CHICAGO, Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Disturbing undercover footage of animal abuse at a Hormel pork supplier was released this morning by the international animal protection organization Mercy For Animals. The hidden-camera video shows workers ripping out baby piglets' testicles and slicing off their tails without any pain relief, leaving piglets to languish from untreated injuries and illnesses, and cramming mother pigs into tiny, filthy crates for nearly their entire lives.
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The video, shot in Oklahoma at a pig factory farm owned by The Maschhoffs—one of the largest U.S. pork producers and a Hormel supplier, reveals appalling abuse:
- Piglets having their testicles ripped out and their sensitive tails cut off without any pain relief
- Mother pigs suffering from injuries and illnesses, packed into filthy gestation crates unable to turn around or lie down comfortably
- Stressed animals repeatedly biting the bars of their pens—a sign of serious mental collapse
- Frightened piglets with nowhere to move trampling each other in overcrowded hallways
The use of gestation crates has been widely denounced as one of the most abusive factory farming practices in the world. In fact, gestation crates are so inhumane they have been banned in 10 U.S. states and the entire European Union. Recognizing their inherent cruelty, more than 60 major food providers, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Chipotle, Safeway, Kroger, Costco, and Kmart, have all demanded their suppliers do away with these cruel crates. Some of the largest food companies in the world, including Walmart and Nestlé, have committed to ending tail docking and castration without painkillers in their pork supply chains. Even major pork producers like Smithfield have committed to phasing out cruel gestation crates at their company-owned and contract farms. But Hormel continues to allow these blatant forms of animal abuse by their contract suppliers.
Mercy For Animals is calling on Hormel to immediately adopt meaningful animal welfare requirements to prevent egregious animal abuse throughout the company's entire supply chain, including installing live-stream cameras to deter abuse; prohibiting the extreme confinement of pigs in inherently cruel gestation and farrowing crates; and ending painful and unnecessary mutilations, such as castration and tail docking, without pain relief.
"Confining highly intelligent and social pigs in cages so small the animals can't even turn around for nearly their entire lives is blatant cruelty," said president of Mercy For Animals, Nathan Runkle. "No animal should suffer a lifetime of physical violence and abuse. It's high time that Hormel took meaningful action to end the worst forms of animal abuse at its facilities. And for individual consumers, the best way to help stop this cruelty is to leave meat off their plates."
To view the undercover video, please visit HormelHell.com.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals