For Immediate Release:
February 9, 2023
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Lincoln County, Wyo. – Following newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) records documenting that at least five bovines were repeatedly shot in the head at Star Valley Meat Block, PETA fired off a letter today to the facility’s co-owner, Tylee Williams, calling on her to livestream video footage from the slaughterhouse in order to help prevent more egregious violations of law.
On September 6, 2022, a worker ineffectively shot a bovine three times in the head and walked away—leaving the animal conscious and moving his head—before a delayed fourth blast ended his suffering. Similar incidents at the facility in 2022 include the following:
- On July 29, a worker shot a cow, who continued standing and looking around until a second shot rendered the animal unconscious.
- On July 28, a worker shot a cow in the head three times. The animal was looking around and bleeding from the nose after the first two blasts.
- On May 25, a bovine continued to stand and look around after being shot in the head. A worker shot the bovine a second time to stun the animal.
- On February 16, a bovine remained conscious and blinking after a blast to the head and had to be shot two more times.
“Bovines have endured prolonged, agonizing deaths after being shot repeatedly, which is a disturbing pattern at Star Valley,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on this facility to publicly livestream its slaughter operations—and reminds everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”
PETA has also asked Williams to report the personnel involved in the incidents to local law-enforcement officials and reassign those individuals to positions that don’t involve having contact with live animals.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Williams follows.
February 9, 2023
Star Valley Meat Block
Dear Ms. Williams:
Given the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report detailing that a worker ineffectively shot a bovine three times in the head at Star Valley Meat Block on September 6, 2022, and walked away—leaving him conscious and moving his head around—before a delayed fourth blast ended his suffering, we ask that you immediately alter operations at your slaughterhouse in order to reduce animal suffering.
A history of strikingly similar and alarming incidents at your facility underscores the need for significant changes:
- On February 16, 2022, a worker shot a bovine three times in the head before the animal was deemed unconscious.
- On May 25, 2022, a USDA inspector saw a worker shoot a bovine with a 9mm handgun, after which the animal remained standing and looking around.
- On July 28, 2022, a USDA inspector heard a worker fire two shots at a cow and found the animal looking around and bleeding from the nose.
- The very next day, a USDA inspector saw a worker shoot a cow in the head with a 9 mm handgun, only to leave the animal standing and looking around.
Will you please publicly livestream video from all areas of Star Valley Meat Block where live animals are handled? Workers might take their duty to handle animals lawfully more seriously if they knew caring people were watching. As the world’s foremost expert on livestock welfare, Dr. Temple Grandin, writes, “Plants [t]hat are doing a good job should show what they are doing.” Your industry often complains that today’s consumers don’t understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could help by enabling us to observe your workers moving countless individual animals—who value their lives as we value ours—off crowded trucks in all weather conditions, attempting to stun them, slashing or sticking their throats, and bleeding them to death.
At the very least, will you reassign the staff referenced in the federal reports to jobs that don’t involve having contact with any live animals and report the involved personnel to law enforcement for investigation for possible violations of Wyoming’s anti-cruelty statute? Thank you for your consideration.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis