Slaughter operations at Fruitland American Meat are on hold temporarily, according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.According to the processor’s Jack Whisnant, however, the facility still is “operating every day” during its regular business hours. Whisnant added the processor is doing some restructuring.
“In brief, Rain Crow Ranch’s slaughter operations are in suspension due to a recent humane handling violation. However, they are currently conducting a limited amount of processing,” an email from the Food Safety and Inspection Service stated. The email did not elaborate on the nature of the violation.
Fruitland American Meat – part of Rain Crow Ranch, which has partnerships in several states — is involved in an ongoing lawsuit brought by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.
The lawsuit, filed in April, alleges the company violated Missouri’s Clean Water Law by sending slaughterhouse waste into a Cane Creek tributary. The creek flows southwest through Cape Girardeau County, west of Jackson and under Highway 34 before becoming Byrd Creek, which empties into Upper Whitewater Creek south of the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site.
The suit accuses the processor of water pollution, illegal discharge, failure to report breaches, failure to submit discharge monitoring reports and failure to submit sample discharge, among other claims. Koster is asking the court to award up to $10,000 in fines for each day the alleged violations occurred. The permit issued to the company in 2010 by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources requires monthly monitoring reports to include special sampling for discharges.
Court documents state the pollution happened from January 2014 to March 2015.
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