The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a new notice with instructions for Public Health Veterinarians (PHVs), inspection program personnel (IPP) and District Veterinary Medical Specialists (DVMs) regarding humane handling and slaughter.

FSISlogo_406x250It directs official livestock establishments to determine if their written systematic approach for human handling meets the notice’s criteria for being a robust plan.

FSIS in 2004 called for livestock establishments to come up with a systematic approach for humanely handling and slaughtering livestock based on a systematic approach involving assessment, design, evaluation and response. FSIS also permitted establishments to adopt what it calls “a robust approach,” which could be flagged by issuing various notices

The new notice says when a more robust program is adopted, FSIS review must be requested. Once in place, the programs are subject to monthly verification by PHVs.

Quarterly enforcement data produced by FSIS has for more than a year indicated humane handling has been a priority for the agency.