the $1.5 billion U.S. veal industry. Veal farmers purchase calves at 100 pounds raising them until they reach a market weight of 475-500 pounds. Veal farmers contribute $350 million to the dairy industry through purchase of dairy by-products and male calves. The veal industry purchases 5.5% of all the milk solids produced in the United States.
Brownfield Ag News
is reporting the slaughter plant has been closed, pending further USDA investigation.