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AMI provides rare look at how pork is processed in U.S.

Posted May 14, 2013

New video is hosted by renowned animal welfare expert Temple Grandin
The American Meat Institute (AMI) has just released a video tour of a pork slaughter plant to increase transparency in the meat and poultry industry.

The video is 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 web site.

AMI also released a print companion brochure that may be downloaded from AnimalHandling.org. Single copies also are available upon request from 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 takes the viewer through the entire process of processing hogs into pork products. It starts on the farm in a finishing barn and 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, finally, 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 videos 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 Dr. Grandin.

“We recognize that many consumers want more information about how livestock are handled and processed in U.S. meat and poultry plants. Our Glass Walls Project is an effort to increase transparency,” said AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Member Services Janet Riley, who also serves as liaison to the Institute’s Animal Welfare Committee. “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 long-standing commitment to ensuring optimal livestock welfare.

To view the videos or download the brochures, visit http://www.animalhandling.org/. To request a hard copy of the brochure, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to AMI Glass Walls Project, 1150 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC, 20036.

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