Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pork Industry Trains Workers to Throw Piglets

A new Mercy For Animals (MFA) undercover investigation provides a shocking look into one of the nation’s largest pork producers–Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa. At this factory farm, mother sows and their piglets are forced to suffer brutal abuse and lives of unrelenting confinement and misery.

Between April and June of 2011, an MFA investigator documented:
  • Mother sows confined to barren metal stalls barely larger than their own bodies–unable to turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives.
  • Workers ripping out the testicles of conscious piglets without the use of painkillers.
  • Piglets suffering with herniated intestines due to botched castration.
  • Conscious piglets having their tails painfully sliced into and yanked off with pliers.
  • Large, open, pus-filled wounds and pressure sores.
  • Sick and injured pigs left to languish and slowly die without proper veterinary care.
  • Mother pigs–physically taxed from constant birthing–suffering from distended, inflamed, bleeding and often fatal uterine prolapses.
  • Management training workers to throw piglets across the room–comparing it to a "rollercoaster ride."
Upon reviewing the undercover footage, world-renowned animal behaviorist Dr. Jonathan Balcombe denounced the facility, stating that "this video depicts scenes of unbearable suffering and inexcusable neglect. … This farm should be closed down at once."

Veterinarian Dr. Armaiti May also condemned the operation, stating, "I was greatly disturbed and appalled to watch footage of such horrifying cruelty and neglect towards pigs."

Confining mother pigs in such stalls is so patently cruel that the practice has been banned by the entire European Union, New Zealand, and the states of Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, California, Maine and Michigan. Yet, while other states make progress to prevent cruelty to farmed animals, legislators in Iowa–the largest pork-producing state in the nation–are actively working to conceal it. At the behest of factory farm interests, Iowa legislators are considering an "ag-gag" bill that seeks to silence and intimidate whistleblowers who document and expose animal abuse. As this new investigation graphically illustrates, with not a single federal law providing protection to animals on factory farms, and Iowa state anti-cruelty law largely exempting farmed animals, legislators should be working to enact laws protecting animals, not abusers.

As MFA works to expose and end the exploitation of animals at the hands of the meat, egg and dairy industries, consumers still hold the greatest power of all to prevent needless suffering of farmed animals by adopting a healthy and humane vegan diet.

Source and video courtesy of Mercy For Animals.

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