Criminal Probe of Slaughterhouse Sought After Pig Shocked Four Times

For Immediate Release:
December 6, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Hilo, Hawaii

PETA has obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report revealing a recent violation of law at Kulana Foods, Ltd. in Hilo. In response, PETA sent a letter today calling on the Hawai’i County prosecuting attorney to investigate the slaughterhouse and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the facility and the worker responsible for shocking a pig who cried out, panted, and remained alert, four times before shooting her in the head with a captive-bolt gun, finally rendering her unconscious.

“These disturbing revelations show that this pig endured a prolonged, agonizing death at Kulana Foods,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on behalf of the pig who suffered at this facility and the members of the public who care about her.”

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 Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth follows.

December 6, 2018

The Honorable Mitch Roth

Hawai’i County Prosecuting Attorney

Dear Mr. Roth,

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 Kulana Foods, Ltd., and the worker responsible for electroshocking a pig, who cried out, panted, and remained alert, four times before finally shooting the animal in the head on November 15 at its slaughterhouse located at 590-J W. Kawailani St. in Hilo. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:

“The CSI [Consumer Safety Inspector] observed a large sow brought into the stunning area for electrical stunning. A stunning attempt was applied, and the sow squealed, remained standing, and was observed to be alert and looking around. The operator then made three additional ineffective stunning attempts with the electrical stunning device. During all stunning attempts, the sow stood with muscles rigid and tense indicating that an electrical stun had been applied. However, following each stunning attempt, the sow was immediately alert, standing, and was looking around. Additionally, during the fourth stunning attempt, the sow squealed again and laid down in lateral recumbency but was still observed to be conscious, as it was looking around with rapid open mouth breathing.

The CSI informed the establishment operator … that further action needed to be taken immediately to render the sow unconscious. The establishment employee then retrieved a hand-held captive bolt gun …. The charges for the captive bolt gun were then retrieved from their storage location in another room. After several minutes, a fifth stun was applied with the hand-held captive bolt which successfully rendered the sow unconscious.”

This conduct appears to violate HRS § 711-1109. 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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