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Undercover video shows alleged brutality toward pigs at Austin slaughter plant

This news story was published on November 11, 2015.
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Pigs were allegedly not fully or adequately shocked before slaughtered

AUSTIN, MINNESOTA – An undercover video shot at a pork slaughterhouse in Austin, Minnesota has been turned over to the USDA for a possible investigation into the brutal treatment of pigs at the plant.

A Compassion Over Killing investigator worked inside Quality Pork Processors, a USDA-inspected slaughterhouse in Austin, Minnesota that exclusively supplies to Hormel, the makers of SPAM.

“This shocking footage offers a disturbing, close-up view of the suffering endured by pigs as they are pushed, prodded and dragged to their death,” the group said.

A pig runs from a worker with a paddle as it enters the slaughter line

A pig runs from a worker with a paddle as it enters the slaughter line

A USDA spokesman who is reported to have seen the video said “The actions depicted in the video under review are completely unacceptable, and if we can verify the video’s authenticity, we will aggressively investigate the case and take appropriate action.”

According to Compassion Over Killing (COK), this facility is one of five in the U.S. operating under a USDA pilot program, known as “HIMP”, that allows for high-speed slaughter and reduced government oversight. That means this facility operates at faster line speeds than almost any other facility in the U.S.: approximately 1,300 pigs are killed each hour, their meat to be sold as SPAM or other Hormel pork products.

COK says the excessive slaughter line speed forces workers to take inhumane shortcuts that lead to extreme suffering for millions of pigs. It also jeopardizes food safety for consumers.

COK says its video inside this Hormel supplier documents:

  • animals being beaten, shocked, dragged, and improperly stunned—all out of view of the few government inspectors
  • sick and injured pigs unable to walk, known as “downers,” enduring particularly egregious abuses, since they cannot walk to the kill floor
  • pigs covered in feces or pus-filled abscesses being slaughtered and processed for human consumption with a USDA inspection seal of approval
  • numerous instances of improper stunning and slaughter, potentially leading to some animals entering the scalding tank while still alive
  • a supervisor sleeping on the job when he should have been overseeing the stunning process to ensure workers were following protocol

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8 Responses to Undercover video shows alleged brutality toward pigs at Austin slaughter plant

  1. mint Reply Report comment

    March 26, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Animal abuse by hypocrites, I have been a vegan for 28 plus years, I make my choices, as do others.

  2. Reality Check Reply Report comment

    November 12, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Bless the beasts and the children. May God forgive those who violate and brutalize the most innocent among his Creation. God Help Us.

  3. Katie Reply Report comment

    November 12, 2015 at 11:46 am

    They need to use bolt guns instead of or after stunning them. There’s no excuse for this behavior. No wonder there’s domestic & child abuse.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      November 12, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      @Katie-they have been shocking hogs for over 50 years. It is the least labor intensive and much more productive. I have always thought it was cruel as a lot of the hogs are not knocked out by schocking. They are just stunned and are killed by slitting their throats.

  4. Bookie Reply Report comment

    November 12, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Been going on for years, I don’t think they should beat these animals but when your F**KED up bosses tell you to turn up the line speed you will do what ever it takes to not get fired. Its too bad there isn’t another way to put the animals to sleep so they didn’t have to go through the pain first. Also if people could only see how dogs and cats are treated at home it would make you sick and these are pets and defenseless children also that get abused.

  5. Pope John Paul Reply Report comment

    November 12, 2015 at 9:38 am

    There you go Christians. Enjoy your place in the food chain.

  6. LVS Reply Report comment

    November 12, 2015 at 9:27 am

    This goes on all the time in slaughter houses. People become immune to the savage acts they do to animals. Why would this surprise anyone when you see what people do to their pets?

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 12, 2015 at 9:22 am

    SICK !