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Feds Suspend Operations at California Meat Company

posted on February 8, 2008

Federal officials said Tuesday they had suspended operations at a California meat company accused of mistreating cattle.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the suspension will remain in effect for the Westland Meat Company until "written corrective actions" are submitted that verify animals have been treated humanely.

The agency took action after a video surfaced last week that showed workers brutalizing sick and crippled cows at the Chino facility. The video prompted Westland Meat to voluntarily stop operations last Friday, while two major hamburger chains and dozens of school districts around the nation banned its meat.

Westland president Steve Mendell said in a letter posted on the company's Web site that he was "shocked and horrified" about what was on the video and the company is cooperating with federal authorities.

"We are dedicating our full efforts and resources to fully cooperate with the USDA investigative team that has been assigned to our plant," Mendell said.

Tags: agriculture California cattle government industry meat news