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Smithfield Reneges on Promise to Improve Conditions for Pigs

Written by PETA | June 25, 2009
gestation crate

Smithfield execs, who live high off the hog—actually, it’s more like about 27 million hogs—have just decided that they cannot keep their promise to phase out gestation crates over the next 10 years.

Smithfield states, “Due to recent significant operating losses incurred by our Hog Production segment, we have delayed capital expenditures for the program such that we no longer expect to complete the phase-out within ten years of the original announcement.”

These gestation crates that Smithfield is dragging its feet on phasing out are called “iron maidens” after medieval torture devices, and for good reason—sows kept in them cannot turn around, and their muscles atrophy. Over time, pigs kept in these horrid conditions develop sores from lying on filthy concrete and go insane from the confinement.

Consider that just three years’ compensation for Smithfield’s directors would more than cover the cost of a complete crate phase-out. Smithfield’s claim that it can’t spare pennies a pig to improve these animals’ living conditions makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a philanthropist and erodes any trust the company hopes to build with its consumers or with PETA.

Once again, animal welfare has taken a backseat to corporate profit. Smithfield can rest assured that we’ll be at its annual meeting this August, making sure that pigs are heard.

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • Samantha says:

    It disgusts me even more that cattle “farmers” aren’t doing their job to feed people around the world. They are doing it for money. More corporate greed. It really is disgusting in every way imaginable. I agree with Carolyn Cavallo, we do need to step up. I hate sitting here and feeling ineffective. We need more protests. Mass protests.

  • Carolyn Cavallo says:

    I would like to know when it the cruelty to farm animals is going to come to a national MARCH against this treatment. PETA AND HUMANE SOCIETY OF US should get all their members and as many more people as possible to do this. No civil rights movement has been successful without demonstrations and peaceful protest. Do we have it in us to finally put and end to this corporate greed. I want to hold Acme and Superfresh and all outlets equally responsible. What do you think. When is it the silent voices for farm animal cruelty going to be heard once in for all?

  • JB says:

    If you just start thinking of how intelligent and sensitive these animals might have trouble living with can you allow this? And…the money issue in no way justifies this barbarism. Please revise your policy and choice. jennifer

  • Carla says:

    Smithfield.. your all a bunch of sick aholes and should all be kept in the same damn confinment. How the hell do you jerks live with yourselves everyday??? Rest assured.. you will live in the same hell one day!!!!!

  • Deep Thinker says:

    Soooo….that whole campaign to get Smithfield to change their practices was an utter and complete waste. Smithfield gets the good publicity for free from PeTA and they end up doing exactly nothing. Even if they did implement these changes would it really be a victory? Does the pigs’ ability to turn around make their stillbarbaric treatment and slaughter acceptable? Why not spend all those thousands and thousands of dollars maybe much more on getting people to GO VEGAN?

  • Cherida Hivale says:

    The illtreatment of pigs really makes me angry. The worst part is that nothing concrete seems to be getting done by the governments to improve the plight of these poor animals.

  • Carla says:

    Everyone please read the above article on how these top execs make millions in just bonuses and then tell me why they can’t “afford” to implement whats probably minimal changes for the welfare of the pigs!! These executives hoarding all their money ARE FAT FRICKIN’ LIARS!!!

  • Anne says:

    Well what can I say. these are the people who have caused swine flu and God know’s what else. At home we try not to eat meat of any type because price i.e. cheap as possible doesn’t mean quality. Can you imagine putting a pregnant mum i.e. human being into a crate until she had had her babies and then keeping her in a crate until she had finished suckling her babies and then putting prods up her backside cutting her boys balls off and then what…tossing her sons on the floor and killing them… This is worse than Auswhitz. And on top of that the meat these and other people sell is completely and utterly inedible.

  • Amanda says:

    Smithfield is one of the worst!!! Go see the movie “Food Inc.” Not only are they awful to hogs but their treatment of workers is just as horrific!

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Sadistic sociopaths are greedy and incurable killers!

  • Renatta says:

    This is as bad as it gets how can people eat pork knowing the terrible torture that these intelligente animals are continuously subjected too? The Spanish Inquisition methods must have inspired greedy Smithfield!

  • Rob Anderson says:

    Maybe people are waking up to how bad meat is for the environment health and of course the animals.. From the pig toturers Although Smithfield already has converted to group housing at three farms it no longer expects to meet its 2017 overall deadline. The transition would be expected to cost about $300 million and Smithfield lost $190 million in fiscal 2009. “We remain committed to implementing the program as soon as economic conditions improve” the company said in its report.

  • Alicia says:

    Very sad and disappointing. But I do smile that they must be losing profits. But it is a joke that their answer is to not phase something out that could actually make them look a little better in the community eyes and may get some of their bad publicity away from them for a while. I guess my first thought if they are experiencing “significant operating losses” would be to cut back on how many animals they are reproducing. THAT alone would cut their budget down. But all I can really say I AM GLAD I AM VEGAN!

  • Tamra says:

    This is upsetting!!!!!

  • bananas says:

    I lived near Smithfield in Nc and now live in there hometown of Smithfield VA.. It sickens me to see the cruelty these pigs have to go through. I hope PETA steps up the heat on SMithfield to get them to once again change there minds for the sake of the pigs.

  • withgoddess says:

    Is there nothing we can do?

  • Susan T says:

    Diddo Canaduck! Their whining is a clear example of what really is the deciding factor in animal agricultureit’s certainly not animal welfare is it? $$$$$$

  • wayne c welch says:

    Some say “What goes around comes around!” That may very well be true. Also an observer of such horrid barbaric cruel behavior may become so enraged that they decide to help what is going around to come around. I hope so. Change your ways.

  • Canaduck says:

    How revolting.