Pig Repeatedly Shot in the Head; PETA Seeks Criminal Probe

For Immediate Release:
October 7, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Kiowa, Kan.

PETA has obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture report revealing a recent violation of law at the Kiowa Locker System, LLC, slaughterhouse. In response, the group sent a letter this morning to Kiowa City Attorney Brandon Ritcha calling on him to review the matter and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the facility and the worker responsible for ineffectively shooting a pig in the head twice, leaving the animal still conscious and mobile. Workers “cornered” the pig to deliver a third, effective shot.

“This disturbing report shows that this pig experienced a prolonged, agonizing death at Kiowa Locker System,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on this pig’s behalf and urging everyone to help prevent more animals from suffering in slaughterhouses by going vegan.”

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.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Ritcha follows.

October 7, 2021

The Honorable Brandon Ritcha

Kiowa City Attorney

Dear Mr. Ritcha,

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 Kiowa Locker System, LLC, and the worker responsible for repeatedly shooting a pig in the head—leaving the wounded animal conscious and mobile—before staff “cornered” and finally stunned the pig with a third shot to the head on September 25 at its slaughterhouse in Kiowa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:

“[FSIS Inspection Program Personnel] observed an establishment employee attempt to stun a pig; however, the first shot was unsuccessful, and the animal remained standing. The employee immediately shot the pig a second time; however, the animal was still not rendered unconscious, and … remained standing. At this point, establishment employees were not able to immediately apply a third shot due to the free movement of the animal within the stall. After they cornered [the animal], the employees shot the animal a third time, rendering [him/her] unconscious.”1

This conduct appears to violate KAN. STAT. ANN. § 21-6412(a)(5). FSIS’ action underscores that repeatedly shooting a conscious animal is not a normal and accepted practice for the slaughter of animals for food that would be exempt from prosecution. 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 35 Manager Jeffery Barham, Notice of Suspension, Kiowa Locker System, LLC (September 28, 2021) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2021-09/M21585-P21585-V21585-NOS-09282021.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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