Feds See Pigs Maimed by Tyson Equipment; PETA Seeks Slaughterhouse Cameras

For Immediate Release:
September 21, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Waterloo, Iowa

Following a recent federal report documenting that pigs were mutilated by machinery—a year after another pig remained conscious after being shot in the head—at the Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. slaughterhouse in Waterloo, PETA fired off a letter this morning to the facility’s manager, Rick Petersen, calling on him to livestream video footage from the slaughterhouse in order to help prevent more egregious violations of law.

According to the report, on September 12 three pigs were entrapped by equipment while being moved into a carbon dioxide chamber. The machinery caught one pig’s snout, killing the animal, and severely broke the others’ back legs. This follows an incident on April 9, 2021, in which a pig in “very poor condition” with “blood hemorrhaging” from her mouth remained conscious after a worker shot her in the head. It took a second blast to end her suffering.

“These disturbing reports show that pigs endured agonizing pain as they were mutilated by equipment and that another pig experienced the terror of being repeatedly shot in the head,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on Tyson to publicly livestream its slaughter operations—and reminds everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”

PETA has also asked Petersen to report the personnel involved in the incidents to local law-enforcement officials and reassign those individuals to positions that don’t involve having contact with live animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Petersen follows.

September 21, 2022

Rick Petersen

Plant Manager

Tyson Fresh Meats Inc.

Dear Mr. Petersen:

Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture reports detailing that pigs were trapped and maimed in equipment that killed one and severely broke the legs of two others and that another pig remained conscious after a worker shot her in the head at Tyson’s Waterloo slaughterhouse, we ask that you immediately change operations there in order to reduce animal suffering.

Will you please publicly livestream video from all areas of the facility where live animals are handled? Workers would take more seriously their duty to handle animals lawfully if they knew that caring people were watching. As the world’s foremost expert on livestock welfare, Dr. Temple Grandin, writes, “Plants [t]hat are doing a good job should show what they are doing.” Your industry often complains that today’s consumers don’t understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could help by enabling them to observe your workers moving countless individual pigs—who value their lives as we value ours—off crowded trucks in all weather conditions, attempting to stun them, slashing or sticking their throats, and bleeding them to death.

At the very least, will you reassign your staff responsible for the suffering referenced in the federal reports to jobs that don’t involve contact with any live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and report the involved personnel to your local law-enforcement agency for investigation for possible violations of the state’s anti-cruelty statute?

Thank you for your consideration.


Colin Henstock

Investigations Project Manager

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