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Feeding of dead piglets to sows shocks nation

News Section Icon Published 2/25/2014

Last week The HSUS released an undercover investigation of a pig factory farm named Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Kentucky. The investigators found hundreds of piglets dying from the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, a deadly virus which the pork industry estimates has killed more than 4 million pigs in 23 states.  

Furthermore, the investigation found employees feeding the intestines of dead piglets back to mother pigs. This is a clear violation of state law and likely of federal law too.

The video also depicted mother pigs suffering in enclosed gestation crates from both mental health issues, exhibited by repeated and senseless bar biting, and injuries, such as a prolapsed uterus.  In these systems, sows are kept in crates so small, they cannot turn around or even lie down easily.

When animals are kept in close confinement, the spread of disease can be rapid and ruthless. Not only to the animals suffer from mental well being, but they suffer from being overcrowded, surrounded by their own feces. Disease is inevitable. Compassion in World Farming believes that sows should, as a minimum, be kept in group housing, with access to material to manipulate such as straw and bedding. Where possible, sows should be kept on pasture.

Widespread coverage of the investigation was received in numerous national outlets including New York TimesNPR, and Democracy Now.