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USDA temporarily halts QPP operations after incident

The United States Department of Agriculture halted operations at Quality Pork Processors after an incident in the animal holding area late Tuesday night.

Nate Jansen, QPP’s vice president of human resources and quality services, confirmed the incident happened after an employee took action to minimize an animal’s discomfort. However, a piece of equipment malfunctioned due to human error.

A USDA inspector and plant management were present when the incident occurred, and the USDA halted operations in the holding area, causing delays in about half the plant from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning before operations resumed following an investigation.

The employee has been removed from the animal handling area for retraining, and QPP has implemented a new equipment process and additional training to ensure the event isn’t repeated.

“There was no intentional act that occurred,” Jansen said.

In November, an undercover video filmed at QPP was released by animal rights group Compassion Over Killing and led to several changes at the plant. However, Jansen said this incident occurred at a different part of the plant.

“It’s a completely separate issue from what had happened before,” Jansen said.