In-N-Out Breaks Off with Calif. Slaughterhouse Accused of Cow Abuse

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Chain's meat supplier under investigation for inhumane treatment of cows

Upon news of an investigation into possible inhumane treatment of cattle, In-N-Out has stopped doing business with the Central California slaughterhouse that’s one of their burger meat suppliers.

Executives of the Irvine-based fast-food chain heard reports of animal mistreatment at the Central Valley Meat Co. slaughterhouse on Sunday night, and promptly cut off their supplier agreement.

Accusations that animals were being shocked, shot, and pulled to slaughter stations despite being unable to stand or walk were asserted by animal rights advocacy group Compassion Over Killing, who recorded undercover footage at the plant. The film shows cows bleeding and flailing after failed attempts to render them unconscious using a pneumatic gun.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture shut down the plant on Monday after seeing the video. Legislators are also investigating whether lame or sick cows were slaughtered for human consumption.

Losing the supplier means In-N-Out loses 20 percent of meat used to make their hamburger patties. But according to executive vice president of planning and development, Carl Van Fleet, the popular West Coast burger chain should be able to make up for the shortfall with their other four existing suppliers.

In-N-Out always requires suppliers to meet USDA requirements and occasionally conducts unannounced inspections of supplier facilities. Partners sign an agreement to not sell meat from “downer cattle” that are unable to move.

Said In-N-Out Chief Operating Officer Mark Taylor in a statement, “In-N-Out Burger would never condone the inhumane treatment of animals, and all of our suppliers must agree t abide by our strict standards for the humane treatment of cattle.”