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USA Today has a story looking at an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) records by the Animal Welfare Institute suggesting that more than 10 percent of humane slaughter violations for the 18 months ending March 2004 “detailed improper treatment of animals that couldn't walk — mostly cattle.”

The analysis was conducted in the wake of the nation’s biggest-ever beef recall, which came after evidence emerged showing that workers in a California slaughterhouse used a cattle prod and forklifts to get downer cattle to the point where they could be slaughtered. Downer cattle is believed to be higher risk for mad cow disease.

The problem is that the slaughterhouse and the USDA maintained that the situation was an anomaly, while animal rights activists believe it is far more commonplace than anyone is saying.

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