Animals are Not Ours

Animals are Not Ours

Moms Electro-Shocked on Kill Floor

Remember when PETA caught a slaughterhouse in Mississippi—Southern Quality Meats, Inc. (SQM)—jabbing and electro-shocking helpless mother pigs? Well, SQM is now closing! To find out more, click here!

Last year, PETA received video footage of mother pigs in their final moments at SQM.

The images will haunt you.

The footage shows one SQM worker jabbing pigs with electric prongs normally used to stun them prior to slitting their throats and even putting the prongs on one apparently stunned mother pig's lower abdomen and/or genitals.

Some pigs called out before they were finally rendered insensible by stunning and hung upside down by one leg to have their throats slit—while other frightened pigs watched from just a few feet away.

Even SQM President B. Don Haynie, Sr. admitted that the video showed "improper stunning techniques" and at least "two instances in which [a pig] was not rendered unconscious on the first stun."

And that was just the suffering that was caught on video. A whistleblower also saw SQM workers beat downed mother pigs on the face and head with chains, drag some pigs to the kill floor―a deafeningly loud area filled with the stench of death―and electro-shock and jab them for up to 30 minutes.

Factory Farm Pigs SQM Slaughter

The flesh of animals from this slaughterhouse was reportedly still served in Mississippi and Alabama schools.

Because the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) requires that pigs be handled with a minimum of excitement and discomfort immediately prior to slaughter and during stunning, as is necessary to ensure rapid and effective insensibility to pain—and given that federal funds subsidize Mississippi and Alabama schools' meal programs—PETA alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the conduct documented at SQM and requested an investigation.

After a July 2013 investigation that followed PETA's complaint, the FSIS confirmed "inhumane handling" of mother pigs at SQM, in violation of the HMSA. The FSIS found that pigs were not being rendered immediately unconscious by the first application of the electric wand, that "the knock box … was not designed to operate in a manner that sufficiently immobilized the hogs," and that SQM "failed to properly train [its] employees in effective humane handling."

FSIS records released in October 2013 show that SQM had known about its animal-handling problems for months.

Records show that 100 percent of pigs observed by an FSIS official at SQM in January 2013 "moved back and forth" in the facility's knock box, "complicating … stun efforts," and FSIS personnel found that SQM's electrical stunner operator "was seen to be uneasy and somewhat haphazard in each of his stun attempts." The FSIS addressed this issue with SQM representatives and advised SQM then that the use of the stunner to prod animals "was fraught with peril," yet these problems seemingly persisted, and SQM was caught breaking federal law months later. Even then, SQM repeatedly failed to submit a plan of corrective action that satisfied the FSIS―SQM's first responses to the FSIS' findings "did not stipulate in adequate details what [its] … preventive measures would include" and "failed to match up with the physical realities of [SQM's] slaughter processes."

SQM may be closing, but other pigs are still suffering. Please speak up for these pigs and other animals slaughtered for their flesh.

PETA had previously alerted Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright and the Alabama State Department of Education's program coordinator for child nutrition programs, June Barrett, to the mistreatment of pigs recorded at SQM as well as the FSIS' findings and asked both school chiefs to stop using taxpayer dollars to fund a slaughterhouse caught ineffectively stunning pigs in their final, terrifying moments in violation of federal law.

Please urge Dr. Wright and Ms. Barrett to pledge, on behalf of their departments, never again to contract with any slaughterhouse found to have violated the HMSA or broken any other animal protection laws.



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