UNDERCOVER animal activists have filmed horrific scenes of cruelty to farm pigs.
The incidents include workers slamming piglets on floors and leaving them still wriggling to die, beating animals to death with metal rods and inserting rods into sows’ hindquarters.
Activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) posed as workers between June and September this year at a farm in the midwestern US state of Iowa, the Associated Press (AP)reports.
The video shows a worker viciously beating pigs with a metal rod while shouting to one of the PETA spies: “I hate them. These (expletives) deserve to be hurt. Hurt, I say!”
“Hurt! Hurt! Hurt! Hurt! … Take out your frustrations on ’em,” the employee yells as swings the rod.
The PETA operative is encouraged to pretend that one of the pigs scared off an attractive and willing 17- or 18-year-old girl, and then take out his frustrations by beating the animal.
In another moment captured on video a supervisor says when he gets angry or a sow won’t move, “I grab one of these rods and jam it in her (anus).”
One of the PETA operatives told AP he saw a rod inserted into a sow’s vagina.
Workers are also shown slamming piglets on the ground, to instantly kill those that aren’t healthy enough.
However the video displays piglets surviving the treatment and lying wiggling in a bloodied pile.
Piglets are also shown being castrated, and having their tails cut off, without anesthesia.
The undercover operatives say they also saw clothespins and fingers being jabbed into pigs’ eyes and blue paint being sprayed into a pig’s face and nostrils.
PETA intends to send the video to the sheriff in Greene County, Iowa, seeking prosecution of 18 people on animal cruelty violations, AP reports.
Workers also sprayed the pigs with a chemical that has been banned by US food authorities because of a suspected link to cancer, PETA claims.
Lynn Becker, an owner of the farm after it changed hands in August this year told AP the scenes on the video were “completely intolerable, reprehensible.”
“We condemn these types of acts,” Mr Becker said.
“If any animals were abused in the brief time we’ve owned the farm, if we still employ these people, any attempt will made to investigate and initiate corrective action immediately.”
Animal welfare training had been provided to the staff, Mr Becker said.
The previous manager of the farm also told AP that it would investigate the “unacceptable practices” shown on the video.
The farm provides pig meat to Hormel, a maker of Spam and other food products, and PETA says the food company should do more to ensure its suppliers follow humane practices.
Hormel spokeswoman Julie Henderson Craven called the abuses “completely unacceptable.”
Ms Craven said she believed the abuses only occured under the farm’s previous management when Hormel had not been a client.
PETA disputes this saying the change of ownership “made no difference.”
“Abuse on factory farms is the absolute norm, not the exception, and anyone eating factory-farmed meat is paying to support it,” PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich said to AP.
September 17, 2008 01:01pm