Hall Co. attorney will not charge Swift plant

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) Earlier this month the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asked the Hall county attorney to charge the JBS Swift packing plant with animal cruelty.

The Hall county attorney this week said he will not charge the plant.

PETA had cited recent incidents in which the USDA pulled it's inspectors from the meat processing plant because workers improperly stunned the cattle before they were slaughtered. When stunning is done correctly, the animal is unconscious before it is slaughtered and does not feel pain.

Since April of last year, the USDA on four separate occasions temporarily halted operations at the Grand Island Swift plant because an animal was not stunned properly. When the animal is not stunned correctly it will still feel pain. The latest incident where the USDA halted operations was in August.

PETA claimed that the improper stunning incidents violate Nebraska's livestock animal welfare laws and as such constitute crimes.

Hall county attorney Jack Zitterkopf this week said that despite the incidents cited by PETA, Swift's average first attempt success rate exceeds 99%. Zitterkopf said the industry standard for an acceptable stun rate is 96%. In a letter written to PETA, Zitterkopf said, "...there is no indication any livestock animals were cruelly neglected in violation of Nebraska law."

Read the original version of this article at www.ksnblocal4.com.