Criminal Probe of Slaughterhouse Sought After Pig Shot in Head Four Times Over 15 Minutes

For Immediate Release:
May 30, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Salt Lake City

PETA has obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture report revealing at least the second recent botched shooting of a pig at Tooele Valley Meats in Grantsville. In response, PETA sent a letter today calling on the Tooele County Attorney to investigate the slaughterhouse and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the facility and the workers responsible for the latest animal’s suffering.

“These disturbing revelations show that this pig suffered a prolonged, agonizing death at Tooele Valley Meats,” 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 him.”

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 Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead follows.

May 30, 2018

The Honorable Scott Broadhead

Tooele County Attorney

Dear Mr. Broadhead,

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 Tooele Valley Meats and the worker(s) responsible for repeatedly and ineffectively shooting a pig—who repeatedly cried out—in the head over the course of 15 minutes on May 21 at its slaughterhouse located at 985 E. Main St., outside Grantsville. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:

“A TVM employee attempted to stun a large castrated male hog with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. After the first stunning attempt, the hog remained standing, vocalizing in distress. The employee made a second attempt with the same pistol … and again the animal remained standing, and vocalizing, in distress. The employee made a third attempt with the same pistol, only to find the pistol without ammunition, causing the employee to exit the kill-floor area to locate the ammunition. This third attempt with the pistol resulted in the animal … lying on its left side, breathing rhythmically, and blinking its eyes. Eight to ten minutes had elapsed between the first attempt and the third. The establishment owner instructed the employee to use the captive bolt device. The employee retrieved the ammunition cartridge for the captive bolt device; and three to five minutes elapsed. After a misfire and a resulting reload, a fourth attempt [and] the animal was rendered unconscious. The entire elapsed time of the attempts was fifteen minutes.”

The above incident followed the repeated and ineffective shooting of a pig in the head at the facility on March 22, which again left the affected animal crying out and which is described in another attached FSIS report.

This conduct appears to violate Utah Code § 76-9-301(2)(c), as FSIS’ action illustrates that the conduct was not in accordance with the accepted animal husbandry practices or customary farming practices that are exempted from prosecution. 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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