GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants criminal charges filed against the JBS Swift plant in Grand Island.
PETA cited four recent incidents in which the USDA pulled it's meat 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 claims that the improper stunning incidents violate Nebraska's livestock animal welfare laws and as such constitute crimes.
PETA Tuesday sent a letter to Hall county attorney Jack Zitterkopf asking him to prosecute Swift for violating the animal welfare laws. Zitterkopf Wednesday told NBC Nebraska that he had not yet reviewed the situation. He said he has not taken any action, but has not eliminated that possibility either.