MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A major pork producer in southern Minnesota has suspended 7 employees and launched its own investigation into allegations of hog abuse at its facility in Luverne, Minn. The Los Angeles-based animal advocacy group Last Chance for Animals released hidden camera video Tuesday that allegedly shows “systematic neglect and cruelty” at Christensen Farms.
Last Chance for Animals allegations
Workers forcing sows with severe injuries to walk, sometimes dragging their exposed internal organs, before being euthanized.
Workers slapping, kicking and stabbing downed sows with pens.
Workers dragging sows by their ears and snout.
Workers failing to properly euthanize piglets.
Management’s failure to promptly euthanize pigs suffering from debilitating illness and injuries, leaving pigs to suffer for periods as long as 10 weeks.
You can watch the video at www.factoryfarm360.org.
Christensen Farms response
“There is absolutely no place at Christensen Farms or in this industry for violations of animal welfare,” Christensen Farms CEO Glenn Stolt said in a statement . “As a family farm, the care and treatment of our animals is our highest priority. It is unacceptable that this behavior was allowed to continue, and was not brought to our attention immediately. We are taking steps to reaffirm our commitment to animal welfare and husbandry and send a statement that any behavior inconsistent with our industry-leading policies and practices will absolutely not be tolerated.”
“The portions of the video we have seen are both disturbing and will be part of our ongoing internal investigation. The company will not tolerate violations of farm policies and procedures. All employees shown in the video have already been suspended, effective last week, and we will be taking appropriate actions as we conclude our investigation. We are also working closely with local law enforcement.”
Christensen Farms has contacted Last Chance for Animals to obtain a complete copy of the unedited footage to ensure the company takes appropriate action based on all available evidence. Christensen Farms, based in Sleepy Eye, Minn. says its employees are trained in proper animal care, and employees are required to sign a document agreeing to the company’s “strict animal welfare policies."