OIG Report: Skimping on Suspensions for Scofflaw Slaughter Plants

The USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released an audit of inspection and enforcement activities at pig slaughter plants. The May 2013 audit found that inspectors for the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) do not always enforce humane handling regulations properly. OIG auditors cited 10 instances in which FSIS inspectors did not suspend a plant for egregious violations, which included a pig being stunned improperly with a captive bolt gun, a non-ambulatory hog being moved with improper equipment, and a hog being hit in the head and face with a paddle. In the event that humane handling violations such as these are found, an inspector should suspend a plant without prior notification. In these three incidents, no suspensions were issued even though district officials agreed that the severity of the incidents warranted suspensions.