One day after
Tuesday morning the Humane Society of the United States released a report and gruesome video of alleged animal abuse in a Wyoming hog farming facility that sells to
"I am sickened and outraged by what I've seen, and any right-thinking person will have the same reaction," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS in a statement. "The shocking abuse at this facility shows why so many Americans are calling for reforms in the pork industry. It is also deeply disconcerting that Tyson and other companies are buying pork from this hellhole for pigs, and I hope those corporate relationships end tomorrow."
In a Tuesday statement Tyson stressed that none of the hogs it buys from Wyoming Premium are processed in Tyson plants.
"We do have a small, but separate hog buying business that buys aged sows; however, these animals are subsequently sold to other companies and are not used in Tyson's pork processing business," the Tyson statement said. Later, the company confirmed it would stop purchases pending investigation.
"We've seen the video and we are appalled by the apparent mistreatment of the animals," the Tyson statement said. "We do not condone for any reason this kind of mistreatment of animals shown in the video."
The disturbing footage taken last month depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets. Other shots show sick and dead animals in pens and a heavy worker bouncing atop a sow with an injured leg.
Wyoming Premium Farms is owned by Itoham America Inc., a Japanese company with U.S. headquarters in Denver. Calls to Itoham and the Wyoming farm met with busy signals or messages that the company mailbox could not take any further messages.
Pacelle said the the Humane Society was tipped off by a whistle blower who told of mistreatment at the hog breeding facility. He said Wyoming Premium houses approximately 11,000 to 13,000 sows and piglets at any one time, and has three other facilities in the state.
"A lot of Americans accept that these animals are raised [for meat] but what most wouldn't accept is this callous cruel treatment of living beings," Pacelle said Tuesday by teleconference from Washington D.C.. "Nobody who eats meat would want to see animals suffer in this horrible way. And that is why we have brought this matter to your attention today."
The HSUS has filed a complaint against the facility with the local sheriff's office in Platte County, and is urging the sheriff to file criminal charges.
Platte County representatives did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
These kinds of undercover videos have proven effective in changing public and private policies on meat in recent years but they have also come under attack for unfairly smearing industrial agricultural producers. Opponents of the undercover tactics have sponsored--and passed in Iowa--state "ag gag" bills that would make entry into a facility to create such documents a crime.