Hog slaughter has been suspended indefinitely at Excel’s Beardstown, Ill. pork plant because of violations over the unloading and handling of hogs, according to government and company officials.
The shutdown follows reports a week ago that hot weather killed about 1,100 hogs waiting to be unloaded from trucks at the plant. The hogs reportedly died because unloading was slowed by several chutes being closed for repairs on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22.
Steve Cohen, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, says USDA officials shut down the plant because of “several violations of the Humane Slaughter Act over a period of a couple weeks.”
Slaughter will not resume until USDA approves a company plan for hog handling operations. The plant has a daily slaughter capacity of 16,000 head.
“It will be determined whether that plant has the potential to be effective and if so, they will be allowed to implement it and go back online,” says Cohen.