Feds Cite Local Slaughterhouse After Pig Is Repeatedly Shot

Animal Cried Out and Tried to Stand Up After Being Shot—PETA Says Incident Warrants Public Scrutiny, Operational Overhaul

For Immediate Release:
May 28, 2020

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Grand Junction, Colo. – Following federal officials’ report documenting that a pig was repeatedly shot in the head, leaving the wounded animal crying out and struggling to stand between shots, at Mountain Meat Packing in Fruita, PETA has fired off a letter urging the owner to stop slaughtering pigs and to livestream video from the facility in order to help prevent workers from mishandling and abusing other animals during slaughter. Or, preferably, the facility could stop killing farmed animals altogether and switch to butchering only animals who’ve already been killed in collisions with vehicles and salvaged by customers, such as wild deer, elk, or moose.

“Publicly livestreaming slaughter operations—or ending them altogether—would help prevent animals from experiencing agonizing, prolonged deaths,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging Mountain Meat Packing to overhaul its facility immediately and encouraging anyone disturbed by this incident to help keep animals out of slaughterhouses everywhere by going vegan.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—also asked what action Mountain Meat Packing has taken against the worker responsible for the botched shooting, such as reporting him to local law enforcement and reassigning him to a position that doesn’t involve contact with live animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Gary Baysinger, owner of Mountain Meat Packing, follows.

May 28, 2020

Gary Baysinger

Owner

Mountain Meat Packing, Inc.

Dear Mr. Baysinger,

Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report documenting the repeated shooting of a pig in the head that left the wounded animal crying out and struggling to stand at Mountain Meat Packing, we ask that you immediately make changes to your operations in order to reduce animal suffering at your Fruita slaughterhouse.

In light of the egregious pain and terror that your staff caused this pig to endure in violation of federal law, won’t you please stop slaughtering these animals? Rather than risk committing similar violations in the future, you could focus on minimizing the stress and suffering of the other farmed animals you slaughter.

Would you publicly livestream video from all areas of your facility where live animals are handled? Your workers would surely take more seriously their duty to handle animals lawfully if they knew that people were watching. The world’s foremost expert on livestock welfare, Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University, writes, “Plants [t]hat are doing a good job should show what they are doing.” Members of your industry often complain that consumers today don’t understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could shed light on this by allowing the public to observe your workers as they move countless animals—individuals who value their own lives as much as humans do—off crowded trucks in all weather extremes, attempt to stun them, slash or stick their throats, and then bleed them to death.

What action, if any, have you taken against your staff member referenced in the report? Have you reassigned him to a job that doesn’t involve contact with live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and reported him to your local law enforcement agency so that he might be investigated for possible violations of Colorado’s anti-cruelty statute?

Finally, if you want to stay in business without causing animals to suffer and die needlessly, you could switch to butchering exclusively wild deer, elk, or moose killed in collisions with vehicles and legally salvaged by customers who wish to eat their flesh, as state law allows. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Colin Henstock

Assistant Manager of Investigations

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 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