For Immediate Release:
September 6, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Afton, Tenn. – Following recently obtained federal reports documenting that cows and a pig were repeatedly shot in the head and other animals were denied water at the Snapps Ferry Packing Company slaughterhouse in Afton, PETA fired off a letter today to Dan E. Armstrong, the district attorney general for Tennessee Judicial District 3, calling on him to investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the workers responsible.
According to the reports, on December 27, 2021, a cow remained conscious and moved around after being shot in the head with a firearm. It took a second shot to end his or her suffering. That followed another incident on December 8 in which a cow remained standing and cried out after a worker shot the animal in the head with a pistol. The slaughterhouse owner rendered the animal unconscious with a second blast. On August 26, 2021, a pig stood up after being shot in the head with a pistol. A second shot rendered him or her unconscious.
This past March, workers kept four cows in a pen with no access to water. On November 29, 2021, a federal agent observed empty water troughs in two separate pens, depriving two cattle, two pigs, and a sheep of water. Just two weeks earlier, five cattle were denied water. And on September 27, 2021, five pigs and five lambs were found with empty water troughs at the slaughterhouse.
“This slaughterhouse is hell on Earth for animals, where cows and a pig endured the pain and terror of multiple gunshots to the head and other animals were kept thirsty in their miserable final days,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on the district attorney general to step in and prevent more illegal suffering by investigating and bringing appropriate charges—and reminds everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”
PETA points out that cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do. The group is pursuing charges under state law because federal officials haven’t prosecuted any inspected slaughterhouses for acts of abuse and neglect such as those at Snapps Ferry Packing Company since at least 2007.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Armstrong follows.
September 6, 2022
The Honorable Dan E. Armstrong
District Attorney General
Tennessee Judicial District 3
Dear Mr. Armstrong:
I’m writing to request that your office (and a law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the workers responsible for repeatedly shooting three animals in the head—and denying cows, pigs, and lambs water on at least four days—at Snapps Ferry Packing Company, located at 5900 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy. in Afton. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incidents in reports that the agency recently made available to the public. (See the attached table.)
According to the reports, on December 27, 2021, a cow was conscious and moving around after a worker shot the animal in the head with a pistol—a second blast ended the cow’s suffering. On December 8, 2021, a cow cried out after being shot in the head, before the slaughterhouse’s owner shot the animal a second time. On August 26, 2021, a worker shot a pig in the head with a pistol, but the animal remained conscious until a second shot stunned them.
This past March 7, a federal agent found four cows deprived of water at the slaughterhouse. On November 29, 2021, four cows and pigs and one sheep were denied water. On November 15, 2021, five cows were found without access to water. On September 27, 2021, pigs and lambs—a total of 10 animals—were found confined with empty water troughs.
This conduct may violate Tennessee Code § 39-14-202. The documented acts are not the usual and customary agricultural practices otherwise exempt from prosecution. Please note that FSIS’ action carries no criminal or civil penalties and does not preempt criminal liability under state law for acts of cruelty to animals. Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis
Cruelty Investigations Department