Investigators recommend changes at Virginia factory farm where Humane Society alleges abuse against pigs
RICHMOND, Va. — An independent investigative team is recommending changes aftermistreatment of breeding pigs at a Virginia farm operated by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer.
The recommendations include reviewing training programs and euthanasia procedures, initiating unannounced inspections by third parties, and increasing the number of site visits by corporate management of the Smithfield, Va.-based company.
Smithfield released the independent investigators' recommendations late Wednesday and said each will immediately be addressed, although the statement did not say if or when they would implemented.
The Humane Society of the United States last week released results from an undercover investigation that showed breeding pigs abused and crammed into small gestation crates at the Waverly farm of livestock production subsidiary Murphy-Brown.
Photos and video from the Humane Society's investigation showed about 1,000 large female pigs crammed into metal crates that severely limited their ability to move. The pigs stay in the crates, also called sow stalls, during their four-month pregnancies. Afterward, they are moved for about three weeks to a crate large enough to nurse their piglets before being artificially inseminated and placed back into the gestation crates.