Undercover hog farm video leads to animal abuse allegations

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Video Camera The animal rights group Mercy for Animals released an undercover video on Tuesday, alleging animal abuse at a hog farm and Walmart pork supplier in Pipestone, Minn.  The group released the video, narrated by actor James Cromwell, in a news conference Tuesday morning.

According to the group’s press release, local law enforcement raided Pipestone System's Rosewood Farms on allegations of animal abuse stemming from the video.

However, according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), an independent veterinarian, taken by law enforcement to the Pipestone facility shown in the undercover video, determined that there were no signs of inhumane treatment or violations of good production standards. Read the NPPC’s news release here.

No charges were filed.

The hog farm management company further explains that the practices depicted in the video –including killing piglets through “blunt force trauma” – are all within hog industry guidelines, according to the Star Tribune.  

Luke Minion, CEO of the Pipestone Management Co., explained that the piglets were euthanized because they were sick or injured, and wouldn’t have survived otherwise.

Euthanasia through blunt force is approved by the NPPC and is “very fast and pain-free” when done correctly.  Read, “Animal rights group alleges cruelty at Pipestone hog farm.”

However, there is debate whether this practice should be an acceptable practice. The Animal Care Review Panel, an expert panel created by the Center for Food Integrity, addressed this euthanasia method.

“The problem on this farm appears not to be how euthanasia is being carried out but the lack of timely euthanasia,” Dr. John Deen from the University of Minnesota, one member of the panel, said. “Pigs were seen in this video that should have already been euthanized. There are situations where pigs have irreversible health issues and euthanasia is the humane thing to do.”

Click here to read the panel's concerns, which also include the employees' hevaiors, attitudes and lack of training.

The Pipestone System responded the video.

"The Pipestone System does not condone any type of willful animal abuse. The Pipestone System immediately conducted an internal investigation of alleged mistreatment and discovered certain violations of its Animal Welfare Policy that resulted in the immediate termination of one employee, reassignment of another and follow-up training of the remaining employees. The Pipestone System also requested and underwent an immediate third party external audit of the operations at this farm," a statement said.

Dr. Luke Minion, President and CEO of Pipestone System also accused the undercover investigator at the farm also violated their animal welfare policy by not taking "specific actions aimed at protecting the welfare of the animals as the Pipestone System policies dictate, but instead was solely motivated to obtain undercover footage for Mercy for Animals without any true regard for the immediate welfare of the animals."

Read the statement here.



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Karen Pittenger    
Colorado  |  October, 29, 2013 at 11:58 PM

Well the standards are unacceptable to anyone except demons and their human zombie minions. You all need to wake up and smell the compassion.

Ty W.    
Midwest  |  October, 30, 2013 at 08:23 AM

Karen... If I had to guess, you are also pro-choice...?

Karen Pittenger    
Denver  |  October, 30, 2013 at 12:02 AM

We saw the footage, we saw how those people BEHAVE. HOW THEY TREAT THOSE IN THEIR UNCARING CARE. Being humane you act like a human being, these were not human beings. They are tormentors. Do you think you can just ignore that? 24 hour sadistic hell.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  October, 30, 2013 at 08:51 AM

The meat/dairy/egg industries spends hundreds of millions of dollars lying to the public about their product. But no amount of false propaganda can sanitize meat. The facts are absolutely clear: Eating meat is bad for human health, catastrophic for the environment, and a living nightmare for animals. There's never been more compelling reasons or a better time to opt for a plant based diet. Want to create a better world? Eat like you mean it - Go Vegan http://www.nonviolenceunited.org/veganvideo.html

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  October, 30, 2013 at 08:53 AM

So sorry --- But this article isn't about a woman's choice to terminate a pregnancy of the unborn. It's about living, breathing, feeling, suffering and murder of sentient beings. Please stick to the topics without including your non-relevant agenda and comments. Thank you.

IndianaJohn    
LaPorte Co. NW Indiana  |  October, 30, 2013 at 09:27 AM

Although I agree with doing a job operation with the minimun equipment, I find "knocking" to be disagreeable with me personally. To cull pigs and hogs I use a .22 . Though I would use a captive-bolt if I had one. I would not want to be seen "knocking" by either by myself or others and especially not by the pigs.

Son-of-Butch    
Minnesota  |  October, 30, 2013 at 09:43 AM

Bea, I agree we Americans need to eat a more plant based diet. But, I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water. My solution has been to buy from famiy farm raised and locally processed meat. Knowing who and how the animals have been raised and processed has made a world of difference to me. I don't know about Florida, but not hard to do here in Minnesota for anyone willing to put in a little effort.

Robert    
Minnesota  |  October, 30, 2013 at 09:59 AM

The owners plus Walmart are purposefully targeted because of who they are not about their humane practices. The owners of the sow unit are in fact strong advocates of humane animal handling. The film cuts, narration, and dramatic music says it all about the agenda of the filmmaker. Take time to visit some working farms or discuss this with pork producers. You will find that almost all the practices are industry accepted and peer reviewed. Death is not pretty in any way. Follow the money; without fear, and playing on the sympathies of good intentioned people that have not been on a farm, Mercy, HSUS, PETA and others would have to fold up their tents and get a real job. Follow the money. HSUS pension contributions are bigger than their funding of local humane chapters in the US. Don't be scammed.

Elaine    
October, 30, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Bea - You are the one being lied to by Mercy, PETA, HSUS, etc. You state that humans should be eating a "plant based" diet & that's exactly what these organizations want the public to do. It's not about humane animal treatment. Because telling the public to "go vegan" isn't going to get results, so they create these undercover videos to show the public what their organizations deem to be "inhumane" aspects of animal agriculture to "shock" the millions of ignorant Non ag people. These videos are edited & footage taken out of context to suit the message they are trying to send. And people like you believe this crap!! Are you trained in livestock production? I would guess not & neither are these undercover people that weasel their way into livestock production facilities . . . so how do you know what is acceptable & humane practices for livestock industry??

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  October, 30, 2013 at 04:39 PM

So Bea, let me see if I understand your pagan logic about Ty's comment to Karen Pittenger. you believe that any farm animal has a higher intrinsic value than a prenatal human because that child has not yet breathed for itself. I think you are one seriously misguided and deranged individual. You clearly understand Ty's point but you don't want it to come out because you don't want people seeing the misguided logic of your compatriots. So you call foul over a little topic drift. Ty's point is directly related to the question and you have no justification for calling his comments out of bounds.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  October, 30, 2013 at 04:39 PM

So Bea, let me see if I understand your pagan logic about Ty's comment to Karen Pittenger. you believe that any farm animal has a higher intrinsic value than a prenatal human because that child has not yet breathed for itself. I think you are one seriously misguided and deranged individual. You clearly understand Ty's point but you don't want it to come out because you don't want people seeing the misguided logic of your compatriots. So you call foul over a little topic drift. Ty's point is directly related to the question and you have no justification for calling his comments out of bounds.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  October, 30, 2013 at 04:42 PM

Elaine, Bea is primary trained in activism, particulary spinning bits of information found on the internet into what she claims to be massive scientific evidence.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  October, 30, 2013 at 04:50 PM

When you say, "The facts are absolutely clear:" you are making a conclusion not supported by available science. Many people eat an omnivorous diet and are quite healthy. Additionally, the environment of our planet is capable of supporting meat production as well as plant based food production. Sadly, self righteous food activists like you constantly object to advances that would make food even more abundant. You object to the use of many animal health products. You object to animal husbandry practices that protect animals and the environment in combination with increasing production efficiency. Like I have said before Bea. You are one misguided individual.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  October, 30, 2013 at 04:50 PM

When you say, "The facts are absolutely clear:" you are making a conclusion not supported by available science. Many people eat an omnivorous diet and are quite healthy. Additionally, the environment of our planet is capable of supporting meat production as well as plant based food production. Sadly, self righteous food activists like you constantly object to advances that would make food even more abundant. You object to the use of many animal health products. You object to animal husbandry practices that protect animals and the environment in combination with increasing production efficiency. Like I have said before Bea. You are one misguided individual.

Mark's Modern raised Pork    
IL  |  December, 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Has anyone done a study on the amount of fuel would be used to transport all the produce from the equator to northern regions for protein needs ? Talk about pollution ! I'll stay with Deer & Pork !


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