Settlement reached on US slaughter lawsuit
The allegations of inhumane treatment of animals at the slaughterhouse’s facilities in California stated that the owners and investors of Westland/Hallmark slaughter facilities defrauded the government.
This was due to the meat from the premises being distributed to the National School Lunch Program, which in turn led to the nation’s largest meat recall.
The lawsuit was filed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) against the owners and investors, and resulted in a total settlement valued at $155m. However, it is expected that the companies will pay $3.1m due to the financial circumstances.
The HSUS’ director for animal protection litigation Peter Petersan said: “This judgment sends a strong message to those who profit from the abuse of farm animals. Although numerous line workers have been prosecuted for farm animal cruelty over the last decade, this is the first time the consequences of animal cruelty have been felt by those sitting in the corner office as well.”