For Immediate Release:
October 24, 2023
Brittney Williams 202-483-7382
Wayne County, Ohio – Following U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports revealing that a worker beat a calf in the face, animals were denied water, and a pair of newborn calves remained conscious after being shot in the head at the Ohio Farms Packing slaughterhouse in Canaan Township, PETA sent a letter to Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Angela Wypasek calling on her to investigate and file appropriate criminal charges against those responsible.
According to the reports, on June 9 a USDA inspector witnessed a worker repeatedly striking a calf in the face with a paddle before the animal became “visibly distressed” and ran away. On January 6, multiple animals were found confined without water. Additionally, in separate incidents in November 2022, two newborn calves were shot with a captive-bolt gun near their left eye and a second shot was needed to end their suffering. One of the calves fell to the ground, stood up, and walked a few steps before the second shot, while the other remained standing before the second blast rendered him unconscious. The USDA reports listed the two as “bob veal” calves, which is a meat industry term for calves who are less than 3 weeks old and sometimes have their umbilical cords still attached when they’re slaughtered.
“At this hell on Earth for animals, infant calves remained conscious and in agony after they were shot in the head, other animals were parched for lack of water, and another was beaten with a paddle,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is urging Wayne County authorities to prosecute those responsible for this abuse and calls on everyone to help prevent animals from suffering in slaughterhouses by going vegan.”
PETA is 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”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Wypasek follows.
October 24, 2023
The Honorable Angela Wypasek
Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney
Dear Ms. Wypasek:
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 beating a calf in the face, repeatedly shooting others in the head, and denying still other animals water at Ohio Farms Packing Co. Ltd., located at 2416 E. West Salem Rd. in Canaan Township. 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 reports, on June 9 an inspector saw that an Ohio Farms Packing worker “repeatedly struck [a] veal calf in the face with a paddle and then used the paddle to push the animal[’]s face toward the knocking area. The animal became visibly distressed and ran … away.” On January 6, an inspector found an unspecified number of animals confined without water on the property.
On November 1, 2022, an Ohio Farms Packing employee shot a very young calf near his left eye with a captive-bolt gun. According to the report, the “shot did not render the animal unconscious, and the [calf] remained standing and walked a few steps” until a second shot ended his suffering. Similarly, on November 29, 2022, an Ohio Farms Packing worker shot another young calf near the left eye with a captive-bolt gun, leaving the conscious animal to fall to the ground severely wounded until another shot ended his pain.
This conduct appears to violate Ohio Revised Code § 959.13. Please note that the FSIS’ report carries no criminal or civil penalties and does 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.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis