Late Friday, USDA issued a statement concerning Bushways Packing in Grand Isle, Vt. The veal production facility was the target of a seven-week undercover video operation by the Humane Society of the United States, an activist group.
The video, which depicts workers mistreating young animals, was enough to get USDA to take action.
In a media statement, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack comments: "The deplorable scenes recorded in the video released by the Humane Society of the United States are unequivocally unacceptable. The callous behavior and attitudes displayed in the video clearly appear to be violations of USDA's humane handling regulations."
Vilsack notes that USDA's Food Safety an Inspection Service is investigating the alleged violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. FSIS has taken immediate action with respect to its imployee on the site and preliminary verification of the incident.
"The Department fully supports the investigation of all those involved in these alleged violations of the HMSA. To this end, I have also called on our Inspector General to conduct a criminal investigation of the events in the video," Vilsack says.
Vilsack called the behavior of FSIS and establishment personnel in the video "inexcusable."