Criminal Probe of Slaughterhouse Sought After Pig Shot in the Head Five Times

For Immediate Release:
November 1, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Sanford, Maine

PETA has obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report revealing a recent violation of law at Sanford Butcher Shop in Sanford. In response, PETA sent a letter today calling on the York County district attorney to investigate the slaughterhouse and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against its owner for shooting a conscious boar four times in the head, causing the bleeding animal “pain and trauma” and “[m]ultiple, major skull fractures,” before finally rendering him unconscious with a fifth shot.

“These disturbing revelations show that this pig endured a prolonged, agonizing death at Sanford Butcher Shop,” 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 York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery follows.

November 1, 2018

The Honorable Kathryn Slattery

York County District Attorney

Dear Ms. Slattery,

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 the owner of Sanford Butcher Shop for shooting a pig in the head five times, causing the bleeding animal “pain and trauma” and “[m]ultiple, major skull fractures” on September 24 at the slaughterhouse located at 578 Lebanon St. in Sanford. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:

“[T]he CSI [Consumer Safety Inspector] observed the plant owner getting ready to stun an aged boar with large head and thickened forehead, using a 9 MM semi-automatic handgun with two bullets in the magazine. The boar was calm in the stun chute …. The owner took two shots. The SPHV [Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian] observed the boar following the first two shots. The animal was standing with blood trailing from at least two different points on the … head. The owner walked to the office and got two more bullets, then tried to stun the boar a third time; [he] still did not go down. After the third shot, the SPHV observed that the animal had blood trailing from [his] head; additionally, the animal was moving [his] head from side-to-side in an agitated manner and was stumbling on [his] feet. The owner took a fourth shot and was not able to properly stun the boar. The SPHV observed that the animal remained standing, continued to have increased amounts of blood trailing from [his] head and face, and was … stumbling into the side of the kill box and moving [his] head about in various motions indicating head pain and trauma, stupor, and dyscoordination from blunt force trauma. The owner got more bullets from the office and was able to effect unconsciousness in the boar with the fifth shot.”

This conduct appears to violate Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17, § 1031. Importantly, FSIS action does not preempt criminal liability under state law for slaughterhouse owners 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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