For Immediate Release:
January 3, 2022
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Rochester, Wa. – PETA has obtained a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report revealing a violation of law by Puget Sound Processing, in which a conscious pig was shot eight times with captive-bolt guns, cried out, and remained standing until a ninth shot finally ended her suffering. In response, PETA sent a letter this afternoon calling on Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison to investigate this latest violation and, as appropriate, file criminal charges against the company and the worker(s) responsible.
Federal officials have documented multiple similar violations by Puget Sound Processing in recent years. The state’s Department of Agriculture previously investigated the company in 2018 following a PETA complaint that a conscious cow had been shot in the head five times. The agency found that the operation had acted inhumanely and issued a warning of potential fines or jail time for future violations.
“This latest report shows that Puget Sound Processing staff inflicted a prolonged, agonizing death on a terrified pig,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for an investigation on this animal’s behalf and is 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, cows, sheep, chickens, and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do.
PETA’s letter to Sandison follows.
January 3, 2022
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Dear Mr. Sandison:
I hope this letter finds you well. I’m writing to inform you of yet another inhumane handling incident involving Rochester-based Puget Sound Processing, LLC, in which a worker shot a pig, who was conscious and standing upright, in the head nine times on December 2, 2021.
In April 2018, we alerted you to four similar incidents, in which this company’s workers shot cows and pigs in the head up to five times each. We understand that your agency warned Puget Sound Processing that month that further violations could result in fines or jail time. We ask that your agency now file suitable criminal charges for this latest incident, which is described by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in the attached report:
[A] sow was stunned with a hand-held captive bolt (HHCB) device. The first stun attempt was unsuccessful at rendering the animal insensible. The CSI [FSIS Consumer Safety Inspector] observed the sow vocalizing with controlled eye movement and continuing to stand within the stun box. The second through the eighth stun applications, alternating between the backup HHCB device and the primary HHCB device, both being reloaded multiple times, had the same ineffective response from the animal. The CSI observed the sow remain standing and moving in the stun box voluntarily and showing controlled eye movement and remaining conscious. On the ninth stun attempt with the HHCB device, the CSI observed the animal drop insensible in the stun box and a tenth stun was then applied …1
As before, this conduct appears to violate Wash. Rev. Code § 16.50.120 and may violate Wash. Rev. Code § 16.52.207(1). The fact that inhumane handling persists at Puget Sound Processing makes it clear that FSIS enforcement actions alone are insufficient to deter future violations. Your agency’s action and criminal prosecution are in the best interests of both the public and the animals killed by this company. Please let us know what we can do to assist you. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
Assistant Manager of Investigations
1FSIS District 15 Manager Dr. Robert Reeder, Notice of Suspension, Puget Sound Processing, LLC (December 2, 2021) https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2021-12/M45858-NOS-12022021.pdf. Last accessed December 20, 2021.