Thursday, October 23, 2008

Undercover Investigation Reveals Hormel Suppliers' Abuse of Pigs



For more than three months, PETA went undercover at an Iowa pig factory farm, which supplies piglets who are raised and killed for Hormel products. PETA found rampant cruelty to animals committed by workers and supervisors. The farm changed ownership and management during PETA's investigation, but that made no difference to the animals who were born and confined there: Abuse and neglect were widespread during PETA's entire investigation.

The following are just some of the abuses that were documented:

* A supervisor shoved a cane into a sow's vagina, struck her on the back about 17 times, and then struck another sow.
* Multiple pigs were beaten with metal gate rods, and lacerations were found on more than 30 sows, which is probably evidence of more abuse.
* A worker hit a young pig in the face four times with the edge of a herding board, and investigators witnessed dozens of similar incidents involving this worker and 11 other workers.
* Two men, including a supervisor, were witnessed jabbing clothespins into pigs' eyes and faces. A supervisor also poked two animals in the eyes with his fingers.
* A supervisor kicked a young pig in the face, abdomen, and genitals to make her move and told PETA's investigator, "You gotta beat on the bitch. Make her cry."

To learn more about the investigation, please watch the video above, view our photo gallery, read the investigators' log notes, and visit our blog.

The findings on this Iowa pig farm, however, were not limited to cruelty to animals. PETA also documented an apparent violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Animals who were to be killed for human consumption were sprayed with a substance that contains gentian violet (a chemical that is linked to certain cancers) thereby making their flesh "adulterated" under federal law.

By purchasing pigs bred and born on this farm and then grown elsewhere before being slaughtered for Hormel products, Hormel is financially supporting an operation whose employees abuse animals.

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