Mercy for Animals, an animal rights nonprofit group, recently released a video, taken by an anonymous investigator, showing the brutal and extremely inhumane treatment of pigs by meat distributor Rosewood Farms. Rosewood Farms is based in Pipestone, MN.
Lead actor of the film “Babe,” James Cromwell, narrates the hidden camera footage that exposes the abuse. The video shows that some employees of Rosewood Farms punched, slapped, and shoved adult pigs in the plant. More horrifying, employees would swing piglets, full forced, by their hind legs and smash their heads into the hard concrete floor. They used dull shears to clip their tails and would mutilate their genitalia without any form of anesthetic.
Pregnant, adult pigs were crammed inside of “gestation crates,” which were so small that there was no room for them to lie down and so dirty that flies covered the pigs as they were forced to writhe in their own filth. Sometimes, because the crates are so tight and narrow, piglets are crushed to death in between their mothers and the crate’s bars.
The anonymous investigator spent 10 weeks undercover at the plant, according the Mercy for Animals director of investigations Matt Rice.
“Pregnant pigs are confined in tiny metal crates that are jst barely big enough to hold them,” said Rice. “They’re basically immobile for their entire lives. They can’t turn around, they can’t lie down comfortably, and they suffer from large open wounds and pressure sores from rubbing against the bars.”
A large portion of the country’s breeding sows are kept in gestation crates. It has been reported that anywhere from 60 to 70 percent are crammed in gestation crates.
Earlier this month, the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Rosewood Farms after Mercy for Animals filed a complaint of animal abuse. Law enforcement said they found “no evidence of animal neglect or abuse.” Both Pipestone Farms and Walmart said they would conduct an internal investigation in light of the video.
It appears that among the nation’s 60 largest retailers, Walmart is the only one that still contracts with pork suppliers that use gestation crates.
Such practices are completely banned throughout the European Union and nine states in the country. And groups such as Mercy for Animals are lobbying hard to raise awareness about the severe mistreatment endured by animals by the hands of these meat suppliers.
“Change starts with awareness,” said Rice. “Once people know about the conditions that these animals are subject to, we hope they’ll stand up and demand change.”
Below is the video released by the nonprofit, Mercy for Animals: