LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Humane Society of the United States released undercover video footage revealing cruel treatment of animals and inhumane conditions at a Wyoming pig breeding facility owned by a supplier for Tyson Foods. The HSUS has notified local authorities.
The video, shot in April 2012, was taken at Wyoming Premium Farms, a pig factory farm in Wheatland, WY, owned by Denver-based Itoham America, Inc., and shows workers kicking living piglets like soccer balls, swinging sick piglets in circles by their hind legs, striking mother pigs with their fists and repeatedly and forcefully kicking them as they resisted leaving their young.
In one case, a mother pig with a broken back leg endured a very heavy worker sitting and bouncing on top of her hindquarters as the pig screamed in pain. The investigator also found pigs with untreated abscesses and severe rectal and uterine prolapses; mummified piglet corpses; and baby piglets who had fallen through floor slats to either hang to death or drown in manure pits.
The HSUS met with the Platte County Sheriff's office to present investigation evidence and urged the office to pursue filing criminal charges if warranted.
"I am sickened and outraged by what I've seen, and any right-thinking person will have the same reaction," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS.
The shocking abuse at this facility shows why so many Americans are calling for reforms in the pork industry. It is also deeply disconcerting that Tyson and other companies are buying pork from this hellhole for pigs, and I hope those corporate relationships end tomorrow."
HSUS says many more examples of cruelty and unsanitary conditions are documented on video and detailed in an HSUS investigation report.
Today's THV received the following statement from Tyson Foods, Inc.:
We've seen the video and we are appalled by the apparent mistreatment of the animals. We do not condone for any reason this kind of mistreatment of animals shown in the video.
Contrary to the impression left by HSUS, there is no connection between this Wyoming farm and the pork that we process. Tyson Foods does not buy any of the hogs raised on this farm for our pork processing plants.
We do have a small, but separate hog buying business that has previously purchased aged sows from this farm; however, these animals are subsequently sold to other companies and are not used in Tyson's pork processing business. The subsidiary has discontinued buying sows from the farm shown in the video.
Virtually all of the hogs Tyson buys for our processing plants come from thousands of independent farm families who use both individual and group housing. We require all hog farmers who supply us to be certified in the pork industry's Pork Quality Assurance Plus program, which incorporates rigid animal well-being standards and is part of the industry's 'We Care' responsible pork initiative. We validate enrollment and audit conformance to these standards. Farms that do not conform will be eliminated from our supply chain.
For information on the pork industry's 'We Care' responsible pork initiative, go to www.porkcares.com.