HFA’s Campaign to Stop Slaughterhouse Abuse

It has never been easy to think about what happens behind the closed doors of a slaughterhouse. The American public buys animal flesh wrapped in plastic packages that bear little or no resemblance to the sentient creatures they once were.

It is often assumed that farm animals are slaughtered in a clean, orderly process that minimizes stress and pain. But nothing could be further from the truth. HFA’s groundbreaking investigations have exposed the fact that farm animals are routinely dismembered while still fully conscious in U.S. slaughterplants. HFA’s slaughterhouse investigations have resulted in extensive media attention, including an award-winning front page exposé in The Washington Post entitled “They Die Piece by Piece.”

HFA's slaughterhouse exposés have led to congressional action and prompted the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), one of the Senate's most influential members at the time, to deliver an impassioned speech on the Senate floor. “Federal law is being ignored,” he said. “It is sickening and infuriating. The barbaric treatment of helpless, defenseless creatures must not be tolerated. Life must be respected and dealt with humanely in a civilized society.”

In response to HFA’s investigation, the U.S. Senate injected $1 million into USDA’s budget for enforcement of the Humane Slaughter Act at the country’s 900 slaughterhouses. Remarkably, that was the first funding ever allocated to the enforcement of humane slaughter regulations. Prompted by HFA, Senator Byrd was later instrumental in securing a subsequent appropriation of $5 million annually.

How You Can Help!

Public awareness and pressure are the most effective means we have for eliminating the horrific abuses posed by factory farming and slaughterhouse abuses. Please help HFA put an end to this cruelty.

Join with us today.

Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry by HFA Chief Investigator Gail Eisnitz.

"Slaughterhouse is an engaging true-life detective story.... A scathing broadside about exactly what the animals on our dinner plate went through to get there." - The San Francisco Chronicle

Slaughterhouse is the first book in which workers in the meat industry speak publicly about what is actually taking place in America’s slaughterhouses. Slaughterhouse chronicles HFA's landmark investigations and recounts HFA Investigator Gail Eisnitz' harrowing journey as she enters the meat industry subculture. The book details the industry's wholesale disregard of the Humane Slaughter Act, a federal law passed in 1958 intended to protect slaughter-bound animals from cruelty.

Eisnitz's investigation begins with a single complaint from a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) worker alleging that cattle there are having their heads skinned while fully conscious. This single complaint becomes a full-scale, groundbreaking investigation.

Shockingly, slaughterhouse workers admit to deliberately beating, strangling, boiling, or dismembering animals alive. Today’s slaughter line does not stop for anything: Not for injured workers, not for contaminated meat, and least of all, not for sick or disabled animals.

Due to meteoric line speeds, workers are often unable to stun or bleed animals adequately, and, as a result, animals proceed through the butchering process fully conscious. In the words of one worker: "These hogs get up to the scalding tank, hit the water, and just start screaming and kicking. I'm not sure whether the hogs burn to death before drowning. The water is 140 degrees." Poultry, exempt from coverage under the Humane Slaughter Act, are routinely conscious when immersed in the scald tank as well. Following long government paper trails, it is revealed that contaminated meat and poultry are pouring out of federally-inspected slaughterhouses. Records document major meat packers that marinate rancid meat to disguise slime and smell.... Plant employees miss hide, hair, ear canals, and teeth in product approved by the facility.... Chickens and hams are soaked in chlorine baths to remove slime and odor, and red dye is added to beef to make it appear fresh....

Top federal inspectors go on record stating that, due to inspection policies developed in collusion with the meat industry, they are virtually powerless to enforce slaughterhouse laws. Not surprisingly, deaths from foodborne illness have quadrupled in the past 15 years.

HFA needs your support to expose the crimes and corruption documented in Slaughterhouse. Please order your copy of Slaughterhouse today from HFA’s online marketplace.

And please join with us.