Feds Suspend Operations at Prestage Over Latest Violation; PETA Seeks Kill-Floor Cameras

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2022

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Wright County, Iowa – Following a just-released federal report documenting that a pig crawled 90 feet after having been shot twice in the head at Prestage Foods of Iowa outside Eagle Grove, PETA fired off a letter this morning to the company’s general manager and vice president, Terry O’Rourke, urging him to livestream video from the slaughterhouse in order to help prevent workers from mishandling more animals.

The April 6 incident follows other recent violations at the slaughterhouse: Workers ignored a federal inspector’s requests that they stun a conscious pig who was struggling after his or her throat had been cut and who was then apparently put through a machine that scraped off the animal’s hair. Workers also confined panting pigs without water and herded them so aggressively that one climbed over a barricade and fell onto his or her head.

“These reports reveal that Prestage Foods, where a pig recently crawled an agonizing 90 feet after being shot repeatedly, is hell on Earth for animals,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on this chronic offender to livestream its slaughter operations so everyone can see that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”

PETA has also asked O’Rourke to report the involved personnel to local law-enforcement officials and permanently reassign staff referenced in the federal reports 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 O’Rourke follows.

April 21, 2022

Terry O’Rourke

General Manager and Vice President

Prestage Foods of Iowa

Dear Mr. O’Rourke:

Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report detailing the suffering of a pig who crawled 90 feet after having been shot twice in the head at Prestage Foods of Iowa, we ask that you immediately change operations there and reduce animal suffering on site.

Other recent incidents at your facility underscore the clear need for changes. Workers have ignored a federal inspector’s requests that they stun a conscious pig who was struggling after the animal’s throat had been cut and then apparently put through a machine that scraped off the animal’s hair, confined panting pigs without water, and herded pigs so aggressively that one climbed over a barricade and fell on their head.

Will you please publicly livestream video from all areas of your facility where live animals are handled? Workers might take their duty to handle pigs lawfully more seriously if they knew 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 do not understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could improve understanding by enabling us to observe your workers moving countless individual animals—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 the workers referenced in the federal reports to jobs that do not involve contact with any live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and report the involved personnel to your local law-enforcement agency to be investigated for possible violations of Iowa’s livestock neglect statute?

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Colin Henstock

Assistant Manager of Investigations

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“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