Investigation Sought After Pig Shot in the Face at Slaughterhouse

PETA Releases Federal Reports Showing That Vermont Packinghouse Workers Failed to Restrain, Stun, and Kill Pigs and Cattle Properly

For Immediate Release:
May 18, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

North Springfield, Vt. – Armed with damning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports, PETA sent a letter this morning calling on Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill to investigate Vermont Packinghouse and, as appropriate, file criminal charges against the slaughterhouse workers who failed to restrain, stun, and kill pigs and cattle properly on the first attempt—causing them to cry out and walk around after being shot in the head.

According to USDA documents, operations at Vermont Packinghouse—whose website says that it supplies Whole Foods Market—have been suspended four times since October 2016 for violations of slaughter regulations. During one incident, workers improperly restrained a pig and used a shotgun to blast a 2-inch-deep hole in the animal’s face. The screaming, wounded pig escaped the stun box, ran onto the kill floor, and wasn’t stunned for nine additional minutes. PETA notes that this and similar incidents appear to violate Vermont’s cruelty statute, which prohibits torturing and mutilating animals.

“PETA is calling for a criminal investigation into this facility, which allowed a bleeding, screaming pig to walk around the kill floor in agony,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “There’s no difference between the terror and pain that these animals felt and how dogs or cats would feel if they were left to suffer from a gunshot wound to the face.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that animals have the same central nervous system and sense of self-preservation as humans and that the only way to spare pigs, cows, and other gentle creatures from drawn-out suffering in this and other slaughterhouses is to go vegan.

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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