Animal-rights group urges Wal-Mart to cut ties to pork supplier
Former TV game-show host Bob Barker wants Americans to be aware of the way pigs are treated before they are slaughtered and sold for pork inside U.S. Wal-Mart stores.
Barker appears in a recently released video featuring undercover footage shot at Minnesota-based Christensen Family Farms, the nation's third-largest pork supplier, which raises 3 million pigs per year.
The video, made by the nonprofit group Mercy for Animals, depicts the animals standing or lying down in very small pens.
"These animals can't turn around, they can't lie down comfortably, they can't even walk for nearly their entire lives," said Nathan Runkle, executive director of the nonprofit organization.
The West Hollywood-based Mercy for Animals is calling on Wal-Mart to stop doing business with Christensen Family Farms.
This week, bulk retailer Costco joined the growing list of merchants and restaurants in asking suppliers to phase out the use of small pens for pregnant sows, in response to requests to do so by animal rights groups like Mercy for Animals.
Wal-Mart officials say they will continue discussions with suppliers but say they already offer a crate-free pork product.
Christensen Family Farms also offered a statement.
"We have reviewed the video and have noted no exceptions to our company procedures or industry standards," said CEO Robert Christensen.