Slaughterhouse President Defends Himself In Congressional Testimony

CAPITOL HILL (AP) — The head of a slaughterhouse at the center of the largest beef recall in U.S. history says his company is ruined despite no evidence of contamination.

Westland/Hallmark Meat Company President Steve Mendell defends himself strongly in testimony being presented to a congressional panel. He says no unsafe beef was processed at his California plant.

It’s his first time speaking out since undercover video of apparent abuses of crippled cattle at his plant led to its shutdown and the recall of 143 million pounds of beef.

Mendell contends that the cows shown unable to walk in the Humane Society of the United States video were designated to be euthanized. He says they were not being sent to slaughter in violation of federal rules barring most “downer” cows from the food supply.

Mendell testifies under subpoena Wednesday.