Repeated Shooting of Immobile Pig in Head at Swift Pork Co. Prompts PETA Call for Action

Downed Pig Repeatedly Shot, Including Near the Eye; Group Says Incident Warrants Public Scrutiny, Operational Overhaul

For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Marshalltown, Iowa

Following federal officials’ report documenting that a pig was shot four times—an inch from the right eye, twice in the forehead, and at the base of an ear—at Swift Pork Company’s slaughterhouse in Marshalltown, PETA has fired off a letter urging the president of JBS USA Pork, Swift Pork’s parent company, to livestream video from the facility in order to hold workers publicly accountable for mishandling and abuse during slaughter.

“PETA is urging JBS USA Pork to take immediate steps, including installing video monitoring, to prevent pigs from experiencing agonizing, prolonged deaths at its facility,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Anyone disturbed by this incident can help keep animals out of slaughterhouses in the first place by going vegan.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—also asked what action JBS USA Pork has taken against the worker responsible for the botched shooting, such as reporting the individual to local law enforcement and reassigning him or her to a position that doesn’t involve any contact with live animals.

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PETA’s letter to Martin Dooley, president of JBS USA Pork, follows.

April 20, 2020

Martin Dooley



Dear Mr. Dooley,

Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report concerning an incident in which a downed pig was shot four times—including an inch from the right eye—before he or she was rendered unconscious and during which the worker left to retrieve more bolt charges at JBS Swift & Co. in Marshalltown, Iowa, we ask that you immediately make changes to your operations in order to reduce animal suffering at that slaughterhouse.

For instance, you could publicly livestream video from all areas of this facility where live animals are handled. Your workers would surely take more seriously their duty to handle animals lawfully if they knew that people were watching. The world’s foremost expert on livestock welfare, Dr. Temple Grandin, writes, “Plants [t]hat are doing a good job should show what they are doing.” Members of your industry often complain that consumers today don’t understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could shed light on this by allowing the public to observe your workers as they move countless pigs—individuals who value their own lives as much as humans do—off crowded trucks in all weather extremes, attempt to stun them, slash or stick their throats, and then bleed them to death.

What action, if any, have you taken against your staff referenced in the report? Have you reassigned them to jobs that don’t involve contact with live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and reported the involved personnel to the local law enforcement agency so that they might be investigated for possible violations of Iowa’s livestock-neglect statute?

Finally, if you want to stay in business without causing animals to suffer and die needlessly, you could switch to butchering exclusively wild animals killed in collisions with vehicles and legally salvaged by customers who wish to eat their flesh, as state law allows. Thank you for your consideration.


Colin Henstock

Assistant Manager of Investigations

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