A new video from the American Meat Institute featuring a noted animal-welfare expert is part of the Glass Walls Project to increase transparency in the meat-and-poultry industry.
The American Meat Institute (AMI) recently released a video tour of a pork-slaughter plant hosted by leading animal-welfare expert Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science at Colorado State University. The video is available on the institute’s dedicated animal-welfare website, www.AnimalHandling.org.
Also released with the video was a print companion brochure that may be downloaded. Single copies also are available upon request from the AMI. The pork-plant video tour and brochure augment the beef-plant video tour, also hosted by Grandin, which was released in August 2012. Since its release, the beef-plant video has been viewed nearly 50,000 times online and in countless classrooms and other settings.
The latest pork video tour starts on the farm in a finishing barn, depicts pig-loading on trailers, unloading at the plant, stunning of pigs to make them insensible to pain (which is required by law), the bleeding process, carcass chilling and fabrication of carcasses into cuts that consumers eat. The video details the widespread use of the AMI animal-welfare audit, developed by Grandin for the industry in 1997, and now a global standard.
Grandin selected the two plants that are featured in the video as representative of typical beef- and pork-slaughter plants. She was on-site for the taping and narrated the videos in her own words.
“I’m really pleased the American Meat Institute is working on putting these videos out because I think we need to show people what’s done in the industry when it’s just done right in a typical large plant,” Grandin says in the introduction to the video. The brochure also includes a series of commonly asked questions about animal welfare, with answers provided by Grandin.
“We recognize that many consumers want more information about how livestock are handled and processed in U.S. meat and poultry plants,” says Janet Riley, AMI’s senior vice president of Public Affairs and Member Services, who also serves as liaison to the institute’s Animal Welfare Committee. “Our Glass Walls Project is an effort to increase transparency. We were fortunate that Dr. Grandin, a leading expert on animal handling and welfare in meat plants, agreed to host the video tours and played such a pivotal role in their production. We are proud to offer an honest look inside our plants and to show the public our longstanding commitment to ensuring optimal livestock welfare.”
To view the videos or download the brochures, visit www.AnimalHandling.org. To request a hard copy of the brochure, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to AMI Glass Walls Project, 1150 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20036.