Undercover Investigation by Mercy For Animals Reveals Extreme Animal Cruelty At Walmart Pork Supplier

Hidden-Camera Footage Reveals Pigs Being Slammed Against Concrete, Mutilated, and Intensively Confined - Animal Rights Group Urges Retailer to Adopt Strict Animal Welfare Policies

Jul 18, 2012, 07:30 ET from Mercy For Animals

LOS ANGELES, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Shocking hidden-camera video of animal abuse secretly recorded at Christensen Farms, a Walmart pork supplier, was released today by the national protection organization Mercy For Animals. Christensen Farms is one of the five largest pork producers in the nation. The disturbing undercover video, narrated by 19-time Emmy Award-winning host of The Price is Right, Bob Barker, reveals pregnant pigs confined for nearly their entire lives in crates barely larger than their own bodies, and piglets being slammed headfirst into the ground and having their testicles ripped out and tails cut off without painkillers.

Mercy For Animals is urging retail giant Walmart to immediately adopt new animal welfare guidelines prohibiting their pork suppliers from confining pigs in crates so small they cannot even turn around – something a growing number of food providers have already done.

The undercover footage, recorded at a Christensen Farms facility in Hanska, Minnesota, reveals:

  • Thousands of mother pigs confined to filthy, metal gestation crates so small they are unable to even turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives;
  • Pigs suffering from large, open wounds and pressure sores from rubbing against the bars of their tiny cages or lying on the hard concrete flooring;
  • Workers slamming piglets into the ground and leaving them to slowly suffer and die;
  • Workers ripping out the testicles and slicing off the tails of fully conscious piglets without the use of any painkillers; and
  • Sick and injured pigs with severe, bleeding wounds or infections left to suffer without veterinary care.

"Gestation crates are unremitting hell on earth," world-renowned animal behaviorist Dr. Jonathan Balcombe said after viewing the footage. "These intelligent animals endure awful physical and psychological suffering. No animal ever deserved to be treated like this."

Gestation crates have been widely condemned as one of the cruelest factory farming practices in the world. In fact, gestation crates are so inhumane they have been banned in nine US states, as well as in the entire European Union. Recognizing their inherent cruelty, major food providers, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and Chipotle, and major grocery retailers, including Safeway, Kroger, and Whole Foods, have all started demanding their suppliers do away with these cruel crates.

Yesterday, after discussions with MFA and viewing the undercover Christensen Farms video, both Costco and Kmart announced that they would implement new policies to phase out gestation crates from their pork supply chains.

Yet Walmart continues to support blatant animal abuse—buying pork from Christensen Farms and other suppliers that condemn intelligent and social animals to a lifetime of misery and deprivation.

"The hidden cost of Walmart's cheap products is blatant animal abuse," said MFA's executive director, Nathan Runkle. "No animal should suffer a lifetime locked in a crate so small she can't even turn around or lie down comfortably. It's high time that Walmart took meaningful action to ensure that the animals raised and killed for its stores do not endure lives filled with pain and misery."

To view the undercover video, visit www.WalmartCruelty.com  

SOURCE Mercy For Animals