Rescind Punishment of Employee Who Exposed Inhumane Slaughterhouse Conditions

Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture

Goal: Do not punish employee who blew the whistle on inhumane slaughtering conditions at Tyson Foods

Jim Schrier, a meat inspector from Columbus Junction, Iowa, was recently relocated for blowing the whistle on inhumane slaughtering conditions at the local Tyson Foods slaughter plant where he worked.  Schrier, who saw pigs struggling violently while they were being chained, knew that the plant had not complied with federal laws that mandate that pigs must be made unconscious and unable to feel pain before they are chained and slaughtered.  He reported the problem to his supervisors, and was punished instead of commended for his vigilance by being relocated to a plant 120 miles away from his home. As a result, he will have to live away from his family to continue employment.

Schrier had done nothing wrong in blowing the whistle about the slaughtering circumstances as it is his job as a USDA inspector to follow federal guidelines.  The rules that he had been trying to enforce are in fact very important ones, as they were put into place to minimize cruelty to animals by giving them the least painful death possible.

By signing this petition you will help urge the USDA to give Schrier back his job in his local town and to cease any punishment imposed on whistleblowers for being honest and vigilant on their job.


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

I recently read an account that related the story of Jim Schrier, a USDA meat inspector who was recently punished with relocation for blowing the whistle on inhumane slaughtering conditions at the slaughter plant where he worked.  Schrier had discovered that pigs were not stunned properly before shackling and slaughtering—a  violation of federal law—and reported it to his supervisor.  Consequently, he was relocated from his local Tyson Foods slaughter plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, to a different plant over 120 miles away.

There is absolutely no justification in punishing Schrier as he was simply being honest and reinforcing a federal law.  It intends to enforce animal rights and minimize cruelty by making sure animals feel no pain when they are slaughtered.  The plant violating these rules is being inhumane and brutal, and it should listen to Schrier’s concerns and correct its misconduct instead of punishing him for standing up for the truth.

Please give Schrier his job back at his local slaughtering plant, show appreciation for his vigilance, and prevent anything like this from happening in the future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credits: Capital Area Food Bank via Flickr

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  1. First and foremost my thanks to Mr.Jim Schrier for doing his job with integrity.

    Another consideration, and this for Mr. Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture: If Mr.Jim Schrier´s peers know they will be punished for reporting violations of federal laws, they won´t report the violations. Surely Mr. Vilsack´s job will be at risk, if the world knows that none of the USDA meat inspectors are doing the job they are mandated to do by the U.S. Government.

  2. Tom Vilsack is as much of an anti-whistleblower asshole as the USDA he runs and the plant that relocated their only ethical employee. The whole outfit is corrupt from the top down. I hope that guy wins the lottery, buys the plant and fires all their asses.

  3. Punished for doing his job? Punished for telling an unwanted truth? But above all, punished for showing some mercy for animals? Definetely, Mr Vilsack, you have to mend things, seek for justice, look for a ban for inhumane conditions for animals, and, at least, congratulate Mr Schrier.

  4. The just as guilty contributors to this cruelty are the people who buy and eat the meat. I will never eat meat again after learning of factory farms, period. Schrier deserves praise and a medal of honour for his bravery and clear conscience. Let’s blow the whistle on the politicians and people with the power to change this, who instead only think of the profits and greed factor, instead of the human factor. Any person who contributes in any way to a factory farm and turns a blind eye are not worth their weight in manure and should be fed to the pigs.

  5. Billy Holifield Billy Holifield says:

    Another disgraceful example of the USDA NOT upholding the laws for which they are mandated to enforce without exception on all slaughter facilities, great and small. What we need is to fire the USDA management and start over. I wish the entire country would abstain from eating any meat for even one day in protest. That message would get something done because profits would surly take a hit and money talks.

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