Last week’s arrest of a 25-year-old man accused of slitting the throats of a still-conscious goat and sheep before letting them bleed to death is shedding light on the presence of illegal slaughterhouses in California and beyond. The act, caught on video by Mercy for Animals, is a violation both of California’s Food and Agriculture Code and animal cruelty laws, but could possibly be just a drop in the bloody bucket of a landscape filled with illegal animal slaughtering businesses that might be selling the meat directly to a range of untraceable sources, often for religious, cultural, or economic reasons.
Mercy for Animals’ director, Matthew Rice, claims, “these types of illegal slaughter operations run rampant in California as well as across the country,” recalling to our minds recent chatter from an out-of-state friend who meets his pig supplier in a desolate field, No Country for Old Men-style, before the porker gets prepared for the caja china.
Obviously, a slaughterhouse run by just anyone increases the possibility of health risks for consumers and raised pain and suffering for animals. The multitude of illicit slaughterhouses is a reminder that local foods-boosterism still has boundaries, while Food Safety News reports that the animal rights group is currently looking into other facilities in an attempt to shed light on this issue.