Newly Obtained Documents Show Slaughterhouse Knew of Pig-Stunning Problems Months Before PETA Exposé

PETA's Plea to New State Education Chief: Start Fresh by Breaking Ties With Law-Breaking Slaughterhouse

For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2013

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

PETA has sent a formal request today to new State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright asking her to drop the Mississippi Department of Education’s contract with Southern Quality Meats, Inc. (SQM), a Pontotoc pig slaughterhouse that supplies sausage to the state’s schools, after newly released documents show longstanding problems that caused pigs not to be properly stunned at the plant.

The documents show that a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) official inspecting SQM in January 2013 found that 100 percent of the pigs observed “moved back and forth” in the facility’s knock box, “complicating … stun efforts,” and addressed the issue with SQM. Yet the facility was still failing to immobilize pigs effectively during stunning months later, as revealed in the video footage obtained by PETA that showed that an SQM worker repeatedly jabbed mother pigs with electric prongs and even shocked one sow’s genitals for “fun.” Although the USDA confirmed that this was “inhumane handling” in violation of federal law, SQM repeatedly failed to submit any satisfactory plan to correct the issues.

“It’s clear that the Mississippi Department of Education should drop its contract with Southern Quality Meats for its failure to abide by the law and its illegal mistreatment of animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on Mississippi to take a stand against feeding kids the flesh of animals who lived—and died—in a constant state of fear and suffering.”

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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