Federal regulators have suspended operation of a Central California slaughterhouse after receiving undercover video showing alleged abuse to dairy cows.

Officials with the USDA, which inspects meat facilities, suspended operations Monday at Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford, Calif.

Animal care expert Dave Daley, PhD, Associate Dean for the College of Agriculture at California State University and an active member of the cattle community, issued the following statement.

“The vast majority of cattlemen stand firm in adhering to the absolute best animal care and handling guidelines established by veterinarians and other experts. We do not condone any mishandling of livestock on the farm or ranch or in the packing facility. In fact, we firmly believe that those knowingly and willfully committing any abuse to animals should not be in the business – period. The actions depicted in these videos are disgraceful and not representative of the cattle community.

“U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors have a very serious responsibility and obligation to make certain that packing plants are vigorously following the guidelines in place that ensure animal care from pasture to plate. Cattlemen put their livestock above their own needs and truly develop a bond with the land and livestock. Cattlemen work hard every day to give animals the proper care and handling they deserve and expect proper treatment to continue after they leave America’s family farms and ranches.

“This is exactly why the farmer and rancher code of conduct within Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) has been in place since 1996 and condemns the mistreatment of animals. We believe any individual who witnesses inappropriate animal treatment is responsible for making every effort to stop it immediately. Anyone who mistreats animals must be reported immediately and should be punished in accordance with the law. We must work together to put a stop to any abuse.”