An animal-rights group recently released on its website graphic footage secretly videotaped at an Iowa pig farm as state lawmakers consider a bill that would criminalize such undercover investigations.
An employee of the group, Mercy for Animals, worked at pork supplier Iowa Select Farms for two months, filming conditions there with a camera that had a pinhole-size lens, the group says. An edited video shows workers tossing piglets and smashing their skulls against cement, as well as pigs restricted in cages too small to turn around in.
Iowa Select, which is privately held, says that it is investigating potential abuse and has "zero tolerance for violations of our animal welfare policies."
The video was made at an Iowa Select farm in Kamrar, IA, about 25 miles from the company's Iowa Falls headquarters. The Kamrar plant houses about 4,000 of the company's more than 150,000 sows, or adult female pigs.
Iowa Select hired an animal behaviorist from Iowa State University to investigate claims in the video, which also depicts workers castrating and clipping piglets' tails without painkillers. Iowa Select veterinarian Howard Hill said the company would dismiss employees found guilty of abuse.
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