Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Video targets hog production practices

An expert panel viewing the video stated that much of the narration was not supported by the video footage, the animal handling practices were humane and supported by both the American Veterinary Medical Assn. and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the animal behavior that the video asserted was evidence of abuse was actually natural behavior.

7/18/12 Rod Smith. Feedstuffs

Mercy for Animals, an animal protection organization which promotes vegetarianism, has released an undercover video filmed at a hog production farm in Hanska, Minn., showing alleged animal abuse, including sows housed in individual stalls, piglets being killed by workers by slamming their heads against concrete flooring and piglets having their tails cut off and testicles ripped off without pain killers.

The video was filmed with a hidden camera at the Christensen Farms operations in Hanska and was narrated by Bob Barker, an animal welfare advocate and former host of "The Price Is Right."

The video was posted at Mercy for Animals' web site July 16 and a public announcement was made July 18.

It prompted the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) to pull together an expert panel of animal scientists to review the tape and narration.

It was timed to coincide with an announcement by Costco Wholesale Corp. and Kmart that they are implementing new procurement policies to purchase pork from only stall-free suppliers by 2022, and it was used to encourage Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to implement a similar strategy.

Animal protection organizations say sow stalls are a particularly abhorrent production practice that confines gestating sows in stalls large enough for the animals to only lay down and stand up and leads to health and welfare problems. Full story

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