This week, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reported that it had undercover video showing workers abusing hogs at a sow farm in Garland, N.C. Accoding to PETA, an undercover investigator applied for a job with Murphy Family Ventures following a worker's tip that abuse was occurring at this sow farm. PETA's investigator worked there from Sept. 13 to Nov. 2.
According to PETA, the video shows farm workers hitting pigs in the face with metal rods; dragging squealing pigs by their snouts, ears and legs; bragging about beating pigs; and failing to treat pigs for a variety of injuries. PETA delivered the video tape and other evidence from its investigation to the local district attorney
Murphy Family Ventures, an independent contract grower for Murphy-Brown LLC, the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. PETA officials want local authorities to file charges against the farm for violating the state's anti-cruelty laws.
The animal rights group is challenging Smithfield to have Murphy Family Ventures fire workers involved in the alleged abuse and to expedite its plans to phase out gestation-sow crates.
Murphy-Brown has initiated an internal investigation and issued the following statement:
"When the investigation has been completed, we will take the appropriate actions if violations of the company's animal-welfare policy are identified. The alleged incidents occurred on the farm of a contract grower for Murphy-Brown, not on a company owned or managed farm. We will work with the contract grower to review his/her conformance with our requirements for animal care, [and] to include recommendations for corrective action if non-conformances to our requirements are found."
Murphy Family Ventures issued a similar statement:
"We have received information about this matter and are reviewing these specific allegations. The company is conducting its own internal investigation to determine the facts in this matter and will take any appropriate actions necessary. As a first step, farm managers were directed to fully review our animal welfare policies and practices with all farm staff immediately.
"As a contract producer for Murphy-Brown, we are required to follow the policies and practices outlined and contained in our animal-welfare management program. Murphy Family Ventures is committed to responsible animal-welfare practices and will aggressively mandate strict compliance with the policy. The policy states that 'Willful neglect or abuse of animals will not be tolerated and will result in immediate termination.' Any person or persons involved with abuse will be subject to the policy."
Source: Meatingplace.com, Murphy-Brown