Slaughterhouse Executive Rejects Activists’ Allegations Of Inhumane Treatment Of Pigs

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Source: Bay City News

A Virginia slaughterhouse executive denied the claims of activists that the company is violating federal laws regarding humane treatment of livestock.

Jim Monroe, vice president of corporate affairs at Smithfield Foods in Smithfield, Va., issued a five-sentence statement early Thursday refuting the claims of Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights group that is calling on Costco to drop Smithfield Foods as a supplier. The group protested Wednesday at a San Francisco Costco store and projected video of pigs dying in a Southern California slaughterhouse.

Monroe’s statement begins by insisting the company is following the law: “Smithfield is committed to the safety, health and comfort of our animals and strictly follows approved laws, regulations and best practices for humane animal stunning prior to harvest. We adhere to all humane handling and stunning regulations for livestock with the oversight of the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.”

Activists maintain the company is violating the Humane Slaughter Act, a federal law that aims to decrease the suffering of livestock during slaughter.

The video was recorded secretly after an activist planted cameras inside a pit at the Farmer John slaughterhouse in Vernon, owned by Smithfield Foods. The footage shows pigs thrashing as they are gassed with carbon dioxide.

While the footage was projected Wednesday evening onto the Costco Wholesale store, located on 10th Street in the city’s South of Market neighborhood, audio was played of the pigs screaming through speakers across the street.

Monroe defended the practice of gassing in his statement:

“The USDA, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the World Organisation for Animal Health, and many other authorities on animal health recognize carbon dioxide stunning as a humane stunning method for food animals. Carbon dioxide stunning quickly renders hogs into a state of analgesia.”

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