More Big Ag animal cruelty. Tyson supplier abuses Wyoming pigs
May 8, 2012
Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) buys pigs from an
Itoham Foods Inc. (2284) facility in Wyoming that keeps pregnant sows
in undersized cages and abuses the animals, the Humane Society
of the U.S. said, citing an undercover video.
The video was recorded last month by an employee at a
facility owned by Hyogo, Japan-based Itoham, Wayne Pacelle,
chief executive officer of the Washington-based animal-
protection organization, said today on a call with reporters.
Gestating sows weighing 500 pounds are confined to cages so
small they can’t turn around, he said.
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), Burger King Holdings Inc. and Safeway
Inc. (SWY) have asked suppliers to phase out gestation crates, which
are legal. Tyson’s competitors, including Hormel Foods Corp.,
Cargill Inc. and Smithfield Farms Inc. have said they plan to
reduce or eliminate the use of such crates. Pacelle said the
video shows that Tyson buys pigs raised in a way that Americans
Tyson said it didn’t buy any hogs raised on this farm for
its pork-processing plants.
“We do have a small, but separate hog-buying business that
buys aged sows,” the company said in a statement on its
website. “These animals are subsequently sold to other
companies and are not used in Tyson’s pork-processing
A call to Itoham’s Wyoming subsidiary wasn’t immediately
The video also shows pigs and piglets at the 10,000-animal
facility being punched and kicked, injured pigs going without
treatment and dead animals left uncollected.
Pig farmers in the European Union starting Jan. 1 will be
required to keep breeding animals together in open pens for most
of their lives instead of confining them to gestation pens.
The Humane Society has asked the Platte County sheriff to
pursue criminal charges under Wyoming’s anti-cruelty statute,
“There is something very, very wrong with this production
system where animals are immobilized for their entire lives,”
Pacelle said on the call. “Something must change.”
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