Criminal Probe Sought: Pig Shot in Head Repeatedly, Cried in Pain

For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Russellville, Ark. – PETA has obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report revealing a recent violation of law at Cypress Valley Meat Company, LLC, in Pottsville. In response, PETA sent a letter today calling on Pottsville City Attorney Deidre Luker to review the matter and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the facility and the worker(s) responsible for shooting a pig in the head four times—first with a captive-bolt gun, then twice with a .22 pistol, and finally with a .410-gauge shotgun—before the animal was rendered unconscious. The pig screamed out in pain throughout the ordeal. The USDA report noted that the facility’s usual “hog stunner” had been out of operation since the previous day.

“This disturbing report shows that this pig experienced a prolonged, agonizing death at Cypress Valley Meat Company,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation in behalf of the pig who suffered at this facility and urging all compassionate members of the public who are disturbed by this cruelty to help prevent more animals from suffering in slaughterhouses by going vegan.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. The group notes that pigs, sheep, bulls, cows, chickens, and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do, and that the best way to help prevent them from suffering in slaughterhouses is not to eat them.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Pottsville City Attorney Deidre Luker follows.

December 5, 2019

Deidre Luker

Pottsville City Attorney

Dear Ms. Luker,

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 Cypress Valley Meat Company, LLC, and the worker(s) responsible for shooting a pig four times as the animal cried out on November 1 at its slaughterhouse located at 5951 Hwy. 64 E. in Pottsville. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:

“I heard what sounded like the normal sound of the captive bolt and a loud hog squeal … I heard what sounded like the 22 caliber pistol shot and another loud hog squeal … I heard another 22 caliber pistol shot and another loud squeal. Finally … I heard what sounded like the 410 shot gun shot and there was silence. … The hog stunner had been out of operation since yesterday, the establishment was waiting for parts to arrive in order to repair the stunner.”[1]

This conduct appears to violate A.C.A. § 5-62-103. Importantly, FSIS action does not preempt criminal liability under state law for slaughterhouse workers who perpetrate acts of cruelty to animals.[2]

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

Sincerely,

Colin Henstock

Assistant Manager of Investigations

[1]FSIS District 35 Manager Robert Q. Bane, Notice of Suspension, Cypress Valley Meat Company, LLC (Nov. 4, 2019) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/a6899415-501f-4946-bbdb-58e34aca4a08/m46139-v46139-nos-cypress-110419.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

2See Nat’l. Meat Assoc. v. Harris, 132 S. Ct. 965, 974 n.10 (2012) (“. . . States may exact civil or criminal penalties for animal cruelty or other conduct that also violates the [Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA)]. See [21 U.S.C.] §678; cf. Bates v. Dow Agrosciences, LLC, 544 U.S. 431, 447 (2005) (holding that a preemption clause barring state laws ‘in addition to or different’ from a federal Act does not interfere with an ‘equivalent’ state provision). Although the FMIA preempts much state law involving slaughterhouses, it thus leaves some room for the States to regulate.”).

[1]FSIS District 35 Manager Robert Q. Bane, Notice of Suspension, Cypress Valley Meat Company, LLC (Nov. 4, 2019) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/a6899415-501f-4946-bbdb-58e34aca4a08/m46139-v46139-nos-cypress-110419.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.

[2]See Nat’l. Meat Assoc. v. Harris, 132 S. Ct. 965, 974 n.10 (2012) (“. . . States may exact civil or criminal penalties for animal cruelty or other conduct that also violates the [Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA)]. See [21 U.S.C.] §678; cf. Bates v. Dow Agrosciences, LLC, 544 U.S. 431, 447 (2005) (holding that a preemption clause barring state laws ‘in addition to or different’ from a federal Act does not interfere with an ‘equivalent’ state provision). Although the FMIA preempts much state law involving slaughterhouses, it thus leaves some room for the States to regulate.”).

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

Contact

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind