Cruelty Probe Sought: Live Pig Put Into Scalding Water, Pulled Out Conscious

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Romulus, N.Y. – PETA has obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report revealing a recent violation of law at Schrader Farms Meat Market in Romulus. In response, we sent a letter today calling on Seneca County District Attorney Mark Sinkiewicz to review the matter and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the facility and the workers responsible for starting to put a live pig whose throat had been cut into scalding water. After a USDA inspector raised concern that the animal was still conscious, the pig was pulled back out of the water, at which point the inspector documented “blinking, tracking eye movements, licking of the nose with its tongue, a righting reflex, and … some grunting.” A worker then cut the pig’s throat again, without stunning him or her first, which is required by law.

“This disturbing report shows that this animal experienced a prolonged, agonizing death at Schrader Farms Meat Market,” 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 urging all compassionate members of the public who are disturbed by this cruelty to go vegan and help prevent more animals from suffering in slaughterhouses.”

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 only 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 Sinkiewicz follows.

February 20, 2020

The Honorable Mark Sinkiewicz

Seneca County District Attorney

Dear Mr. Sinkiewicz,

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 Schrader Farms Meat Market and the worker responsible for cutting the throat of a conscious, grunting pig—who had evidently been partially put into scalding-hot water—on February 4 at its slaughterhouse located at 1937 Somerville Rd. in Romulus. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:

“While the CSI [Consumer Safety Inspector] was conducting post-mortem inspection of a previously slaughtered swine, she noticed an increased amount of movement of a swine on the rail as it was being put into the scalder and asked the establishment employee if it was dead. The employee pulled the animal back from the scalder and when the CSI lifted the ear of the pig, she observed blinking, tracking eye movements, licking of the nose with its tongue, a righting reflex, and heard some grunting. The employee then proceeded to stick the pig again, without restunning it.”[1]

This conduct appears to violate New York Agriculture & Markets Law § 353. 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 60 Manager Dr. Lynda Lilyestrom, Notice of Suspension, Schrader Farms Meat Market (Feb. 4, 2020) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/ad6e09b3-b11d-4da6-996c-a726eeabbd8c/44950-NOS-02042020.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 60 Manager Dr. Lynda Lilyestrom, Notice of Suspension, Schrader Farms Meat Market (Feb. 4, 2020) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/ad6e09b3-b11d-4da6-996c-a726eeabbd8c/44950-NOS-02042020.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.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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