Mercy for Animals, a tax-exempt vegan organization, refreshed its media campaign this week by releasing a four-month old video of alleged animal suffering taken by an undercover MFA investigator who was employed at Christensen Farms in Hanska.
The video-taping took place over a 10-week period from December 2011 through the end of March this year. The edited four-minute movie, narrated by television personality and animal rightist Bob Barker, shows sows in gestation stalls, and piglets getting castrated and having their tails docked. It also shows piglets being euthanized by blunt force trauma (heads hit against concrete floor).
MFA said its investigation "provides a shocking look into blatant animal abuse."
MFA showed the video to major grocery retailers Costco Wholesale and Walmart in an effort to convince them to demand stall-free pork from their suppliers. MFA says the husbandry practices and housing are "cruel factory farming practices."
Neither retailer publically announced a change in policy until Tuesday, when Costco said it wanted hogs throughout its pork supply chain to be housed in groups by 2022.
MFA's director of investigations Matt Rice, who was in Minneapolis Wednesday for a press conference, said MFA held behind-the-scenes discussion with Costco and Walmart executives to convince them to eliminate gestation stalls from their pork supply chains.
"It was an eleventh hour decision" on Costco's part, he said. As of Wednesday afternoon, Walmart had not yet issued a statement.