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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Westland/Hallmark Meat Executive Acknowledges Illegal Slaughter

Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. President Steve Mendell acknowledged Wednesday that cattle were illegally slaughtered at his plant and that cows too sick to stand were forced into the food supply. Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. President Steve Mendell made the admissions after a congressional panel forced him to watch undercover video of abuses of cattle at his plant. Mendell watched head-in-hand as cows were dragged by chains, jabbed by forklifts and shocked to get them into the box where they’d be slaughtered.

  • Denise F

    Animal cruelty at a slaughter house are you kidding me? Although those employees actions were deplorable as humans, it is ridiculous that MR Mendell be subjected to such loose and forked tongues. I have known Mr Mendell as a family friend and business partner to my father (who does not live in a billion dollar home, but is an average joe). I know the morals and standards that Steve holds himself and his family to. It is horrible (but understandable) that a business owner who has invested 18 years of his life be torn down in such a way because of lazy and careless employees. Yes, he is ultimately responsible. Yes, perhaps even stiffer reviews of his employees was called for. However, the USDA has dropped the ball… not only here but in general. He has passed inspections by the USDA and the cows shown in these videos were tested and did NOT COME BACK as being tainted. As a person, it is horrible to see this. But no one is screaming animal cruelty when they are tearing into thier USDA approved steak. He and his family are suffering more than you care to admit. It is easy to speculate on a situation that does not hit home. It is easy to condemn someone in a public forum. I know that if he had been aware of this, there would have been an immediate stop to this behavior. These actions do not merit the death threats that he, his wife, and his children have received. It is a horrible situation for all involved. Again, although he is ultimitly responsible for these actions, it is the lazy and thoughtless employees that should be prosecuted. Have you ever been to a slaughter house? That in itself is more cruel than anything you could see on that video. This man, his family, his business, and his life are ruined. He feels deeply for the actions that occured. Before you condemn the man, condemn the system.

  • According to the AP report of his written testimony, the “downers” were euthanized and didn’t make it into the food supply. Who did he think he would fool with that statement? And was he trying to make the panel (and consumers) believe that he hadn’t seen the abuse video already?

  • Bix

    Denise, you have a point. I doubt one man is responsible for this mess, be that one man Mr. Mendell, or a forklift driver.
    I’m inclined to think, as you say, that “the system” is responsible. But I don’t know if that system is a government system (USDA), or an industry system. Maybe it’s both.

  • Where’s the beef!

  • Janice

    The video speaks volumes. Shame on the owner an the creeps who abuse animals. Karma is hell and comes back 10 fold. Wow. What if the cows are in charge next time around? I pray they are. That will be justice.

  • Hailey

    I think we all should go vegetarian, it is so cruel what this people are doing to animals, i use to eat alot of meat BBQ, ribs, everything , but stopped after i saw the youtube video of what the KFC company was doing to chickens…thats just not right…I know probably many might think iam crazy or something to tell you all to stop eating meat but trust, it is the best thing that you could ever do GO VEGGIES!!!!…