Shrewsbury Slaughterhouse Accused of Inhumane Treatment of Calves

Catelli Brothers on Broad Street has been shut down by federal officials as an investigation gets underway.

By Christina Johnson

Slaughterhouse operations at Catelli Brothers in Shrewsbury are under scrutiny after an undercover video came to light that alleges inhumane treatment of calves as they are prepared to be killed. 

The edited video, said to have been shot by an investigator with the Humane Society of the United States at the Broad Street abattoir, shows sick or injured veal calves being inhumanely handled. One part shows animals still conscious despite numerous attempts to know them out during the slaughtering process. Another calf, unable to walk, is entirely lifted off the ground by the tail by a worker and forced to hobble to its slaughter. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reacted by ordering Catelli Bros. of Shrewsbury to suspend its operations on Friday, according to the Humane Society of the United States. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service withdrew its federal inspectors, which are required for slaughter operations, the report said. 

Catelli Brothers, a purveyor of veal and lamb products, issued a statement on its website saying they are cooperating with federal officials. 

"We are deeply concerned about the allegations that have been made regarding the care of calves at our facility," said Tony Catelli. "Any mistreatment of animals at our facility is unacceptable, and our established practices strictly prohibit the processing of any downed calves."

The statement also said that Catelli has retained its own expert in animal handling that visited the site where the allegations occurred. 

The HSUS is campaigning for the USDA to close what it calls "a loophole in federal policy" that does not give calves the same protection of downed adult cattle.


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