The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced several measures that will better ensure the humane treatment and slaughter of all cattle presented for processing at FSIS-inspected facilities.

"Under this administration, we have significantly strengthened our ability to enforce the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, but we have more work to do and must continue to look for ways that ensure the safe and humane slaughter of animals," says Under Secretary for Food Safety, Elisabeth Hagen. "That is why we are taking concrete steps to address outstanding humane handling issues, ranging from enhanced employee training to clearer guidance on existing rules."

The agency is pursuing the following new measures:

1. Issuing procedures to inspection personnel to clarify that all non-ambulatory mature cattle must be condemned and promptly euthanized to ensure they are humanely handled, regardless of the reason for the animal's non-ambulatory status. The clarification is intended to ensure that the policy is consistently applied at all federally-inspected establishments by resolving any uncertainty on how inspectors should interpret existing rules.

2. Responding to and soliciting comments on petitions from the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and Farm Sanctuary.

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