Mistreatment of pigs on an Ohio farm in 2007 and the court case which followed were the subjects of a 87-minute documentary called Death on a Factory Farm aired on HBO Monday night. The documentary presented the results of an investigation conducted by the Humane Farming Association.
To document the mis-treatment, an individual obtained employment at the farm at the request of HFA, and filmed mistreatment of pigs with a hidden camera.

The documentary covers the 2007 court case where the owner of the farm, his son and an employee were charged on 10 criminal charges of animal cruelty. The situation depicted on the documentary was investigated thoroughly and resolved by the Ohio court system. Of the 10 criminal charges alleging animal cruelty, one resulted in a conviction.

"The treatment of the animals depicted on the HBO documentary is not representative of how responsible pork producers care for their animals," said the National Pork Board in a statement. "Responsible pork producers hold themselves to the production standards that are consistent with the ‘Ethical Principles for U.S. Pork Producers’ ."

One of the principals outlined in the document is Animal Well-Being:

  • Animal Well-Being: We affirm our obligation to protect and promote animal well-being. 
  • Provide feed, water and an environment that promotes the well-being of our animals.
  • Provide proper care, handling and transportation for pigs at each stage of life. 
  • Protect pig health and provide appropriate treatment, including veterinary care, when needed.
  • Use approved practices to euthanize, in a timely manner, those sick or injured pigs that fail to respond to care and treatment.

Responsible pork producers demonstrate their commitment to animal care, well-being and pork safety by achieving certification and implementing current best management practices including the Pork Quality Assurance Plus and Transport Quality Assurance. The programs help ensure those who work closely with the animals are providing the best possible care.

To learn more about pork production, view this video.

Source: National Pork Board