Mercy for Animals Releases Another Undercover Video

Just under a few weeks ago, the animal rights group Mercy for Animals released an undercover video at a Pipestone hog farm that they claimed showed animal abuse. The Pipestone System immediately conducted an internal investigation and followed up with appropriate action, including an official statement, and the Pipestone County Prosecutor determined not to bring any charges against any of the emploees on the farm.

Unfortunately, Mercy for Animals is right back at it again, as an undercover video from an Oklahoma hog farm released today on NBC shows workers abusing animals, actions that violate the high standards of the U.S. pork industry. As a result of the video, the nation's largest meat producer (Tyson Foods) has termed its contract with said farm.

“We’re extremely disappointed by the mistreatment shown in the video and will not tolerate this kind of animal mishandling,” said Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson Foods. “We are immediately terminating our contract with this farmer and will take possession of the animals remaining on the farm.”

The owner of the farm said that the video showed "mistreatment" of animals and he had taken action of his own.

“I was stunned that anyone could be that callous in their treatment of any animal," said Lonnie Herring. "After viewing the video, I immediately returned to my farm and terminated the employees seen in the video."

The video was shot by an activist from the animal rights group Mercy for Animals from mid-September to mid-October as he worked undercover as a farmhand at West Coast Farms, an Okfuskee County business that supplies pork products under contract to Tyson Foods. The advocacy group says the actions seen on video and witnessed by its investigator violate a state animal cruelty law, and are contrary to Tyson’s policies on the treatment of livestock.

The National Pork Producers Council made a statement following this newly released video:

"The National Pork Producers Council does not condone and, in fact, strongly condemns practices that are not in accord with U.S. pork industry best practices. NPPC calls on Oklahoma authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and to bring criminal charges against workers who abused animals.

NPPC is concerned, however, that the video was held for more than a month after the abuse occurred before being made public; it also appears that the video was not provided to Oklahoma law enforcement authorities although it was given to an NBC News reporter earlier this week.

Providing humane and compassionate care for their pigs at every stage of life is one of the ethical principles to which U.S. pork producers adhere. U.S. pork producers are committed to caring for animals in a way that protects their well-being. Just as it is to others, abuse of animals is appalling to pork producers.

Farmers do not defend and will not accept abuse of animals."


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Pig Cruelty

Thank you for exposing this unacceptable animal cruelty. I am writing the DA asking for charges to be filed.

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