Pig Repeatedly Shot in the Head; PETA Seeks Criminal Probe

For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Oneida County, N.Y.

PETA has obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture report revealing a recent violation of law at Gold Medal Packing, Inc., outside Rome. In response, the group sent a letter this morning to Oneida County District Attorney Scott D. McNamara calling on him to review the matter and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the facility and the worker(s) responsible for repeatedly shooting a pig in the head. After being shot three times, the pig was still fully alert and apparently walked more than 30 feet, and a minute passed before two additional gunshots finally rendered the animal unconscious.

“This disturbing report shows that this pig experienced a prolonged, agonizing death at Gold Medal Packing,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on behalf of the pig who suffered at this facility and urging all compassionate members of the public who are disturbed by this cruelty to go vegan and help prevent more animals from suffering in slaughterhouses.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group notes that pigs, sheep, cows, chickens, and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do, and that the best way to help prevent them from suffering in slaughterhouses is not to eat them.

For more information, visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to McNamara follows.

April 14, 2021

The Honorable Scott D. McNamara

Oneida County District Attorney

Dear Mr. McNamara,

I hope this letter finds you well. I would like to request that your office (and the proper local law enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file suitable criminal charges against Gold Medal Packing, Inc., and the worker(s) responsible for repeatedly shooting a pig in the head over the course of more than a minute on March 31 at its slaughterhouse located at 8269 Old River Rd. outside Rome. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:

“Establishment personnel were attempting to stun a large swine with a firearm. The animal was standing in the blood chute area, unrestrained. A plant employee took two rapid shots, to the head of the animal, with the .38 caliber pistol. After a slight pause (approximately five seconds) a third shot was taken. When [FSIS Inspection Program Personnel] observed the pig after another minute passed, [the pig] was standing fully alert approximately 12 yards distant from its original location on the kill floor. Establishment personnel proceeded to take two more shots, with a 9 mm caliber handgun, rendering [the pig] insensible.”1

This conduct appears to violate New York Agriculture & Markets Law § 353. Importantly, FSIS action does not preempt criminal liability under state law for slaughterhouse workers who perpetrate acts of cruelty to animals.2

Please let us know what we might do to assist you. Thank you for your consideration and for the difficult work that you do.


Colin Henstock

Assistant Manager of Investigations

1FSIS District 60 Manager Dr. Lynda E. Lilyestrom, Notice of Suspension, Gold Medal Packing, Inc. (Mar. 31, 2021) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2021-04/m17965-nos-03312021.pdf.

2See Nat’l. Meat Assoc. v. Harris, 132 S. Ct. 965, 974 n.10 (2012) (“. . . States may exact civil or criminal penalties for animal cruelty or other conduct that also violates the [Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA)]. See [21 U.S.C.] §678; cf. Bates v. Dow Agrosciences, LLC, 544 U.S. 431, 447…  (2005) (holding that a preemption clause barring state laws ‘in addition to or different’ from a federal Act does not interfere with an ‘equivalent’ state provision). Although the FMIA preempts much state law involving slaughterhouses, it thus leaves some room for the States to regulate.”).

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