Written by PETA
Last week—just in time to give the turkeys who are still suffering at Aviagen something small to be thankful for—Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., announced that it had terminated all the employees who were found to have violated Aviagen's animal welfare standards. (I hope the guys who stomped on turkeys' heads were the first to go.)
This is a great, although small, step for the turkeys who are still tightly trapped in Aviagen's dark, dusty sheds—at the very least, they won't have to suffer at those individuals' hands or under their watch any longer. So far, however, Aviagen seems to have passed on the opportunity to press for a criminal investigation and prosecution of the dismissed workers. If the executives at Aviagen were really serious about cracking down on cruelty to animals, wouldn't they join us in asking officials to prosecute these individuals?
Also, Aviagen has announced that it has "outlined a series of actions" that will improve its "existing welfare guidelines" and "ensure [that] violations do not occur in [the] future." That sounds nice—but based on what the company's "existing welfare guidelines" failed to prevent, I think I'd feel a little more comfortable with some specifics, don't you? Gosh, it sure would be nice if somebody were to provide Aviagen with a list of specific steps to take to improve animal welfare—oh wait … we did.
Please help by writing a polite letter to Aviagen asking the company to implement PETA's Seven-Point Animal Welfare Plan and to call on officials to prosecute any employees—past, present or future—who abuse or neglect animals. Aviagen has made some small progress already—let's hope it continues its much-needed reforms.
Written by Amanda Schinke
One month ago, we released shocking footage from an undercover investigation of a factory farm in Iowa that raises pigs who are destined for Hormel. The public was rightly outraged by the horrific findings of PETA's investigators, who found that workers repeatedly hit pigs with metal gate rods and canes, a worker slammed the heads of piglet "runts" into the floor, and a supervisor shoved a cane into a sow's vagina and talked about sexually abusing pigs.
Even after the farm changed ownership and management during the investigation, this disgusting treatment and abuse of animals continued.
That being said, we have just released previously unseen footage from the investigation, apparently showing the farm manager kicking and shocking a pig. Unbelievably, he is still the manager of the farm!
In the video, the farm manager is seen shocking a pig with an electric prod and kicking her—both in apparent violation of the farm owner's own written policy—in a prolonged attempt to make her stand, which is a requirement for pigs who are sold for slaughter. The suffering sow, who was unable to stand due to crippled hind limbs, was left in the pen for two days, bleeding from a severed hoof, until she was ultimately shot and killed.
This shocking footage of the farm manager was recorded the very next working day after PETA's undercover investigator reported to the farm manager the abuse that he had documented at the farm.
We are seething mad that the farm manager retains his position as farm manager and has been allowed to continue to supervise other employees and their treatment of pigs. It is painfully obvious to us that all factory farms—as long as they exist—must be managed by individuals who are competent in humane handling of animals and who can lead by example. We'll let you determine whether he fits the bill.
We stand firm in our demand that Hormel take action against these abuses, despite the company's continued failure to respond to our attempts to work with it. Join us in renewing our pressure on Hormel. Demand that the company enact meaningful reforms to prevent this sort of abuse from occurring on its suppliers' farms.
Update: We wanted to make sure that it's clear to our readers that we offered several times to show Hormel and the farm's management ALL the footage that was taken during PETA's undercover investigation at the supplier's farm—including the above footage of the manager. Neither Hormel nor the farm's management took us up on our offer.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
We at PETA were all saddened to hear about the passing of fashion maven Mr. Blackwell. Before the Fug Girls took up their Fugging and before Joan Rivers attacked the red carpet, Mr. Blackwell was releasing his yearly "Ten Worst Dressed Women" list.
There are a couple of reasons why Mr. Blackwell was so well-loved at PETA. First, his list was the inspiration for our own infamous Worst-Dressed List of notorious fur-addicts. His lists included the most biting barbs and were packed with puns and alliterative allusions (he rhymed, too, but I'm not very good at that). We loved that his 2006 list included fur hag Sharon Stone, whom he described as "an over-the-hill Cruella DeVille." Of course, we had already included her in our 2001 list, saying, "Put your fur coat away, Sharon. We saw enough of that tired old beaver in Basic Instinct."
We've agreed with Mr. Blackwell on more than just those two occasions, though. He described Madonna as follows: "From Ghetto Glam to Rhinestone Cowgirl to Mrs. Guy Ritchie. Any way you label it, she's still just kitschy, kitschy, kitschy." We said of the Material Girl: "The animal on her back is as dead as her film career—and duck-hunting hubby Guy Ritchie is not going to revive either." Whoopsie, I guess those little barbs aren't too relevant anymore!
Mr. Blackwell also agreed with us on the subject of the Trollsen Twins, saying of Hairy-Kate, "She resembles a tattered toothpick trapped in a hurricane." And finally, both we and Mr. Blackwell elected to pull Britney Spears off of our respective Worst-Dressed Lists in 2007; PETA decided that she needed a break from everyone, and Mr. Blackwell decided it was inappropriate to mock her "when her personal life [was] in such upheaval."
What can we say? Great minds think alike, and Mr. Blackwell was truly a great mind—2008 won't be quite the same without his list. It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our inspiration: the king of catty, Mr. Blackwell.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.