While employed at Hawkeye Sow Centers (HSC), a pig breeding factory farm in Leland, Iowa, a COK investigator wore an undercover camera to document the day-to-day miseries forced upon thousands of female pigs—who are intensively confined in tiny crates where they can’t even turn around—and their piglets, who endure painful mutilations without any relief.
Iowa is the largest pork-producing state in the U.S. and, right now, animal agribusiness is trying to pass an “ag-gag” bill in the state to make whistleblowing exposés on factory farms, like this investigation, illegal. COK’s video exposes standard industry practices that the industry is desperately trying to hide.
The daily miseries forced upon pigs that our investigator witnessed and painstakingly caught on camera in December 2011 represent pork industry norms. Cruel, yet standard practices include immobilizing breeding pigs in barren metal crates barely wider than their bodies. These smart and social animals are so intensively confined, they can’t even turn around and they’re treated like mere piglet-producing machines. Artificially inseminated, they spend months inside a narrow gestation crate during pregnancy and are then moved to an equally restrictive farrowing crate where they’ll give birth and nurse their young through metal bars. After a few weeks, their piglets will be taken away and the process will start all over again.
As is industry norm, piglets are routinely mutilated – workers cut off their tails and rip out the males’ genitals – without any painkillers. These painful procedures are performed directly in front of their mothers who, unable to help the screaming piglets, repeatedly grunt in obvious distress. The severed testicles and tails are left on the floor of the sows’ crates.
Animal cruelty is standard practice in the industry. More than 100 million pigs are raised and killed for food each year in the U.S.
What can you do?
Show your commitment to animals and oppose the exploitation of all animals used for food by going vegan and educate others why animal exploitation is wrong and morally indefensible.
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