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For more than three months, PETA went undercover at an Iowa pig factory farm, which supplies piglets who are raised and killed for Hormel products. PETA found rampant cruelty to animals committed by workers and supervisors. The farm changed ownership and management during PETA’s investigation, but that made no difference to the animals who were born and confined there: Abuse and neglect were widespread during PETA’s entire investigation.

The following are just some of the abuses that were documented:

  • A supervisor shoved a cane into a sow’s vagina, struck her on the back about 17 times, and then struck another sow.
  • Multiple pigs were beaten with metal gate rods, and lacerations were found on more than 30 sows, which is probably evidence of more abuse.
  • A worker hit a young pig in the face four times with the edge of a herding board, and investigators witnessed dozens of similar incidents involving this worker and 11 other workers.
  • Two men, including a supervisor, were witnessed jabbing clothespins into pigs’ eyes and faces. A supervisor also poked two animals in the eyes with his fingers.
  • A supervisor kicked a young pig in the face, abdomen, and genitals to make her move and told PETA’s investigator, “You gotta beat on the bitch. Make her cry.”

A worker slammed these piglets' heads against the floor and left them to die in a bin.
Piglets' tails were cut—and males castrated—without painkillers. This is a pile of pig tails and testicles on the floor.
A sow with an open sore on her nose from an apparent beating with a metal gate rod.
A mother pig and her piglets severely confined to a small farrowing crate during nursing.
Sow #13319 sustained multiple cuts to her back, likely the result of being beaten and scraped with a gate rod while being moved from the gestation building to the farrowing building.

To learn more about the investigation, please read the investigators’ log notes.

The findings on this Iowa pig farm, however, were not limited to cruelty to animals. PETA also documented an apparent violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Animals who were to be killed for human consumption were sprayed with a substance that contains gentian violet (a chemical that is linked to certain cancers) thereby making their flesh “adulterated” under federal law.

By purchasing pigs bred and born on this farm and then grown elsewhere before being slaughtered for Hormel products, Hormel is financially supporting an operation whose employees abuse animals.

Please contact Hormel using the form below and demand that the company follow PETA’s nine-point policy to govern future pig-farming operations. Since Hormel has been receiving so many e-mails because of this investigation, you might receive a bounce-back e-mail from the company. If you do, please consider following up with a phone call, writing a letter, or filling out the company’s online form.

Please send polite comments to:

Hormel Foods Corporation
Consumer Response
1 Hormel Pl.
Austin, MN 55912

Mother Pigs and Piglets Abused by Hormel Supplier

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