Brace yourself for this distressing piece of news. Mercy for Animals is releasing a truly jaw-dropping video that shows just how badly pigs are abused in the process of being slaughtered.
According to the national animal rights organization, which planted an investigator at Iowa Select Farms, managers instructed employees to toss the pigs around. Piglets were also secretly filmed having their testicles torn and tails ripped off without the use of painkillers.
The Chicago-based animal-rights group will show the video today at a press conference in San Francisco, right before members call on the Bay Area-based Safeway chain to force new animal-welfare policies that would ban its pork producers from abusing animals and confining pigs in crates.
"We just want Safeway to get animals out of harm's way," executive director Nathan Runkle told SF Weekly.
And Safeway does, too. Spokeswoman Teena Massingill told us that the company has already halted its purchases from JBS Swift Pork Co. while it conducts a comprehensive investigation into the operations at Iowa Swift Farms.
"Safeway does not tolerate animal abuse of any kind and finds the images and animal handling practices contained in the video to be extremely disturbing and in violation of our animal welfare policies," she says.
She says Safeway also has a goal of increasing the amount of pork it buys from suppliers that are phasing out the use of gestation crates.
Mercy for Animals points out that gestation crates are so "patently cruel" that they have been banned in various states, including California, Oregon, and Colorado.
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