Undercover Investigation Reveals Hormel Supplier Abusing Mother Pigs and Piglets

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Status: Current
Originally Posted: September 17, 2008

Undercover Investigation Reveals Hormel Supplier Abusing Mother Pigs and Piglets


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For more than three months, PETA went undercover at an Iowa pig factory farm, which supplies piglets who are raised and killed for Hormel products. PETA found rampant cruelty to animals committed by workers and supervisors. The farm changed ownership and management during PETA's investigation, but that made no difference to the animals who were born and confined there: Abuse and neglect were widespread during PETA's entire investigation.

The following are just some of the abuses that were documented:

A supervisor shoved a cane into a sow's vagina, struck her on the back about 17 times, and then struck another sow.

Multiple pigs were beaten with metal gate rods, and lacerations were found on more than 30 sows which is probably evidence of more abuse.

A worker hit a young pig in the face four times with the edge of a herding board, and investigators witnessed dozens of similar incidents involving this worker and 11 other workers.

Two men including a supervisor were witnessed jabbing clothespins into pigs' eyes and faces. A supervisor also poked two animals in the eyes with his fingers.

A supervisor kicked a young pig in the face, abdomen, and genitals to make her move and told PETA's investigator, "You gotta beat on the bitch. Make her cry."

A worker who weighed an estimated 315 lbs. punched a sow on the back three times and said that he sat on a sow's head.

A pregnant sow was spray painted in the nostrils, face and eyes for over 30 seconds.

To learn more about the investigation, please watch the video, view our photo gallery, read the investigators' log notes, and visit our blog.

The findings on this Iowa pig farm, however, were not limited to cruelty to animals. PETA also documented an apparent violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and PETA has filed a complaint with the Food and Drug Administration. Animals who were to be killed for human consumption were sprayed with a substance that contains gentian violet a chemical that is linked to certain cancers thereby making their flesh "adulterated" under federal law.

By purchasing pigs born on this farm, Hormel is financially supporting an operation whose employees abuse animals. And if you eat these products or hot dogs, ham, sausage, or bacon, then you, too, are supporting this suffering. Please stop eating pigs. Then take action against Hormel.

Please contact Hormel using the form below and demand that the company follow PETA's eight-point policy to govern future pig-farming operations. Since Hormel has been receiving so many e-mails because of this investigation, you might receive a bounce-back e-mail from the company. If you do, please consider following up with a phone call, writing a letter, or filling out the company's online form.

Please send polite comments to:

Hormel Foods Corporation
Consumer Response
1 Hormel Place
Austin, MN 55912
(800) 523-4635

To see how animals are treated before they are killed to be human food, visit All-Creatures Animal Photo Exploitation Gallery  and Articles Reflecting a Vegan Lifestyle.

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The calf photo on these pages is from Farm Sanctuary with our thanks.

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