AVMA condemns alleged abuse at swine operation

Undercover PETA video shows animals kicked, beaten and inhumanely slaughtered

September 17, 2008 (published)
By Jennifer Fiala

Schaumburg, Ill. – The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) calls recently released footage depicting abuse on an Iowa hog farm “disturbing, intolerable and inhumane” and wants an “immediate and thorough” investigation to take place.

In a statement issued today, Executive Vice President Dr. Ron DeHaven says if the undercover video shot by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is accurate, “the system failed these animals.”

“The responsibility for ensuring food production animals are cared for humanely falls on the shoulders of everyone involved in the process, from birth to slaughter,” he states. “The veterinary profession as a whole must make it clear that, if these allegations prove true, such abuses cannot be tolerated.”

The video depicts routine abuse documented during a three-month period, with workers at a central Iowa farm that supplies Hormel Foods hitting sows with metal gate rods and fists, slamming piglets on a concrete floor and jabbing clothes pins into animals’ eyes and faces.

During a press conference, PETA leaders called on Hormel to sever ties with the farm owner, a Minnesota company called MowMar, which recently took over operations. Activists also are calling on local authorities to investigate.

AVMA urges local officials to enforce the state’s applicable laws and penalties if the violations are proven to be legitimate.

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