The animal rights group Mercy for Animals Tuesday released new footage of what it deemed "horrific abuses" of pregnant sows at Pipestone System's Rosewood Farms in Minnesota, calling on consumers to quit purchasing pork from one of the farm's buyers, Walmart.
MFA said the footage, which was shot with a hidden camera, shows "pregnant pigs confined for nearly their entire lives in crates barely larger than their own bodies, and piglets being slammed headfirst into the ground and having their testicles ripped out and tails cut off without painkillers."
In response to the video, the National Pork Producers Council said it was "questionable," noting that an independent veterinarian who was taken by law enforcement to review the facility determined there were no signs of inhumane treatment. Accordingly, no charges were filed, NPPC said.
The facility, however, did fire one employee who was implicated in the video, according to a statement from Pipestone System.
"The Pipestone System does not condone any type of willful animal abuse," the statement said, further noting that all employees receive animal welfare training that requires each employee to sign a commitment to immediately report suspected abuse or mistreatment.
The employee believed to be responsible for the undercover video, Jessica Marie Buck, signed the commitment, Pipestone said, but did not report any abuse or mistreatment, violating the farm's welfare policy.
"It is clear that Ms. Buck did not take specific actions aimed at protecting the welfare of the animals as the Pipestone System policies dictate, but instead was solely motivated to obtain undercover footage for Mercy for Animals without any true regard for the immediate welfare of the animals," said Dr. Luke Minion, Pipestone CEO.