From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published December 13, 2007 06:38 PM

Abuse of Pigs by world's largest supplier documented

SMITHFIELD, Va., - Animal cruelty investiogators have turned over videotapes of animal cruelty to state prosecutors in Virgina. The tapes, the result of a PETA undercover investigation of a supplier of Smithfield Foods, Murphy Family Ventures, for abuses of pigs that PETA believes to be in violation of state anti-cruelty laws.

The investigation alleges: 

-- Two workers and a supervisor hit and jabbed pigs in the face and elsewhere on their bodies using metal gate rods.

-- Workers were videotaped roughly dragging screaming, injured pigs by their sensitive snouts, an ear, or a leg, to where they were then killed. 

-- A facility supervisor boasted about how he "knocked the s***" out of pigs and how he "cut the s*** out of [a pig's] God damn nose with a f****** gate rod."

-- Numerous pigs were denied treatment for injuries, including cysts, sores, and a uterine prolapse. 

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The investigator also recorded the "standard" farm practice of cutting off piglets' tails and pulling out their testicles -- without any painkillers -- as the animals screamed. PETA has given video footage and other evidence from the investigation to G. Dewey Hudson Jr., the district attorney for Prosecutorial District 4, urging him to file all appropriate charges under North Carolina's anti-cruelty statute.

PETA is calling on Smithfield Foods to pressure the supplier, Murphy Family Ventures, to immediately fire the workers responsible for the abuse, and to sever ties with Murphy Family Ventures if they refuse to do so. PETA is also asking Smithfield to issue a detailed plan to phase out the use of gestation crates-metal-and-concrete stalls in which sows are immobilized for months at a time-for its company-owned facilities and to require a phaseout for all its suppliers.

"The needless physical abuse of pigs caught on tape may make people think twice about putting ham on the table this holiday season," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "We're calling on authorities to prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law."

For more information and to view the video footage, please visit www.PETA.org.

Source: PETA

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