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Pig farm says it will stop mistreatment of animals, captured in PETA video

September 19, 2008 | 11:43 am

The Associated Press reports:

DES MOINES --

The operators of an Iowa farm where an animal rights group captured video of workers abusing pigs said Thursday they are taking steps to ensure they stop mistreating animals.

MowMar LLP of Fairmont, Minn., said in a statement that it's "surprised and outraged" by the actions captured this summer in undercover video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. MowMar purchased the Greene County, Iowa, farm last month from an Iowa company.

"As a family owned farm operation with over 30 years in the swine business, MowMar farms does not and will not tolerate the mistreatment of any animals under our husbandry and we take these PETA allegations very seriously," the company said.

MowMar officials said they met early Thursday with PETA officials to talk about what actions are being taken to correct the situation.

Among those are:

  • Initiating an investigation of the incidents, policies and personnel that were in place before the acquisition of the farm.
  • Firing employees who are found to have abused animals.
  • Inviting an animal handling expert to the farm to review policies and procedures, and to serve as an independent authority providing additional guidance and best practices.
  • Researching the use of video monitoring equipment as a tool to oversee herd care.

The company promised that any policies and procedures not consistent with generally accepted standards for the treatment of farm animals would be revised and strengthened.

The PETA video, shot by undercover employees from June through this month, graphically depicts workers castrating piglets and cutting their tails off without anesthetic, slamming piglets who aren't deemed healthy enough on the ground to kill them, repeatedly kicking pigs and hitting them with rods. In at least one instance, a pig had paint sprayed into its snout and onto its face. (The video is currently posted on L.A. Unleashed.)

Greene County Sheriff Tom Heater said Thursday that authorities have been interviewing employees at the hog farm near Bayard, about 60 miles west of Des Moines. There are a number of employees who still need to be interviewed, he said, but he hopes to meet soon with prosecutors and have charges filed by the middle of next week.

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