Christensen Farms responds to MFA video

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Christensen Farms & Feedlots, Inc. released a statement on Wednesday regarding an undercover video shot on one of its production sites by Mercy for Animals (MFA).

Brian Foster with Christensen Farms told Pork Network that the undercover activist was on the farm from this past November to February.

MFA posted a 4:14 minute version of the video and initiated a web campaign to encourage consumers to contact food companies whose pork supplies trace back to Christensen Farms.

Christensen Farms’ statement emphasized that it is a long-standing producer of high-quality pork products and a pioneer in seeking new ways to improve production procedures. “The Company is committed to utilizing best practices supported by scientific research to promote good individual animal health,” it said.

It points out that MFA is “an animal rights group that promotes veganism. The video purports to show a typical operation of a pork production facility, but the images shown in the video are dated and are intentionally taken out of context.”

“Taking proper care of our animals is our primary goal and essential to the success of
our business,” said Robert Christensen, chief executive officer of Christensen Farms.
“Over the years, we have continually challenged ourselves to improve our operational
practices and compliance with industry standards. As one of the largest pork
production companies in the U.S., we take our responsibility as a steward to the
industry and the animal very important.”

The statement points out that Christensen Farms recently elected to adopt a euthanasia method using carbon dioxide to prevent the suffering of sick or injured piglets. “The
Company continues to seek improvements, including evaluating options for animal
Housing,” it said.

Christensen Farms also provided the following response to specific issues targeted in the video:

1. Gestational Stalls/Individual Maternity Pens:
Housing systems, such as
gestational stalls/individual maternity pens, allow producers to provide the best
individual care to sows and their piglets and are within standard animal welfare
practices. The company continues to monitor trends and implement changes
based on the latest research and customer feedback.

2. Blunt Force Trauma:
Christensen Farms is a pioneer in seeking alternative
methods of animal care, such as the February 2012 decision to adopt a new
innovative method of euthanasia using carbon dioxide to prevent the suffering of
sick or injured piglets. Although manual blunt force trauma is accepted by the
American Association of Swine Veterinarians as a method of euthanasia, many
within the pork industry are exploring alternatives to this practice.

3. Tail Docking: This method of clipping the tail of young piglets is standard
animal welfare practice and is in fact done to prevent injury, infection, and death.
It is common for piglets to engage in tail biting of other piglets, which causes
physical damage and fear in animals.

4. Photos of Injured Pigs:
Photos may have been taken out of context and did not
fully depict the hard work and care of the company’s on-farm staff. The injuries
shown in the Mercy for Animals video appear to have occurred just prior to the
footage being shot. Under existing procedures, those animals would have been
treated by staff on the farm under veterinary supervision.

Christensen Farms points out that the company performs periodic internal audits in addition to utilizing external expertise to provide input and perspective on production practices including animal welfare standards.

“We recognize our moral and ethical obligation to provide for the responsible treatment
of our animals,” said Dr. Laura Dalquist, DVM, a consulting veterinarian to Christensen
Farms. “Christensen Farms’ animal welfare practices are fully consistent with industry
standards for humane and ethical treatment of animals.”

Christensen Farms & Feedlots, began in 1974 as a small family operation. Today, it is among the largest producers of pork in the United States, with 162,500 sows and operations in six states throughout the Upper Midwest. Headquartered in Sleepy Eye, Minn., the Christensen family still runs the business.



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July, 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Blah Blah Blah, you didn;t mention how

anthony    
Sucknuts Minnesota  |  July, 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM

thaty sweet girl was ripping the nuts off of little piglets. Your kind is getting boring and quite repulsive, get a life trolls.

Brenda Smith    
Virginia  |  July, 19, 2012 at 07:47 AM

The video is very disturbing and you are not doing anything about it to improve the situation. Walmart should be ashamed of themselves for even dealing with you horrible people. How could you even allow people to work for you that treat animals like that. Why isn't there a vetenarian on site to treat these animals and why don't the pregnant sows have a wide space to have their babies. Gestation crates are horrible and you should do away with these, but I guess all you see is dollar signs not caring about the animals. Very sad and hope you in your life receive at some point the same treatment you are giving these animals.

Brenda Smith    
Virginia  |  July, 19, 2012 at 07:47 AM

The video is very disturbing and you are not doing anything about it to improve the situation. Walmart should be ashamed of themselves for even dealing with you horrible people. How could you even allow people to work for you that treat animals like that. Why isn't there a vetenarian on site to treat these animals and why don't the pregnant sows have a wide space to have their babies. Gestation crates are horrible and you should do away with these, but I guess all you see is dollar signs not caring about the animals. Very sad and hope you in your life receive at some point the same treatment you are giving these animals.

    
New Ulm, MN  |  July, 20, 2012 at 03:00 PM

Would like to know how many of you commenting have ever lived or worked on a farm around pigs? or seen pregant sows in open space attack each other and make horrifc wounds on each other and also kill and or eat there piglets? I have seen both side and ways! I do believe you all need to see both sides of the picture beofre you judge what you see on a very edited 4 mins video clip from over months of hidden video taping not just what you think sounds good in your heads, for lack of a better way to put it.

Pat Creamer    
Illinois  |  July, 19, 2012 at 09:03 AM

I really think you are doing very cruel things to these animals. Standard requirements obviously don't mean kin or humane. I hope you are boycotted Greed is the root of all evil and you are certainly very evil!!

    
July, 19, 2012 at 05:39 PM

I enjoyed the fact that Bob Barker narrated the video as if his ass has was there on a daily basis. Did he run out of money or did he just retire as a game host to soon.

jayjay    
WA  |  July, 24, 2012 at 01:00 PM

Bob Baker has always been an animal rights activist. Him & Betty White both contribute so much to the wellness of animals.

Kane    
Rochester MI  |  July, 19, 2012 at 06:56 PM

I don't believe one word---they just got caught. The Mercy for Animal video had nothing to do with vegan and everything to do with animal suffering. I think the Board for Walmart and the owners of the farm should be treated in the same manner.

D. Barger    
Maryland  |  July, 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM

You are disgusting people! The sooner you're out of business the better! And may all your nuts get ripped off!

MJ    
Royal Oak, Michigan  |  July, 20, 2012 at 11:32 PM

To the owner of Christensen Farm, you should be ashame on how you in humanely treat these poor pigs. All animals have feelings too. To Walmart stores, this is the reason why you'll never have my business! I'd rather pay more somewhere else, knowing what I buy no one gets hurt. Whatever happened to the old ways....happy farm, produces happy animals?

Tom    
Birmingham, MI  |  July, 20, 2012 at 03:46 AM

Tail docking? They are snipping the nuts off these poor little guys. And just because your industry association allows something, it doesn't mean it is humane or right. If practices are so good in your facility, open it up to outside, neutral observers! Or if you really want to improve things, decide to really take a leading edge, risky approach and develop approaches that are broadly accepted as humane. In the end, there is no easy way to address this. You are raising meat on a massive, industrial scale, not on Old McDonald's Farm.

Visitor    
West Coast  |  July, 22, 2012 at 03:31 AM

This is obviously biased, and the writer has lost touch with certain human realities. I say this as a daily meat eater who compares the video, created no more than a year ago, to the obvious BS thrown up by Christensen Farms. Sorry, but that's how I see it. Pigs are dumb, pigs are smart. Suffering is suffering, pain is pain.

Lindy Spinks    
Carrollton GA  |  August, 27, 2012 at 09:38 PM

Your ANSWER was full of BULL. Just because something is the accepted method of doing something, DOES not make it right. Any human would know that this is not how animals should be treated. I WILL not eat pork from WalMart ....IN FACT I will not go into a WALMART until this is a thing of the past. God did not create animals to be treated like this. I do belive that animals are for food. BUT what I saw in this video was beyond even anything I could have imagined. IF you are not doing what it shown in this video...OPEN your processing plant and invite the media in. I don't see how ANYONE could work here. BUT the real blame lies with the managment. THEY KNOW this is wrong...BUT it is about the all might $$$$

    
Pacific Northwest  |  August, 28, 2012 at 05:18 PM

You people at Christenson Farms are just plain evil. You have to be, to treat any animal this way. Pigs have a higher intelligence level than a dog. You would be in jail if you treated dogs this way. This is NOT okay and this video alone has turned me into a vegetarian. I won't support this industry and I won't support Walmart. I believe in Karma and I am glad I am not you.

Jorge    
California  |  August, 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM

If I live close I would wait by the gate and when the owners come out hit them with a 2x4. Screw them low life scumbags.

Judy Hagamon    
Tennessee  |  September, 05, 2012 at 09:28 AM

I will not be buying anymore of your porkafter I saw the inhumane way you treated your animals

kevin    
September, 09, 2012 at 04:09 PM

if the pigs were not castrated in turn they would become boars, so the only thing they would be good for is pepperoni, summer sausage, etc., this would make it where sows would be the only thing to produce loins pork chops etc., so that would sky rocket the price of pork because it would take a lot of hogs away from consumable production and i fully agree with the commenter above about how many of you have ever worked on a hog farm, until you know how the daily routing is operated you really DON'T KNOW jack, how many of you greenie weenies are wearing leather shoes or have leather seats in your car where do you think leather comes from, rubber for your tires? 1000's possibly 100 of thousands of acres every year are bulldozed to make room to plant more trees for tires on your car and other rubber products, oh and if you do your research which i am sure most of you morons don't, the MFA DOES PROMOTE VEGAN LIFESTYLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dale    
Brookings S.D  |  October, 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Very good point! thank you

Dale    
Brookings S.D  |  October, 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Very good point! thank you

    
Colorado  |  November, 05, 2013 at 12:50 AM

"Would like to know how many of you commenting have ever lived or worked on a farm around pigs? or seen pregant sows in open space attack each other and make horrifc wounds on each other and also kill and or eat there piglets? I have seen both side and ways! I do believe you all need to see both sides of the picture beofre you judge what you see on a very edited 4 mins video clip from over months of hidden video taping not just what you think sounds good in your heads, for lack of a better way to put it." But can't they at least just have a little bit bigger space? No because it costs more money. I'm just thinking can't they just have a little bit bigger space. and the way they throw those piglets around is UNACCEPTABLE. How would you like to be dropped on your head from 5 feet off the ground?

FU    
Colorado  |  November, 05, 2013 at 12:59 AM

UHM HELLO. WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY ARE BEING CASTRATED. WE CARE ABOUT THE FACT THAT IT IS WITH NO PAIN KILLERS WHILE THE ANIMAL IS FULLY CONSCIOUS. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF I CAME OVER THERE AND RIPPED YOUR BALLS FROM YOUR BODY WITH NO PAIN KILLERS?! YOU WOULDN'T BE TALKING LIKE THAT WOULD YOU? AND NO I DON'T WEAR LEATHER. WE HAVE TO HAVE LEATHER BECAUSE WE HAVE TO HAVE A WAY TO GET AROUND, BUT THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! RUBBER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BLATANT ANIMAL ABUSE!!!

monique    
Chicago  |  November, 22, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Horrendous. Deplorable. And the explanation is pathetic. No human without sociopathic tendencies could watch such a video without crying or the stomach turning. These people would abuse their children or yours if they thought nobody was watching. They are violent criminals, and you are supporting them. How do you look at yourself in the mirror. I believe in Karma, and it is way too late for yours.

Jonne    
November, 25, 2013 at 08:51 PM

Unbelievable!! How do you explain the bowling ball being thrown at the pigs or the workers kicking and punching the pigs especially the pregnant one ??? How do you all sleep at night? The video left a lasting impression.

Lori    
Kennesaw, ga  |  November, 25, 2013 at 11:25 PM

To the person that says there are two sides: THERE WAS ONLY ONE SIDE IN THAT VIDEO AND IT WASN'T FOR THE PIGS !!! How can you even say that: they were slamming there heads on the ground and leaving them to suffer. What was the other side to that??? I lived on a farm for goodness sake and I never saw the side your talking about. I was a paramedic for many years and saw a lot but that takes the cake!!! I couldn't even continuing watching the video. Someone needs to stop this crap!!! If you think there is another side then you be the pig and I'll be the nice human, UGH! N

Lyn    
Minnesota  |  December, 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Pigs are the third most intelligent animal after primates and dolphins. Dogs are 13th. On your website you state that the photos are out of context. Out of context of WHAT?!?! They are injured, they are abused. There is NO context to allow for that. And do you really think Bob Barker and the rest of the public is so stupid to believe that your gestational crates are the best way to care for sick/injured (WHY ARe tHEY INJURED?)? No they are the EASIEST way for YOU to do it. If they were free roaming they wouldn't get sick and injured! You know that you are hurting PEOPLE who work there--they probably have to deal with the shock of what they see about how life is being treated so have to suppress their own soul nature and deal with it by acting out against the animals. Get rid of your greed, reduce your profit, and get rid of the gestational crates. THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED IN ANY OTHER WESTERN NATION. Do something right for raising civilization for a change.

Jan Streight    
Texas  |  December, 14, 2013 at 08:35 PM

No mention by your company of the firing of the individuals responsible for the torture of the animals video?!!! USDA and the laws of your state should be shutting down the facility where this was "secretly" videoed and the perpetrators brought up for criminal charges. Along with anyone who doesn't stop these practices and anyone else who puts forth such uncaring un compassion towards helpless animals. I understand the industry and the meat industry and have seen horrors in the horse slaughtering plants of long ago and the reasons they were shut down completely was well founded. I have been in the livestock business all my life, never have I seen such disregard for animals that write your checks!!! May God have NO mercy on your souls if you allow such barbaric practices to continue. I am not Vegan, nor am I a member of any group that is anti meat or production of same. I don't know what it will take but certainly as the owners of such a huge and profitable company there must be some shred of decency and compassion left. Find it and put a stop to this or lose everything from word of mouth and complaints that will linger far and wide.

Cathy Kerns    
Phoenix  |  July, 24, 2014 at 07:15 PM

Their comments are 'hogwash'! Hope the public can see through their lies.


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