DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A federal report says a kosher slaughterhouse in Postville repeatedly violated humane slaughter regulations and that federal inspectors working at the plant took no action to stop the violations.
The internal report was released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General after a Freedom of Information Act request by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.
The report on the Agriprocessors Inc. plant detailed how in addition to observing the violations, Food Safety Inspection Service inspectors took improper gifts of meat from plant managers and made faulty inspections of carcasses.
"The investigation determined that employees ... engaged in inhumane slaughter," the 13-page report said. "It was also determined that FSIS employees observed the acts of inhumane slaughter and did nothing to stop the practice."
The report said there were 10 inspectors working at the plant, with some of them being accused of falling asleep on the job or playing computer games.
The northeast Iowa plant is the world's largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse and employs about 700 people. Trained rabbis there slaughter cows at a rate of about one every three minutes. The meat is sold under the brands Iowa's Best Beef, Rubashkin's and Aaron's Best.
The report was provided to The Associated Press by PETA.
Robert Teig, a spokesman with the U.S. attorney's office in Cedar Rapids, said Friday that the report was sent to him about a year ago. After reviewing it, officials decided that Agriprocessors won't be prosecuted for the violations.
"Based on the information presented to us, there wasn't a prosecutable case," he said.
The investigation came after Agriprocessor's slaughtering methods were criticized by PETA as cruel and inhumane. The animal rights group provided undercover video taken at the plant in 2004 that shows steers thrashing and struggling to get up and walk after their throats had been slit.
The report said a review of the video showed 35 cows being slaughtered, and that some appeared to be conscious as workers pulled out their tracheas to speed up bleeding.
Agriprocessors "did not appear to be doing anything to assess if an animal was still conscious after the rabbi had performed the ritual slaughter," the report said.
A telephone message left Friday for Sholom Rubashkin, the company's president, was not immediately returned. He has said PETA's claims were misguided and that the video depicted only the involuntary movements animals make after death.
PETA Director Bruce Friedrich said the group is pressing for the firing of all of the inspectors who accepted gifts and "did nothing about these egregious abuses of the animals they are charged to protect."