AYNOR, S.C. (WBTW) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has sent a notice of suspension to an Aynor butcher who is accused of shooting a steer in the head and then cutting its throat while the animal was still conscious, according to the federal agency.

PETA sent a letter on Wednesday to Jason Boan, the attorney for Aynor, requesting a criminal investigation into Palmetto Fresh Meats. If appropriate, the organization is asking for criminal animal cruelty charges to be filed against the facility and anyone responsible in a potential crime.

“This disturbing report shows that this steer experienced a prolonged, agonizing death at Palmetto Fresh Meats,” PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on this steer’s behalf and urging everyone to help prevent more animals from suffering in slaughterhouses by going vegan.”

Palmetto Fresh Meats received the notice of suspension on Feb. 17, according to USDA documents. The documents state that USDA Inspection Program Personnel watched a steer as it was moved into a stunning chute. When the steer put its head in the restraint, the restraint didn’t close properly, which allowed the animal to move.

After the steer calmed down, an employee stunned it with a captive bolt pistol, according to the documents.

“When the captive bolt was discharged, the steer fell inside the chute,” the letter reads. “An employee reached inside the chute and cut the steer’s throat to bleed the animal. The steer then stood up on its front lets in the chute with clear eye movement, bleeding, and making a gurgling sound.”

The suspension remains in effect until the business provides “adequate written assurances of corrective and preventive measures sufficient to assure that livestock are handled and slaughtered with minimal discomfort.”

Those actions must include finding out the cause of the incident, identify why it was caused, describing actions that will eliminate the cause, explaining what actions the business will do to prevent the issue from reoccurring and outlining monitoring activities to make sure that the changes were effective.

News13 reached out to Palmetto Fresh Meats, which did not have comment.