Walmart Supplier Caught Abusing Animals In Undercover Footage

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<p> Shutterstock </p>

New undercover footage has prompted the firings of seven pig farm workers and raises questions about the ethics of Walmart's supply chain.

Warning: Video contains graphic content.

Mercy For Animals (MFA) released the undercover footage, taken at a Seaboard Foods in Colorado, on Wednesday. The video shows workers beating pigs in the face and body with heavy cans, and snaring a terrified pig and shooting him in full view of the other animals.

Investigators also witnessed pigs biting desperately at the bars of their pens, and packed into dirty pens so tightly they couldn't move.

"The industry wouldn't even defend the malicious hitting and punching of animals," Matt Rice, director of investigations for MFA, told The Dodo.

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"It's not good enough for them to cut ties with one abusive supplier and simply move to another," Rice said, noting that Walmart is essentially the last major retailer not to end the use of the cruel confinement crates.

Seaboard in particular has an extensive history of abuse. A 2014 MFA investigation revealed piglets being beaten with gas cans and mother pigs suffering from open sores after being packed into gestation crates. The video, which was narrated by actor Joaquin Phoenix, also showed workers castrating piglets by slicing them open with razor blades and pulling out their testicles with their fingers.

In 2012, a Humane Society of the United States investigation into a Seaboard breeding facility revealed pigs packed into gestation crates with open wounds and cut faces, and dead pigs and piglets left where they fell.

Seaboard announced on Tuesday that it had fired five workers and two managers implicated in the video following an internal investigation, calling the practices in the video "unacceptable and inexcusable."

However, despite its own admission of the abuse, its history of animal mistreatment and the violence of the footage, Seaboard will face no charges. The local district attorney said "one or two of the employees for Seaboard Farms is violating company policies and the best practices for livestock handling, [and] the appropriate course of action is either training or termination, not criminal charges."

"Punching and beating animals with heavy objects is a clear violation of Colorado's anti-cruelty laws," Rice said. "It stinks of corruption that the DA is not pressing charges in this case."

Visit to sign the petition and ask Walmart to take action against gestation crates and animal abuse.