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PETA vs. Smithfield

Legal battle over allegations of cruelty and deception

In the wake of legal threats from attorneys for Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pig-production operation, PETA is standing its ground in its effort to make sure that the public isn't misled about the treatment of pigs. At Smithfield's annual meeting, PETA attempted to address such abusive practices as castration and tail-docking without any pain relief whatsoever, isolating mother pigs in cages too small to turn around in, and more, in response to which Smithfield's CEO proclaimed that "PETA's assertions are totally false."

In fact, PETA has evidence that such abuses, as well as a host of others, are routine occurrences in the lives of the millions of pigs raised for Smithfield every year and has sent warnings to the company's CEO and its attorney that denying the existence of such practices is deceptive and potentially unlawful conduct.

"Pigs raised for Smithfield endure lifetimes of pain, isolation, and intense suffering," says Matthew Penzer, PETA's legal counsel. "Legal threats notwithstanding, while we still have reason to believe that Smithfield is making false statements about its treatment of pigs, we will not stop in our efforts to expose the truth."

SMITHFIELD STUDY: Environmental concerns about pig farms are widespread due to the waste they produce and the inability of some farmers to contain the manure or the odor coming from open-air "lagoons." In North Carolina, a major farming state with about 10 million pigs, mostly on industrialized farms, a 5-year study of pig waste management is nearing completion. The study was funded in part by a $15 million gift from Smithfield Foods under and agreement with the state's Attorney General's Office (Smithfield is the world's largest processor of pig flesh from animals slaughtered by the companies many contract farms). The study so far has found that alternatives to the lagoon-style manure management systems would cost at least 20% more, which may curtail legislative efforts to force farmers to switch to environmentally-friendly systems. The Chairman of the North Carolina House Agriculture Committee said, "We're sort of back where we started from. The cost is just too high. The average hog farmer couldn't afford it." He went on to say, however, that the moratorium currently blocking expansion of pig farming in the state is a "good idea."

Source: PETA vs. Smithfield
Author: PETA

Link: 5-Year Hog Waste Study Nearly Done
Link: Make a difference
Link: PETA Seeks Details About Smithfield Food's 'Animal Welfare' Program

Date: 2005-07-19

Other EVANA-articles about this topic:
USA: Doth Smithfield Protest Too Much? Swine Flu Brings Focus to Factory Farm Practices (en)

Swine-flu outbreak linked to Smithfield factory farms (en)

Smithfield: One pig is slaughtered every two seconds... (en)

USA: Smithfield Foods, the largest pork processor in the world, killed 27 million hogs last year (en)

USA: Smithfield is exporting the stink to Poland and Romania (en)

USA: Ohio, Michigan megafarms spur clashes over air, water pollution (en)

FAO: Industrial livestock production near cities often damages the environment (en)

Poland: Smithfield Foods meat processing plant shut (en)


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