Federal records show Aberdeen beef plant has recent history of inhumanely handling livestock

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Argus Leader)- Despite an Aberdeen slaughterhouse’s recent history of inhumanely handling its livestock, including the fatal suffocation of several cattle, the consequences appear to be few for the company.

DemKota Ranch Beef, a large livestock facility located south of Aberdeen, was the subject of a noncompliance report filed on April 3, 2023, which the Food Safety and Inspection Service, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, included in its latest Livestock Humane Handling Inspection Task dataset released recently.

By FSIS standards, “noncompliance” indicates a facility’s failure to adhere to certain federal regulations.

For slaughter plants, this typically includes meeting the requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, which require meat products to be safely and wholesomely made. These establishments must also follow the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978, a law that requires livestock producers to minimize harm to the animals being harvested by having them stunned into unconsciousness prior to harvest.

According to the report, DemKota’s air management systems malfunctioned in the early morning hours the day of the reported incident, which led 750 cattle to experience conditions that were “humid … and hot with elevated ammonia” and “excessively foggy” to the point that visibility was poor within the facility’s barn and livestock pens.

Read the full story at www.aberdeennews.com.