Mistreatment Captured on Video at Sausage Supplier to State’s Schools
For Immediate Release:
July 10, 2013
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
Pontotoc, Miss. — PETA has obtained video footage recorded at Southern Quality Meats, Inc. (SQM)―a Pontotoc slaughterhouse that supplies sausage to Mississippi schools―that shows an SQM employee using electric prongs, normally used to electrically stun pigs prior to slitting their throats, to jab sows and even putting the prongs on one apparently stunned mother pig’s lower abdomen and/or genitals. Just a few feet away—and in full view of the sows who were being stunned—other sows were hoisted up by one foot in order to have their throats slit and their skin cut off. SQM “processes” and slaughters dozens of pigs—up to 160—every day. PETA has notified SQM of alleged inhumane slaughter at its facility, which the company has denied.
Because some of the actions caught on video may violate a federal mandate that requires that pigs be handled with a minimum of excitement and discomfort immediately prior to slaughter and during stunning, as is necessary to ensure rapid and effective insensibility to pain, PETA has sent a letter to the Mississippi Department of Education—which has funneled contracts worth more than $6 million in local and state tax money into SQM since 2006—urging the department to reconsider its current contract with the facility. Many Mississippi schools’ meal programs are supplemented with federal funding under the National School Lunch Program and the national School Breakfast Program.
“Most taxpayers haven’t a clue that their taxes are funding the horrors and intense suffering seen in PETA’s slaughterhouse video,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on the Board of Education to impose an immediate ban on buying the flesh of pigs mistreated and killed at this plant.”
PETA has also filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service alerting it to the video as well as a whistleblower’s allegations that SQM workers beat downed pigs on the face and head with chains, dragged some pigs to the kill floor, and electro-shocked some for up to 30 minutes in order to force them to walk.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.