Cow Kicked and Electroshocked, Goats Denied Water at Local Slaughterhouse; PETA Seeks Criminal Probe

For Immediate Release:
January 24, 2024

Brittney Williams 202-483-7382

Carroll County, Iowa – Following just-released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports detailing that individuals at the Halal Farms USA Inc. slaughterhouse in Shannon electroshocked and kicked a cow—and that staff also deprived goats of water—PETA sent a letter today to Carroll County State’s Attorney Aaron Kaney urging him to investigate and file appropriate criminal charges against those responsible.

According to the latest report, on September 21, 2023, a federal inspector saw a transport truck driver electroshock a cow, who had collapsed and was crying out, and kick her three times as another worker yanked her up by a nose lead—a “control tool” involving a ring or set of pliers inserted into the animal’s nose and attached to a rope or chain. Previously, in September 2022, an inspector documented that two goats were confined without water.

“At this hellhole for animals, workers mercilessly attacked a weak cow and gentle goats weren’t even allowed a few sips of water,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on behalf of these animals and urges everyone to help prevent animals from suffering in slaughterhouses by going vegan.”

Prior incidents at Halal Farms include one in April 2022, when a worker slit a goat’s throat and left her to bleed out—but then failed to notice when the still-conscious animal walked 20 feet away as she bled from her throat. PETA is now pursuing charges under state law because federal officials haven’t prosecuted any inspected slaughterhouses for acts of abuse since at least 2007.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Kaney follows.

January 24, 2024

The Honorable Aaron Kaney

Carroll County State’s Attorney

Dear Mr. Kaney:

I’m writing to request that your office (and a law-enforcement agency, as necessary) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the individuals responsible for abusing a downed cow and depriving goats of water at Halal Farms USA Inc., located at 22 W. Badger St. in Shannon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incidents in reports that the agency recently made available to the public. (See the attached table.)

According to the latest report, on September 21, 2023, an FSIS inspector saw a truck driver electroshock a downed cow—who was crying out—and kick her three times in the hindquarters. Meanwhile, a worker pulled the animal by a nose lead—a ring or set of pliers put into the animal’s nose and attached to a rope or chain. Previously, on September 7, 2022, two goats were confined without water. For more details on these incidents, please contact FSIS Office of Field Operations District 50 Manager Dr. Donald Fickey.

This treatment and deprivation may violate Illinois’ Humane Care for Animals Act, as 510 ILCS 70/3.01 states that no person may “beat, cruelly treat … or otherwise abuse any animal,” and 510 ILCS 70/3 requires that animals be given “a sufficient quantity of … water.” Please note that the FSIS’ reports carry no criminal or civil penalties and do not preempt criminal liability under state law for acts of cruelty to animals. Given that the FSIS hasn’t initiated a criminal prosecution of a licensed slaughterhouse for inhumane handling since at least 2007, charges under state law are these victims’ only chance at a measure of justice.

In addition, beyond the statute of limitations for these offenses, you may want to note that in April 2022, a worker slit a goat’s throat and put the live animal in a bleed tray but then failed to realize that the conscious animal had walked 20 feet away as she bled from her throat. The same month, 11 sheep and goats were found confined without water. In December 2021, an inspector found that the only water available for goats in a pen had frozen.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Colin Henstock

Investigations Project Manager

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