"The pork industry condemns the abuse of any animal,"
Steve Weaver, president of the National Pork Board, said in a media
Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American
Association of Swine Veterinarians, said, "This is a wakeup call for the
industry that we need to continue to monitor these situations so we can identify
abuse immediately and get it out of the barns. It is frustrating because of the
resources the industry has poured into education and training. There's no excuse
for that kind of behaviour." Footage
recorded by an undercover investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA), shows farm workers kicking sows, striking them with gate rods
and laughing as piglets are euthanised with blunt trauma.
Moody, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Assn. (IPPA) and a producer from
Nevada, Iowa, had not seen the video but said such abuse should not be condoned.
"If, in fact, this did occur, it's not acceptable and needs to be dealt with,"
"Those involved in these reprehensible acts must be
dismissed immediately," said Aaron Putze, executive director of the Coalition to
Support Iowa Farmers, an advocacy group that promotes livestock industry growth
in the state. "They are not worthy of being associated with animal
agriculture." Questions raised
questions are being raised as to why so much time elapsed between when the video
was shot and reported to authorities.
"We are concerned with the fact
that if animal abuse took place, the industry was not advised in a timely manner
so that corrective action could be immediately taken," said Ron Birkenholz, IPPA
PETA has asked for the immediate
termination and prosecution of any employee who abuses animals, protection for
undercover investigators who go public with the abuse, a ban on all shocking
devices, the installation of cameras in animal housing areas, annual animal
welfare audits - results of which are made public - and a phase-out of sow
gestation stalls by 2011.
Hormel spokeswoman Julie Henderson Craven
reportedly called the abuses "completely unacceptable." The company said it has
a "zero-tolerance policy" and has, "in the past, terminated employees, truckers
and contracts with producers when animal welfare issues have
arisen."Click here for the free Pig Progress