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Agricultural News

Mercy For Animals Targets Oklahoma Hog Production Facility in Undercover Animal Abuse Scam

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 17:18:04 CST

Mercy For Animals Targets Oklahoma Hog Production Facility in Undercover Animal Abuse Scam Tuesday morning, the animal rights group Mercy For Animals, held a news conference in Oklahoma City, where footage, secretly filmed by an undercover investigator, was released showing alleged animal abuse taking place in a hog production facility located in Hinton, Oklahoma. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn was there and spoke with MFA’s Director of Investigations Lindsay Wolf about the accusations she presented regarding the Hormel supplier.

“What our investigator documented, is piglets having their testicles viciously ripped out, their sensitive tails cut off without the use of any pain relief, stressed animals who are repeatedly biting the bars of their cages,” a sign of serious mental collapse says Wolf. “Mother pigs who are crammed in filthy barren crates with no room to turn around or even lie down comfortably.”

Wolf referred to both gestation and farrowing crates, which provide protection to the animals in different ways. Gestation Crates can protect the sow during pregnancy from other adult female hogs who try to boss other animals in open housing, while farrowing crates which keep the sows from injuring their own piglets - helping prevent the unintentionally crushing of their baby pigs, a problem that happens quite frequently with hogs. And although Wolf paints a horrific picture of what was going on inside this hog production facility, she admits “Everything that we documented at this facility is considered standard practice in the pork industry.” Wolf insists what the undercover employee recorded is unacceptable. “These are problems that need to be resolved by Hormel - to get them to adopt meaningful animal welfare requirements at their suppliers.”

Apparently the hog producer targeted- the Maschoffs, based in Illinois, only learned about the abuse video just as it was being released in the News Conference and online. They quickly released the following statement:

“We have launched a full-scale investigation in response to this video,” says President Bradley Wolter. “Any animal care deficiencies discovered will be addressed in the quickest manner possible.”

“The company has taken the following immediate actions as a result of its initial investigation.

“Communication of The Maschhoffs zero tolerance animal care policy with all employees and Production Partners.

“Re-train all Oklahoma employees on the proper production procedures with respect to the practices that were displayed in the video.

“Ensure every farm manager at The Maschhoffs reviews the video and fully understands the responsibility that comes with proper animal care.

“We view animal care as a continuous-improvement process,” says Wolter. “We will continue to make investments to further our animal care standards in the future. Properly caring for our animals is of the utmost importance.”

“The Maschhoffs has a zero tolerance policy for any abuse or mistreatment of its pigs. The company is dedicated to achieving high standards of consistent care to ensure the safety and welfare of its animals.”

As for Mercy for Animals- they offer several solutions in a companion news release, but the very last line on the release seems to boil down the organization’s main goal.

“And for individual consumers, the best way to help stop this cruelty is to leave meat off their plates,” the release states.

Wolf said later that technically no wrong doing had been committed and that this particular facility had been randomly selected, but was firm in her position that changes should be made.

Listen to Horn’s interview with Wolf during the news conference about MFA’s allegations, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.



Listen to Horn's interview with Wolf during the news conference about MFA's allegations of abuse
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