Criminal Probe of Bob Evans Farms Sought After Sows Repeatedly Shot in the Head

For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Greene County, Ohio

PETA has obtained recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports revealing at least the second recent violation of law at Bob Evans Farms near Xenia. In response, PETA sent a letter today calling on the Xenia City Prosecutor to investigate the slaughterhouse and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the facility and the workers responsible for the animals’ suffering.

“These disturbing revelations show that these pigs suffered prolonged, agonizing deaths at Bob Evans Farms,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on behalf of the sows who suffered at this facility and the members of the public who care about them.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that other animals have a central nervous system and sense of self-preservation, just as humans do, and that the only way to prevent pigs, cows, chickens, and others from suffering in slaughterhouses is to go vegan.

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PETA’s letter to Xenia City Prosecutor Ronald Lewis follows.

July 18, 2018

The Honorable Ronald C. Lewis

Xenia City Prosecutor

Dear Mr. Lewis,

I hope this letter finds you well. I would like to request that your office (and the proper local law enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file suitable criminal charges against Bob Evans Farms Inc. and the workers responsible for repeatedly and ineffectively shooting pigs—who cried out over and over again—in the head on July 3 and March 21 at its slaughterhouse located at 640 Birch Rd., in Xenia Township. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incidents in the attached reports, which state the following:

“On July 3, 2018, … the FSIS Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian (SPHV) … observed a disabled or slow sow down in the hind legs and in a sitting position. … Marks were placed on the sow’s forehead to identify proper captive bolt placement. The captive bolt device was discharged into the location of the mark on the head. The sow was observed to remain in a seated position, blinking, continued rhythmically breathing, and vocalized loudly. … A second trained employee picked up the second captive bolt stunner and placed it on the sow’s forehead and discharged the device. This attempt was ineffective. The sow remained conscious, in a seated position, blinked, continued breathing, vocalized loudly, and attempted to back away from the area. … The member of BEF management had reloaded the second captive bolt device, placed and discharged the device into the head, placing the device more rostral on the sow’s forehead. The sow was observed to drop to the floor.”

“On March 21, 2018, … [t]he SPHV observed establishment employees attempt to stun a sow [who] was non-ambulatory [and] disabled …. Establishment personnel marked the sow’s forehead for captive bolt placement and had two employees, each with a sort board, restrain the sow. The stunning operator aligned the captive bolt gun on the sow’s forehead and discharged. Following the stunning attempt, the sow was dazed; her forelimbs went rigid, her neck was extended, and her eyes rolled back. A few seconds later, the sow began to blink. Establishment personnel attempted to sweep the sow’s forelimbs out from under her in order to stick her to bleed, but the sow resisted attempts to lie down. Once the sow began to resist, she then vocalized two to three times. She also regained her balance and remained upright in the front. The establishment supervisor handed a backup preloaded captive bolt gun to the stunning operator. The device was placed on the sow’s forehead and discharged. After this second stunning

attempt, the sow remained standing in the forelimbs, resisted efforts to be swept off her feet again, vocalized, and blinked. The first captive bolt gun was reloaded and handed to the stunning operator who then placed the device and fired. This third stunning attempt rendered the animal insensible.”

This conduct appears to violate Ohio Revised Code § 959.13(A)(1). Importantly, FSIS action does not preempt criminal liability under state law for slaughterhouse workers who perpetrate acts of cruelty to animals.

Please let us know what we might do to assist you. Thank you for your consideration and for the difficult work that you do.


Colin Henstock

Investigations Specialist

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