Humane Society Files Supplemental Complaints About Hog FarmsThu, 09 Feb 2012 14:51:56 CST
The Humane Society of the United States has filed supplemental complaints with both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Trade Commission regarding alleged false and misleading statements being made by Seaboard Foods in response to a recent undercover video made by an HSUS employee at one of the company’s Oklahoma pig breeding facilities.
The video shows breeding sows confined in gestation crates and showed workers hitting animals, duct-taping their splayed legs to their bodies and jabbing their eyes.
Based on the video, the HSUS filed complaints with the SEC and FTC, alleging that Seaboard makes grossly false and misleading statements about animal welfare to shareholders, potential investors and the public, including that the company uses the “most humane practices.”
In response to the video and complaints, Seaboard issued public statements about its animal welfare programs which further affirm the allegations made in The HSUS’ initial federal complaints.
In Seaboard’s news release following the investigation, the company defends its use of gestation crates as standard “U.S. industry practices,” despite repeated representations in other public materials that exceeding industry standards is “what separates Seaboard from other companies.”
“There’s simply no rational way the company can profess on the one hand to stand out from competitors on animal welfare and then revert to a claim of ‘industry standard practices’ when defending its mistreatment of animals,” says Jonathan Lovvorn, chief counsel and senior vice president of animal protection litigation for The HSUS. “Locking animals in gestation crates is simply indefensible, as is misleading investors and the public about that abuse.”
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