"If the USDA is around, they could shut us down," a worker at one of the largest pork producers in the country can be heard saying in an undercover video released this week. The Washington Post reports the video was filmed by someone working for the animal rights group Compassion Over Killing at a Quality Pork Processors facility in Minnesota. The video shows pigs being dragged and beaten, writhing around while bleeding, covered in feces, and suffering from apparent "puss-filled abscesses." The law states pigs are supposed to be unconscious before they are killed. A spokesperson with the US Department of Agriculture calls the scenes in the video "completely unacceptable."
Compassion Over Killing has turned the nearly 100-minute unedited video over to the USDA, which has promised to investigate conditions at Quality Pork Processors, which supplies Hormel, the Post reports. The actions seen in the video are shortcuts taken to increase the number of pigs processed every hour, reports AP. And the Post states the video could be an indictment of a USDA program that cut the number of inspectors at factories to reduce government costs. That program has led to more inspections being carried out by company employees. "This plant is the symbol of everything that is wrong with the meat industry," one expert tells the Post. Quality Pork Processors calls the video misleading and states there are no violations at its Minnesota facility. (Read more USDA stories.)