A spokesman for the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers says farmers are "sickened to the core" by a video released yesterday which shows employees at a hog confinement abusing pigs. The video came from a PETA operative who went undercover in a hog confinement near Bayard for three months.
Aaron Putze of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers says his group "strongly condemns" the actions shown in the video. "It’s certainly not indicative of the vast majority of our farm families out there who are entrusted with the care of livestock and caring for those animals every day," Putze says. "…Earlier this year when we had an incident of animal abuse near Collins, the farm community strongly and swiftly got involved in that situation to hold the person or persons accountable and I’m sure that’s going to take place in this scenario."
In the PETA video, the manager of the hog confinement is seen using an electrical prod to try to force a crippled sow to stand. Other scenes in the video show pigs being beaten and abused severely. In some cases the heads of baby pigs were slammed repeatedly on concrete. Putze says the actions of those employees are outrageous.
"It just makes you sick to the core," Putze says. "The families and the farmers who have been calling us in just sheer disbelief…know that their livelihood is in the health and well-being of their livestock."
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers is calling for the firing of those shown abusing the animals in that PETA video. The pro-farmer group is calling for a criminal investigation, too. "Our farm families out there take tremendous pride in doing things right and anytime you have something like this that happens — reprehensible acts like this — first and foremost it casts negativity upon all the families that are involved in the day-to-day caring for livestock," Putze says.
PETA is calling on consumers to boycott meat that comes from what they call "factory farms." The hogs from the farm near Bayard are purchased by Hormel, and PETA officials say if you eat ham, hot dogs, or bologna — you are supporting the actions of "factory farms." At the beginning of a video released on-line by PETA, you can hear the animals squealing and a confinement employee saying, "Don’t be afraid to hurt ’em."
View the PETA video here: http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/iowa_pigfarm_abuse