State Board of Health Report Corroborates Suffering at Pig Farm

After PETA Video Exposé, Veterinarians Find Sick and Injured Pigs, Piglets Covered With Feces, and More at White River CO-OP's East Fork Farms

For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Loogootee, Ind. – PETA has just obtained a report from the Indiana State Board of Animal Health that corroborates whistleblower footage revealing suffering, filth, and crowding at East Fork Farms near Seymour, where pigs owned by the Loogootee-based White River CO-OP were intensively confined.

According to the report that the board sent Indiana State Police on November 8, two state veterinarians inspected East Fork Farms on October 21—12 days after PETA released the footage. During the walk-through, East Fork Farms manager John Otte killed two newborn piglets with “blunt force”—typically, picking piglets up and slamming them against the floor. Inspectors found holes in multiple pen floors, and the floor of one pen had collapsed—piglets who had escaped the manure pit below were left covered with feces, and another piglet was left trapped in the pit. Some pigs had obvious injuries, and the majority of gestation crates were far too small—even by meager industry standards—for mother pigs. Piglets were coughing and/or sneezing in most of the farm’s eight rooms that held them, and ammonia fumes were prominent in some of the rooms.

Otte confirmed that the footage PETA released on October 9 of suffering and dying piglets and workers throwing piglets several feet through the air was recorded at East Fork Farms. A veterinarian from White River CO-OP told state veterinarians that he saw suffering and injured pigs the day after the footage was released, when he and the Indiana State Police were at the farm and 18 pigs were killed because of illness or injury.

“State veterinarians agree: Piglets and their mothers suffered in decrepit conditions at East Fork Farms,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges slaughterhouses to reconsider buying pigs from White River CO-OP—and reminds everyone that helping pigs like these is as simple as going vegan.”

While the Indiana Pork Producers Association and other industry groups have failed to condemn the horrific conditions at East Fork Farms, evidently accepting them as industry standard, JBS USA confirmed to PETA that it has permanently banned White River CO-OP—not just East Fork Farms, as previously reported—as a supplier.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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