Update: North Carolina officials have filed six cruelty-to-animals charges against one of the individuals documented dragging and beating pigs and abusing them in other ways in a 2007 PETA undercover investigation of a sow farm. He is suspected to have fled the country. Charges are pending against a second man who has apparently fled the state.
Video footage obtained in the investigation revealed horrific cruelty to mother pigs and their piglets on a farm owned by Murphy Family Ventures, LLC, which supplies the largest pig-killing company in the world, Smithfield Foods.
In addition to the confinement of mother pigs to cruel “gestation crates” so small that the animals can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably, the following cruelty was documented at Smithfield supplier Murphy Family Ventures, LLC:
- Workers dragged injured pigs out of the facility by their snouts, ears, and legs before killing them with a captive-bolt gun. Some of the pigs had “KILL” spray-painted on their backs.
- A farm supervisor admitted that he violently beat pigs, saying of one that he “cut the sh** out of his God damn nose with a f***ing gate rod.”
- Workers cut off piglets’ tails and pulled out piglets’ testicles—without using any pain relief—as the baby animals screamed in pain in front of mother pigs.
- Two workers and a supervisor hit and jabbed pigs—sometimes in their faces and near their ears—with 2-foot-long metal gate rods on 31 of the 41 days that PETA’s investigator worked.
- A worker gouged the eyes of four pigs with his fingers. Pigs suffered from ailments including cysts, sores, and a uterine prolapse for which they were denied treatment.
View the video footage taken by PETA’s undercover investigator for more examples of the horrific cruelty to animals at Smithfield’s supplier.