Smithfield Report Finds Unacceptable Behaviour

by 5m Editor
24 December 2010, at 9:34am

US - The report of findings by the independent investigation team and the Smithfield/Murphy-Brown internal investigation team into allegations of animal mishandling at the Waverly sow farms found unacceptable behaviour in the video images taken secretly by the Humane Society of the United States.

Dennis H. Treacy, Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer said the expert teams had six findings.

  1. The video images of flipping a young pig, striking/poking a sow with a metal gate rod and improper euthanasia of an adult sow depict unacceptable behaviour; each of these acts was contrary to our animal welfare policy and employee training.
  2. We interviewed 177 employees at the farms and identified the three employees involved, and they were fired. This was appropriate and consistent with our zero tolerance policy.
  3. The incidents noted in # 1 above were isolated occurrences, and the video does not show any other inappropriate actions or conditions.
  4. All our farm employees, including the HSUS agent, received training in responsible animal handling and are expected to immediately report any suspected animal abuse.
  5. The HSUS agent disregarded the welfare of animals in his care and violated Smithfield’s policies by (a) perpetuating abusive behavior by failing to immediately report it; (b) providing incomplete and vague information in his eventual hotline report, which obstructed the company’s ability to respond; and (c) participating in the ineffective attempt to euthanize a sow and allowing a live animal to be placed in a disposal box.
  6. We at Smithfield employ a robust animal welfare system and we have zero tolerance for abuse.

Smithfield is to review its traqining and ite euthanasia methods and handling of tools. It is to increase site visits and the number of unannounced inspections.

Details of the report can be seen by clicking here.