PETA to Probe Smithfield Shareholders Over Reckless Slaughterhouse-Bound Truck Drivers

Group Plans to Place a Striking Billboard After Latest Deadly Crash

For Immediate Release:
May 31, 2021

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Smithfield, Va. – “When will Smithfield prohibit hiring or contracting with drivers who have repeated driving-related convictions or were found to have been at fault in any crash?” That’s the question a PETA representative will ask tomorrow at the annual meeting of WH Group, the parent company of Smithfield Foods, Inc., in Hong Kong.

PETA, which purchased stock in Smithfield last year, notes that just last week, a Smithfield truck carrying nearly 200 pigs in Suffolk, Virginia, overturned—the 18th crash of a truck heading to a single slaughterhouse that the group has documented. In response, PETA plans to place a billboard in the area to honor the pigs’ memory.

The driver involved in last week’s crash was cited for failure to maintain control of the vehicle. Another Smithfield driver who rolled a truck last November—killing numerous pigs—had multiple driving-related convictions, including for reckless driving. Others have been charged with speeding after collisions and for other driving violations.

“Truck crashes leave pigs mangled and bloody, and those who aren’t killed on impact suffer for hours, crying out from overturned trailers,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Smithfield is already responsible for so much animal suffering, and PETA is calling on the company to spare pigs the additional pain and fear caused when reckless drivers take the wheel.”

Before loading them into slaughterhouse-bound trucks, the meat industry squeezes mother pigs into narrow metal stalls barely larger than their bodies and keeps them almost constantly pregnant or nursing. Workers chop off piglets’ tails, cut their teeth with pliers, and castrate the males—all without any pain relief. At the slaughterhouse, workers hang pigs upside down—sometimes while still conscious—and slit their throats.

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.

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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