US pig workers convicted of cruelty

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

US pig workers convicted of cruelty

Related tags Tyson foods Pig Pork Livestock

Five employees at a Wyoming-based pig farm in the US have been convicted of animal cruelty.

The employees were convicted for multiple counts of animal cruelty after a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) undercover investigation claimed to have documented acts of animal abuse.

Workers at Wyoming Premium Farms were shown to be kicking live piglets like footballs in the HSUS video. Sick piglets were also swung in circles by their back legs, while a mother pig was punched and kicked repeatedly as she resisted leaving their piglets.

Senior vice-president for investigations at the HSUS Jonathan Lovvorn said: “All animals deserve humane treatment, including animals raised for food. We are grateful to law enforcement officials for pursuing charges in this case, and we hope these convictions will deter further abuse of animals on industrial factory farms.”

Furthermore, the HSUS said its investigation also uncovered individual acts of abuse, which also led to criminal charges. It said breeding pigs were found confined day and night in gestation crates and tiny cages, which “virtually”​ immobilised them for most of their lives.

HSUS said: “Gestation crates, used throughout Tyson Foods’ supply chain, have come under fire from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, Oscar Mayer, Jimmy Dean, Sysco and other nearly 50 other leading food companies, as well as from veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare advocates, scientists, consumers and others.”

During the investigation, which was released last year, the farm in question was a supplier of pig meat, through a subsidiary company, to the US meat company Tyson Foods. However, Tyson Foods severed its relationship with the farm.

A Tyson Foods spokesman told​ that Tyson Foods had nothing to do with Wyoming Premium Farms. He said: “Tyson Foods does not own, operate or have any contractual relationship with this Wyoming farm, which is primarily involved in supplying feeder pigs to a competitor of our company.”

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