Caroline MacGregor October 16, 2012 | WGVU About two dozen local
activists wielding signs and images of abused pigs participated in Monday’s protest. Walmart is being accused of cruelty to animals following a recent
undercover investigation that alleges abuse to pigs at one of the retailer’s
main pork suppliers.
Animals wants Walmart to require its pork suppliers to phase out the practice
of confining pigs in narrow crates, something MFA spokesperson Phil Letten,
says other stores like Kroger, Costco, Safeway and McDonalds have done.
group is conducting a tour of several states after releasing hidden-camera footage recorded at Christensen Farms in Minnesota, a Walmart pork supplier. Letten says the video shows pregnant pigs crammed into tiny gestation crates suffering abuses that include workers slamming the pigs head first into the ground.
Letten says pigs
are intelligent, social creatures and confining them in narrow
crates has been banned in nine U.S. states and the entire European Union. He says if dogs and cats were subjected to similar abuses or had their
tails cut off without painkillers, there would be a public outcry.
“We've been talking to Walmart and they're dragging their feet. Every
major food provider in the country has committed to phasing out
gestation crates except for Walmart. Most people are opposed to animal
cruelty and when they learn about the cruelties pigs endure before they
wind up on Walmart shelves they are horrified."
Christensen Farms says photos may have been taken out of context and calls the practice of tail docking standard practice to stop the pigs from biting each others tails.
In July, Dr. Laura Dalquist, a veterinarian for Christensen Farms stated the farm's animal welfare practices were fully consistent with industry standards for humane and ethical treatment of animals.
Walmart spokeswoman Dianna Gee, released a statement Monday in response to the MFA's allegations.
“This is a complicated issue and there are different points of
view. We currently offer gestation crate-free pork products in a number of
stores across the U.S. and will continue on-going discussions with suppliers,
non-governmental organizations and food safety experts to increase that number.
We hold our suppliers to the highest standards and do not tolerate animal
Gee said customers who want to learn more about how grocers source pork
products to contact the National Pork Board (www.pork.org).
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