For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Sioux Falls, S.D. – PETA’s legal counsel sent a letter this morning to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) humane handling ombudsperson, Dr. Kurt Schulz, questioning why the agency has failed to take any action following a whistleblower’s allegations of abuse and violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act occurring at Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. in Sioux Falls. The group is pushing for the agency to rectify the failure immediately by investigating the local slaughterhouse for its escalating violations of federal law, especially since the agency’s own inspection documents describe abuse like that recounted by the whistleblower.
The whistleblower’s allegations—which PETA presented to the FSIS in March along with supporting photographic evidence—include that workers did the following:
- They beat pigs with paddles on their hindquarters, anuses, and faces, sometimes with such force that the paddles broke. Workers would also apparently “light [the pigs] up” with shock prods to force the animals off arriving trailers.
- They left injured pigs to suffer for hours and dragged live pigs across the slaughterhouse floor.
- They failed to verify that pigs were dead or rendered unconscious after shooting them with captive-bolt guns.
“Pigs are in danger of being beaten to the point of collapse and left to languish in pain as long as the FSIS sits on its hands and does nothing,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on the FSIS to do its due diligence and hold Smithfield accountable for violating federal law and is asking anyone disturbed by these allegations to go vegan, which is the best way to prevent animals from suffering in slaughterhouses.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—points out that pigs and other animals feel pain and fear and value their own lives, just like humans. But pigs raised and killed for food are typically subjected to extreme filth and severe crowding, routine mutilations such as castration and ear notching, and a violent, bloody death.