Krekorian Bill to Protect Meat Safety Signed into Law by Governor

Office of Assemblymember Paul Krekorian
Contact: Adrin Nazarian, Chief of Staff
620 N. Brand Blvd. Suite 403
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 240-6330
(818) 240-4632 fax
[email protected]

July 22, 2008

Krekorian Bill to Protect Meat Safety
Signed into Law by Governor

Sacramento, CA – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation
today by Assemblymember Paul Krekorian (D-Burbank) to protect public
health by outlawing the sale of potentially tainted meat for human
consumption. The bill was in response to the practices of a California
slaughterhouse that were exposed in an undercover investigation earlier
this year, leading to the largest food recall in U.S. history,
Congressional hearings, and nationwide news coverage.

Krekorian’s legislation, Assembly Bill 2098, will make it a crime in
California to sell meat from "downed" animals – those who are too sick
or injured to be able to stand and walk. Although meat from such
animals is known to expose consumers to a much higher risk of
potentially life-threatening conditions such as bovine spongiform
encephalitis ("mad cow disease"), the E. coli bacteria and salmonella,
many slaughterhouses throughout the United States have forced these
animals into the slaughter line, often by resorting to inhumane
practices. Krekorian’s bill will create an economic disincentive to
such practices by prohibiting the sale of any meat or products from such

"This legislation will protect the public from potentially deadly
tainted meat, and it will protect farm animals from cruel and inhumane
treatment," Krekorian said. "California cannot allow unscrupulous
slaughterhouse operators to endanger the safety of America’s food supply
and engage in grotesquely cruel practices. AB 2098 is an important step
toward a safer food supply and basic decency to the animals that provide
it, and I am delighted that the Governor has signed it into law."

Bradley S. Miller, National Director of the Humane Farming Association
(HFA), the bill’s co-sponsor, asserted, "For the sake of a few dollars
profit, rather than putting downed animals out of their misery, the meat
industry routinely keeps these suffering animals alive in order to turn
them into steaks and hamburgers that they can sell to the public. This
law will finally put an end to such practices in California."

In January 2008, the Humane Society of the Unites States released
undercover videotape of workers at the Westland/Hallmark slaughterhouse
in Chino attempting to drive seriously ill downed cattle into the
slaughter line. The cattle were pushed with forklifts, kicked and
electrocuted, and even had pressurized water forced into their nostrils
with hoses, by workers who were trying to force them toward the "kill
box" for slaughter. The release of this video led to recall of 143
million pounds of meat nationwide, the largest recall in history,
including 45 million pounds that went to the nation’s school lunch
program. While individual workers were charged with abuse, the company
faced no criminal charges.

As a lawyer in private practice before his election, Assemblymember
Krekorian represented the Humane Farming Association in connection with
several investigations that HFA conducted regarding inhumane and
dangerous slaughterhouse practices around the country.

AB 2098 (Chapter 194 of the Statutes of 2008) will take effect January

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