Company fires manager of farm accused of pig abuse

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From the Associated Press comes the latest on a pig abuse case in Iowa exposed by PETA:

A company said it fired the manager of an Iowa hog farming operation where workers were videotaped abusing pigs and six were charged this week with crimes. The announcement by Fairmont, Minn.-based MowMar Farms followed a decision by the Greene County sheriff on Wednesday to charge the six employees with animal abuse and neglect. The six farmworkers also are no longer employed by the company, MowMar said. The company did not release the name of the fired manager, but a MowMar spokeswoman, Julie Becker, said Thursday that the person was not among those who have been charged. The farm near Bayard, Iowa, supplies Hormel Foods Corp. of Austin, Minn.

A video released by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals a month ago depicts workers hitting sows with metal rods, slamming piglets on a concrete floor and bragging about jamming rods into the anus of sows. In the statement, company officials “expressed surprise and outrage over the images of animal mistreatment.” PETA had complained earlier this week that the manager of the farm remained employed. Abuse of livestock and aiding and abetting the abuse of livestock both carry penalties of up to two years in prison and a $6,250 fine, according to the Iowa attorney general’s office. The neglect charge is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $625 fine.

-- Francisco Vara-Orta