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UNR temporarily closes meat plant, seeks outside vendor to take over operations

By ThisIsReno

The University of Nevada, Reno is seeking an outside business to run its longstanding Wolf Pack Meats slaughterhouse and meat-processing facility.

Carson Now today reported UNR announced it is temporarily shutting down the plant to find a vendor to take over operations. 

UNR cited financial instability – the facility has had trouble for decades keeping its operation sustainable – as the reason for the closure. 

Carson Now reported:

“The temporary closure will allow for facility maintenance,” said [UNR’s Shauna] Lemieux. “These facility improvements combined with a new production operations vendor will allow Wolf Pack Meats to reopen as a more robust facility that is better able to meet the needs of Nevada’s ranching community, increasing production capacity and turnaround time.” 

However, a source who wished not to be named, stated that the news was not a welcomed one for some Wolf Pack Meats employees who were rumored to have quit the processing floor when the news came regarding the shut down on Sept. 9.

However, when asked if employees had quit en masse, Wolf Pack Meats stated they would not comment. 

“On Friday, employees of Wolf Pack Meats were informed of the timeline for the temporary closure,” said Lemieux. “Other than that, we cannot comment on confidential personnel matters.”

Regardless of employee issues, Lemieux repeated that production is still planned to continue through Oct. 31.

The plant was cited recently by the USDA for inhumane handling of animals, according to reporting by the Nevada Current. It was the second such notice in recent years at the facility.

A UNR spokesperson for UNR said they implemented a plan for corrective action that included “retraining with senior employees and verification of improved performance. The University of Nevada, Reno takes animal welfare very seriously and maintains AAALAC accreditation at all of its facilities, which is the gold standard accreditation for animal welfare.”

Wolf Pack Meats is one of two USDA-approved meat processing facilities in Nevada. It serves as a teaching facility for UNR’s meat science program. It was processing about 3,000 animals per year in 2020 but increased that production to 120% of normal during the pandemic to meet local demand for food. 

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