The Humane Society of the United States is accusing pork producers Seaboard Foods and Prestige Farms of mistreating pregnant sows by keeping them in gestation cages. Undercover videos posted to the association's website show the pigs standing or lying in cages, in addition to workers apparently cutting the tails off piglets, reports the Associated Press.
"These social, intelligent animals spend their four-month pregnancies lined up in cages like parked cars. All facing one direction, never turning around, never walking," said Paul Shapiro, senior director of farm production for HSUS. He said that both companies have been notified of the group's findings and have asked them to use larger group housing for the animals.
Ron Prestige of Prestige Farms issued a statement that said, "Prestage Farms has production systems for both group housing and individual housing, Whether raised in groups or individual housing, we are committed to sound animal care." He added that the company was starting an investigation to determine if any employees violated company policy.
Seaboard officials said they strongly dispute any allegations of abuse and are pleased that employees are following proper industry-supported protocols and procedures.
"In direct response to the recently released video by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Dr. Temple Grandin, who also is quoted in the video, stated that 'there was no bad behavior by people' in the operations depicted at Seaboard Foods," the company said in a statement.