For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Paris, Tenn. – PETA has obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture report revealing a recent violation of law at Yoder Brothers Meat Processing outside Paris. In response, the group sent a letter this morning calling on District 24 Attorney General Matthew Stowe to review the matter and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against the facility and the worker responsible for shooting a pig in the head three times. The employee shot the pig with a captive-bolt gun, but the injured pig stood back up and remained standing through two more shots before another worker effectively shot the animal with a firearm.
“This disturbing report shows that a pig experienced a prolonged, agonizing death at Yoder Brothers Meat Processing,” 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 is 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 only way to help prevent them from suffering in slaughterhouses is not to eat them.
PETA’s letter to Stowe follows.
April 5, 2021
The Honorable Matthew Stowe
District 24 District Attorney General
Dear Mr. Stowe,
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 Yoder Brothers Meat Processing and the worker responsible for repeatedly shooting a pig in the head while the animal remained conscious and standing on March 22 at its slaughterhouse located at 1650 Briarpatch Lake Rd. outside Paris. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:
“An establishment employee moved a hog into the stunning box. A designated employee attempted to stun the animal using a captive bolt device. After administering the first shot, the animal went down, released a long breath, and immediately stood up. The designated employee … administered a second shot, which was ineffective, exhibited by the animal remaining standing. … a third shot was administered that did not render the animal unconscious and insensible to pain, as the animal still remained standing. At that point, the establishment summoned an additional employee from processing who … retrieved [a] firearm from its location, came to the slaughter floor, and dispensed a single shot which rendered the animal unconscious and insensible.”1
This conduct may violate T.C.A. § 39-14-202(a). 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.
Assistant Manager of Investigations
1FSIS District 90 Manager Dr. Larry Davis, Notice of Suspension, Yoder Brothers Meat Processing (Mar. 22, 2021) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2021-03/mp17301-nos-03222021.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.”).