Hormel Foods suspended purchases from all Maschhoffs sow farms in Oklahoma, USA after an undercover video by animal welfare group, Mercy For Animals, was released on January 31.
“Hormel Foods Corporation has also dispatched certified third-party auditors to these Oklahoma farms and to additional Maschhoffs sites to verify our animal care requirements are being adhered to,” stated Hormel representatives in a press release. “We expect, and have been assured, that the Maschhoffs, LLC will cooperate with the investigation.”
Contents of undercover pig farm video
The video showed piglets being manually castrated, having their tails clipped and others with serious wounds. Welfare For Animals alleged that the piglets didn’t receive pain relief drugs or medical attention to their injuries. Mercy For Animals stated that the video was filmed with a hidden camera inside an Oklahoma pig farm.
“We have launched a full-scale investigation in response to this video,” said Maschhoff President Bradley Wolter in a press release. “Any animal care deficiencies discovered will be addressed in the quickest manner possible.”
Sows in gestation crates were also shown in the video as the animals chewed at the bars. Welfare For Animals decried the use of gestation crates.
“As it relates to the use of gestation crates, Hormel Foods had made a commitment that its company-owned farm will be gestation crate free by 2018,” stated Hormel. “We are pleased to report that this conversion will be completed in the next 30 days.”
Other undercover video involving Hormel and Maschhoffs
In June 2016, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) released a video that depicts scenes of animal abuse and neglect at a Nebraska pig breeding farm owned and operated by Maschhoffs. In the video, ALDF also identified Hormel Foods. Similarly to the present case, Hormel suspended the Maschhoff’s Nebraska pig farms.