Probe of Slaughterhouse Sought After Pig Repeatedly Struck With Gate

PETA Cites Federal Report Showing That Worker at Smithfield Farmland Corp. 'Willful[ly]' Hit Pig in the Head

For Immediate Release:
December 18, 2017

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Clinton, N.C. – Armed with a damning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, PETA sent a letter today calling on the Clinton Police Department to investigate and, as appropriate, file criminal charges against Smithfield Farmland Corp. and the worker responsible for repeatedly striking a pig in the head with an automatic gate and knocking the animal’s head against concrete.

According to the USDA record, operations at Smithfield Farmland Corp. were suspended on November 21 after an inspector witnessed a worker “willful[ly]” pressing a button that closed a gate onto a stressed pig’s head, leaving the animal battered and bleeding. The inspector also saw a trail of blood at the scene. PETA notes that this incident may violate North Carolina’s cruelty-to-animals statute, which makes it a crime to injure or torment an animal intentionally.

“PETA is calling for a criminal investigation of this facility and the worker who deliberately struck a pig in the head with a gate on the slaughterhouse floor,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “There’s no difference between the fear and pain that this pig felt and how dogs, cats, or humans would feel if they were subjected to multiple blows to the head.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that the meat industry slaughters more than 115 million pigs every year, that other animals have a central nervous system and sense of self-preservation just like humans, and that the only way to prevent pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals from suffering in slaughterhouses is to go vegan.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind