Graphic and gruesome video prompted lawmakers to act. Graphic and gruesome video prompted lawmakers to act.

Lawmakers want report on abbatoirs

Focus on conditions and killing methods heightened by graphic video

A 2016 investigation by the animal advocacy organization Mercy for Animals (MFA) that shed light on shocking conditions and brutal slaughter methods in government-owned slaughterhouses has prompted politicians to order a report on the current state of the nation’s abattoirs.

Last year’s investigation and an accompanying video, which graphically shows the cruelty animals are forced to endure, caused an international outcry and led to nine members of Congress introducing legislation that would make it a crime to slaughter an animal that had not first been properly stunned.

The proposal is yet to become law.

However, a motion from National Action Party (PAN) Deputy Ulises Ramírez Núñez, supported by Congress members of several parties, is now seeking to ensure that slaughterhouse workers are complying with current animal welfare laws.

The motion was also motivated by the MFA investigation and states “we must not ignore allegations of animal mistreatment.”

It calls on the federal Agriculture Secretariat (Sagarpa) and the Secretariat of Health (SALUD) to report on the conditions that animals destined for the nation’s dining tables are facing and make public their findings with respect to the slaughter methods being used.

A fine of 10,000 to 50,000 pesos (US $560 -$2,800) is applicable under the Federal Law on Animal Health (LFSA) for infringements related to illegal slaughter methods and animal torture.

Deputies representing all of the major parties signed the motion.

The MFA investigation found that animals such as cows and pigs were left in excruciating pain when slaughter methods failed to kill them instantly.

Some of the kill methods included electric prong shocks to the face, beatings to the head with sledgehammers and repeated stabbings, some of which were far off their intended target.

The video also shows pigs being thrown into vats of boiling water, some of them still allegedly conscious.

The investigation also found that minors were involved in the pitiless practices either as participants or witnesses to the brutality.

After it made its findings public the MFA also filed a complaint with Mexican authorities urging them to act on the violations it uncovered.

“It’s time for the federal government of Mexico to send a clear message. Animal cruelty must not be tolerated. Animals deserve better than to be painfully shocked, shackled, sliced open and immersed in vats of scalding water while still conscious and able to feel pain. No animal should have to endure a fate like that.”

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