People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ought to try some ethical treatment of people. The activist group recently went after a small Missouri meat locker and its employees when a stun gun didn’t immediately kill a pig, according to an article by Helen Wilbers in the Fulton (Mo.) Sun.  

Central Missouri Meat and Sausage (CMMS), located near Fulton, Mo., is co-owned by Cory Hawkins and Brinker Farms. Hawkins, who was interviewed for the article, emphatically disputed the claim of alleged animal abuse.

"The writer of this report has altered the facts to promote their cause of turning the world vegan," Hawkins said.

Local law enforcement officials agreed. Despite PETA’s claims, they will not pursue a criminal case against CMMS, according to Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism.

"I will not be the arm of PETA to merely harass any Callaway County citizen or business," Chism said in the article. "At this time, I have not substantiated a violation of state law."

Background of the Accusation
Melissa Mary Wilson, an attorney with PETA (headquartered in Norfolk, Va.), said the claim was “based on a document from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Field Operations in Springdale, Arkansas.”

Animals at CMMS are normally stunned electrically, rather than with a gun, but the electrical equipment failed to operate on that day, and no hog was stunned.

"We switched to firearms and proceeded with the slaughter process, per our approved USDA plan," Hawkins said in the article.

"All animals receive multiple shots, which is out of humane handling to ensure no animal ever suffers," he added. "It's called a surety stun."

Hawkins said he's dedicated to making sure animals are treated humanely at his facility. In addition to conforming to USDA regulations, he's taken inspiration from Temple Grandin, an animal behaviorist and advocate for humane livestock slaughter.

"I've been a subscriber to (the journal) Animal Welfare for years," he said. "I actually teach animal handling."

He said all employees who work with livestock at the facility are trained in humane handling. The company hosts tours and welcomes people to the facility.

"I've been a subscriber to (the journal) Animal Welfare for years," Hawkins said in the article. "I actually teach animal handling."