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Four More Former Iowa Pig Factory Farm Workers Admit Guilt!

Written by PETA | June 24, 2009
indymedia / CC
Fattening Pen

Shawn Matthew Lyons was the first individual ever convicted of abusing or neglecting factory-farmed pigs in Iowa, but he’s no longer alone. Four other workers who were employed at the farm—a Hormel supplier at which our undercover investigation produced video footage documenting that workers beat pigs with metal rods and sexually abused them with canes—have now admitted to abusing pigs.

Of the defendants—Richard Michael Ralston, Alan Bruce Rettig, Greg William Hackler, and Jordan Michael Anderson—Ralston, Rettig, and Hackler have pleaded guilty, been convicted, and sentenced to two years in prison, which has been suspended. Anderson accepted a deferred entry of judgment allowing him to have the charges dismissed if he completes a period of good behavior. All four have all been ordered to pay fines and other fees, and they have been placed on probation for periods ranging from one to two years.

Most importantly, three of the men have been barred from working with animals for the duration of their probation. Only Anderson will be allowed to do so. Despite an assurance in October from Audubon-Manning Veterinary Clinic President Daryl Olsen, D.V.M., that Anderson “has been suspended from working with livestock pending the outcome of the charges,” a whistleblower told us that Anderson is currently employed at a hog-confinement facility that Dr. Olsen reportedly owns. Dr. Olsen has not answered our inquiry regarding Mr. Anderson. If you would like to ask him to confirm that his company does not pay admitted animal abusers like Anderson to work with live animals, please contact him here.

Pork magazine called our investigation footage a “wake-up call” for the pork industry. We hope that these convictions serve not only as another wake-up call but also as a lesson to anyone working in this innately cruel industry: Neither the courts nor the public have a stomach for such malicious cruelty to farmed animals.

Written by Shawna Flavell

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  • Denise Smith says:

    I watched a mini video on youtube that made me cry…it shows a baby pig being shut out from nursing, has become cold, and the farmer, a beautiful man, gently placing him in a warm bath to make him comfortable. All these images of tortured animals was making me crazy…so wonderful to see the flip side of sadism…compassion.

  • Momtra says:

    What is wrong with these people? I think they really need therapy and meds, maybe some electroshock therapy. I fear for their families and children. To inflict this kind of abuse with the glee and joy they show is inhuman and sociopathic.

  • Aaron Burton says:

    I have tried being VeganVegetarian 3 times i think but its time for me to do it permanently. I am just disgusted with myself for being involved in eating meat for no benefit what so ever. I can’t even swallow… We all need to wake up and stop playing around. This is just sick.

  • Pam says:

    This pig abuse is worse than seal clubbing and Michael Vick. I will never eat pork again

  • tayler miller says:

    mcDonalds is very cruel and it was very horrifying to watch the video i’m hating it.

  • tayler miller says:

    they are cruel and it is very horrifying.they are basterds

  • Beverley says:

    Isnt horrific cruelty abuse of this magnitude a signal that these individuals are a danger to society??? I hear it’s a precurser to being a sociopath?

  • courtney paleschic says:

    it saddened my soul to see this video footage. i can only hope that someday this horrible torture to these helpless and innocent animals will end. these men and anyone who can do this to an animal deserves the worst punishment possible!

  • amy says:

    i can only hope these abusers come back as one of these animals getting tortured everyday of their horrible life.

  • Kathy says:

    well i truly hope all you people practice what you preach most people are good at pointing the finger look towards your own back yard first!

  • cara says:

    well were do i begin i cannot belive people who and what they do to these animals i am no longer going to eat meat im changing just told the family thoses people who work in slaughter houses should get a taste of what they do to those animals how can u do that they must have no hearts it makes me so mad how our country can let this go on it hurts and im ashamed to have eaten meat

  • Santina says:

    This is quite sad when its allowable to torture and abuse such great animals AND GET AWAY WITH IT. How do they not serve time and are not band from working with animals forever? Is this not something PETA and all its members can help with. Through a petition GReat job your doing Peta

  • anna says:

    no one understands how much i love pigs. eating them is like eating my pet dogs even though i don’t have any pet pigs. i love them so much and i cry just seeing pictures like the one above and don’t get me started on what i do when i hear the stories. for their sake i hope these people never meet me because they will die a horrible death

  • Lisa, Spokane WA says:

    HANG THEM BEAT THEM CONFINE THEM ALL THOSE ANIMAL ABUSERS OUT THERE. PUT THEM IN A SMALL CAGE TOGETHER FOR THE TIME THEY PUT THEM IN JAIL. BUT DON’T FEED THEM. IT MAKES MY HEART ACHE WITH SO MUCH PAIN SEEING AND HEARING WHAT THESE SO CALLED THINGS DO TO BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS. GOD BLESS THE PIGS AND THAT GOD TAKE THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO AVOID THE TORTURE THEY RECEIVE. MY HEART HURTS TO EVEN READ THIS HORRIBLE STUFF. THANK YOU PETA SOMEDAY THEY WILL BE SENT TO PRISON FOR A LONG LONG TIME. THEY DESERVE 10X PLUS MORE THAN WHAT THEY DID TO THESE POOR PIGS.

  • Fran Cottrell says:

    These B$!!! need to have done to them exactly what they did to the pigs!!! It’s a good thing I am not in charge of their punishment! Their punishment is far too lenient! This sickens me!!!

  • encoder says:

    if you live in Romania you don’t see this with pigs at least not on small farms however you see it with cats and dogs. that’s not my point. i am not a veg and i don’t plan to become one i like meet what bothers me is that there are people without any respect for animals. the sentence should be the things they done to pigs. this is why i try to eat house grown meet as much i can. an abused animal has a totally different taste. and i don’t think there is nothing transmitted on the spiritual realm. i mean i don’t like to eat the vessel of a tormented soul. my grandparents have grown pigs as far as i remember. and i also remember the envy that what i had once for them i really liked the scent of the food they were eating. 100bio. there are ways where no one suffers and everyone gets what he wants. the problem is MONEY and GREED and they ho hand in hand.

  • Marlene says:

    I agree with everyone who are defending these great animals. They don’t deserve this it’s just not fair… I won’t be shocked when people start killing each other…. Just leave them the f alone..

  • N.I.4.N.I. animal liberation front says:

    you got to wonder how the hell these people sleep at night.

  • ruthy says:

    animals shouldn’t be treated like trash that we use then throw it away. animals have feelings and are smarter then people at some times. plus these factories should be stopped they slaughter animals just for profit. people can also make money by selling vegetables. plus these animals get beat if they don’t do what the aniaml murder wants them to do.

  • marcey says:

    I don’t understand why they would need to abuse their animals like that unhappy pigs makes for less profits and if they are dead it’s a no profit. I dont raise pigs on a commical level. I ususally have around 4 pigs at a time but they are not miss treated of abused. I want all the meat I can get and like I said unhappy pigs just don’t produce as good.

  • Jose says:

    I sure would love to do to these guys what they did to those pigs with the metal rods….you would see it come out their nose!

  • deb says:

    I am sickened and outraged. These men should all do time and never be allowed to work around animals anywhere again. It has also been proven that people who abuse animals often abuse people too. Thank you for your important work!

  • HEATHER KINCAID says:

    I AM STUNNED AND COMPLETELY DISGUSTED THAT THESE PIECES OF SCUM DID NOT GO TO PRISON FOR A LONG TIME. AN EYE FOR AN EYE IS ONLY FAIR AND THEY SHOULD RECEIVE EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID TO THOSE BEAUTIFUL INNOCENT ANIMALS NO CORRECTION THEY SHOULD RECEIVE IT TEN TIMES OVER! AS ALWAYS THANK YOU PETA FOR BRINGING THESE CRIMES TO LIGHT SO THAT NEXT TIME HOPEFULLY THE PUNISHMENTS WILL BE WORSE.

  • Daniela says:

    I was actually a bit afraid of pigs they always seemed agressive to me…Until I figured out that being locked up in a to small pen to small to even turn around…and being fed whenever someone remembered is actually a good reason to be a bit violent. I am glad that there are being taken steps to stop this kind of cruelty. I too am a bit shocked that their sentence was suspended…but it happens in most cases they get away with just a fine. Perhaps in the future there will be harsher sentences for such behavior.

  • Laina says:

    We have to do all we can for the animals!!! ThOSE MEN don’t deserve to have any happiness in there lives after all they have done! They should have to go through they same thing and more if you ask me! I HATE THEM! LETS STAND UP AND FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Laura says:

    I beleive in KARMA no jail time I guess KARMA has to kick in for justice.. I cant watch anymore of them videos my heart cant take it. to sad but I will still donate and write these comments and sign petitions

  • marina says:

    Justice for animals is so long overdue and judges need harsher punishments for these horrible “people” who are sick and disgusting they need to be locked in cages abused the same way treated like a peice of st see how they like it. show no mercy that’s how i see it…i love animals

  • Megan says:

    I think it is great that this abuse is finally having consequences but probation? That is hardy even an inconvenience in those people’s lives and one of them still works with animals!!! It’s a step in the right direction none the less…but this won’t make anything change. Punishment needs to be enforced.

  • Julie says:

    The public deserves to know what its purchases support. Please share this article and ask people to watch the investigation footage. People who aren’t vegetarian may not see it otherwise.

  • vincenzo says:

    punish those mostri who abuse animals ?… I just think that their punishment is too small for what they did to those poor animals Vincenzo Italia

  • tiziana says:

    It is inhuman and disgustoo know what is being done on farms with pigs I hope that those people who commit those atrocities are punished as they deserve Tiziana italia

  • chris says:

    i LOVE justice like this.

  • Cherida Hivale says:

    I am glad that cruelty to farm animals is being recognised as a punishable crime and that these psychos are on probation but a jail sentence would have sent out a more serious message. Though this is definitely an encouraging start.

  • shauna says:

    These “guys”make me sick!Do they do this to there wifesgirlfriendsor even worse CHILDREN?They should be thrown in jailliterely and convicted as a PEDIPHILER

  • Deaner says:

    To all those complaining about the sentences Please put this in perspective. Until this year only four men had ever been convicted of cruelty to farmed pigs in US history. All had been prosecuted on PETA evidence. This Iowa case with five new convicts has more than DOUBLED that number. Let’s celebrate that please. Let’s be thankful that a court in IOWA the nation’s top pork state has convicted factory farmers. Do you know how strong of a message that sends to the pork industry in the US? Jail would have been nice but please people don’t look past history for retribution. Retribution won’t help animals. History will.

  • Jackie says:

    Thank you PETA for all you do. Sure wish our court system would do their job! I guess Karma is our only hope for justice.

  • SILVIA says:

    I think that “those gentlemen” must immediately end the abuse of farm animals Silvia Italia

  • Ryan Dart says:

    Reading the comments from all the caring people really touches me. It’s so easy to get lost in sadness with whats going on in the world especially if you really care fot the earth and her inhabitants. I applaud PETA for making the world a better place for all.

  • Willette says:

    Thank you PETA for your consistent pressure you put upon these horrible excuses for human beings. I believe they should receive the same punishments they have inflicted upon these poor innocent animals. Everyone STOP EATING MEAT AND PUT THESE PEOPLE OUT OF BUSINESS.

  • Linda Lebedovych says:

    I could barely make myself read about it it was sickening. I am vegetarian trying to go vegan. I wish I could do more to help.

  • leah says:

    James S you said it holmes! I couldn’t agree more. We should all be ashamed to be human with all of this going on. And if there is a god and he is a good guygirl he would not approve of us abusing animals our little brothers and sisters. I can’t even kill spiders. That spider was given a life just as I was. Who am i to take it from himher? Not to say that people who eat meat are wrong. They’re fine but….tired of unnecessary cruelty.

  • Jamie Rivet says:

    Great work PETA but the sentences are a joke these speciesist corpse eating animal abusers should be punished with the same physical torture they enjoyed giving to the defenseless animals. These people are weak twisted sadistic cowards. I only wish that instead of acting violently to these beautiful gentle animals they call me next time I would be SO happy to meet them.

  • Joe Zani says:

    Doesn’t the trial judge realize that people who do these cruelsadistic things to animals wouldn’t hesitate doing it to humans ? Maybe the judge isn’t married and doesn’t have children or maybe the judge doesn’t realize that the prisons are overcrowded because the penalties are not severe enough to discourage criminals and the conditions perks and food in most prisons are better that what our troops fighting for our freedom have to endure . Maybe when one of these brainless morons rape someone then the courts MIGHT wake up . We should bring back branding of violent criminals and whipping I guarantee they would think twice before seeking a repeat performance add twenty more lashes for the second offence .The prisons will not be overcrowded .

  • Katrina says:

    I dont think the courts have realised that people who abuse animals to start with end up becoming serial killers they start with animals and then move up to start hurting people its pretty damn obvious they should all be in prison for life. imagine what they would do to their children if they had or have any