HSUS Claims Pig Abuse At Smithfield Facility
The Humane Society of the United States has released an undercover video that the group took at a Virginia facility owned by Murphy-Brown Farms, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.

According to an HSUS news release, the group conducted a month-long investigation at a Smithfield/Murphy-Brown breeding facility in Waverly, Va. An HSUS undercover investigator worked inside the 1,000-sow production system, and “documented the inhumane treatment of sows,” according to a background document prepared by HSUS.

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Smithfield Responds To Pig Abuse Allegation
At Smithfield Foods our number one priority is food safety along with the care and safety–of our employees and our animals–at all of our facilities. We have a long history of leading the industry with innovative programs to demonstrate that leadership in order to provide our customers with a safe and abundant food supply.

Currently, the company’s well-defined animal welfare policy and procedures have been in action in the form of an ongoing investigation since last weekend, when we first learned of a possible animal abuse incident at one of our facilities through our employee animal welfare hotline. This was then followed by today’s HSUS release of a hidden video.

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FDA Report Has Data On Antibiotics Sold, Not Used

Contrary to proponents of banning antibiotics in food-animal production, a government report issued last Friday does not show America’s livestock and poultry producers are using “massive” amounts of antibiotics.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration report includes data on sales of all antibiotics intended for use in farm animals. For 2009, 28.7 million pounds of antimicrobial drugs were sold; nearly 29 percent of that amount was ionophores, compounds not used in human medicine.

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GIPSA Rule Progress, Export Forecasts, Sow Slaughter

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said on Monday that USDA will conduct an “exhaustive” cost benefit analysis of the livestock marketing and contracting rule proposed by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration back in June. That comment was made to a meeting/conference call with meat and poultry sector participants to discuss next steps in finalizing that rule.

The comment period on the rule closed on November 22 but the entire process has been intertwined with the series of USDA/Department of Justice (DOJ) Competition Workshops.

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