An Iowa hog farm is the subject of a new People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' video showing workers abusing animals.
According to PETA officials, the animal-rights group received a tip about animal abuse from someone inside the farm located near Bayard, Iowa. PETA sent two undercover persons to the farm, where they worked from June to September of this year.
The operation in question was owned by Natural Pork Production II LLP until Aug. 18, and then transferred to MowMar LLP.
The footage includes workers hitting sows with metal rods and slamming runt piglets on a concrete floor to kill them, violently trying to make a downed sow move. There were other reported abuses, including jabbing pigs in sensitive areas such as the eyes. Supervisors were taped advising workers on questionable practices.
The Iowa farm sells market hogs to Hormel Foods. Julie Craven, Hormel spokesperson, points out that the farm in question became a Hormel supplier only after the change in ownership. She called the abuse "completely unacceptable." Hormel has no ownership stake in the farm.
One of MowMar's owners, Lynn Becker, says the abuses are "reprehensible" and that the company will investigate the situation and take corrective action.
PETA sent an e-mail urging consumers to boycott Hormel products. On its Web site, PETA posted: "By purchasing pigs born on this farm, Hormel is financially supporting an operation whose employees abuse animals. And if you eat these products or hot dogs, ham, sausage, or bacon, then you, too, are supporting this suffering. Please stop eating pigs. Then take action against Hormel." Contact information for Hormel followed.
PETA also is demanding that Hormel follow its eight-point policy to govern future pig farming operations. PETA officials say they will seek prosecution of 18 people on animal-cruelty violations.