$500 million animal abuse settlement reached

5:29 PM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A record $500 million penalty against a California slaughterhouse where videotaped mistreatment of cows prompted the largest meat recall in U.S. history is not expected to be paid.

Humane Society of the United States attorney Jonathan R. Lovvorn says Riverside County-based Hallmark Meat Co. is bankrupt and the money will go unpaid. But he says the settlement between the company, the federal government and the Humane Society will act as a deterrent

The Humane Society says the case marked the first time federal fraud statutes were used in an animal abuse case. As a supplier of meats for the national school lunch program, the company had signed federal contracts certifying that it would provide humane treatment of animals sent to the company for slaughter.

The widely circulated 2007 video showed "downer cows" being dragged by chains, rammed by forklifts and sprayed with high-pressure water.

The Associated Press

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