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Worker Fired, But Undercover Pig Farm Video Not Enough for Criminal Charges

A “food fight” over allegations of possible inhumane animal treatment broke out in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

On one side is the pig-raising Rosewood Farms at Pipestone, MN, which just happens to be owned by Randy Spronk, current president of the National Pork Producers Council. On the other side is a group of activist vegetarians called “Mercy for Animals.”

Mercy’s leader, Nathan Runkle, just spoke to VegFest on the campus of the University of Minnesota as his organization was releasing a video that they claim shows inhumane treatment at Rosewood Farms and that initiated a criminal investigation that led to a “raid” on a “factory farm” by local law enforcement.

Mercy has a campaign targeting Walmart pork producers by using undercover operators to produce video of allegedly inhumane practices, which it then posts on its “Walmart Cruelty” website.

According to the Minneapolis Tribune, Mercy’s video shows sows confined in gestation crates and piglets getting castrated and having their tails removed.

In a statement, the National Pork Producers Council said practices shown in the video meet industry standards for humane treatment. The NPPC said an independent veterinarian reviewed the video and found no signs of inhumane treatment and no charges were filed.

Rosewood Farms did fire one worker, according to NPPC, for violating the company’s humane handling practices. It said that action resulted from the pork producer itself bringing in a third-party investigator, not from any cooperation from Mercy. The worker who was fired did not follow the farm’s “animal care protocols,” NPPC said.

It said the vegetarian group did not provide Rosewood with a copy of the video that was turned over to local law enforcement.

NPPC says pork farmers are under an “onslaught” from anti-meat groups that have “deep pockets from deceptive fundraising practices.”

Rosewood Farms is part of the “Pipestone System,” which shares services among 200 pork producers.

Runkle, who grew up on an Ohio farm, says the practice of killing runts with blunt force trauma “can be horribly cruel.” Luke Minion, who runs Pipestone, says piglets are euthanized for having broken bones or breathing problems.

Minion says euthanasia via blunt force is fast and pain-free when done correctly and that its use is approved by NPPC.

Mercy’s video did persuade a judge to issue a search warrant, which was executed by the Pipestone County Sheriff’s office, but no charges resulted. The group’s previous undercover target in Minnesota was Christensen Farms in the south-central part of the state. The Los Angeles-based group posts videos directed at Walmart on its “Walmart Cruelty” website.

© Food Safety News
  • yogachick

    Unbelievable! I have seen the video and it is absolutely atrocious! Humane treatment?! What a joke! This just proves that the norm for the meat industry is animal cruelty in the extreme. Boycott! Go vegan!

    • NotTimHolt

      I used to work with Paul Pitchford, author of “Healing with whole foods” whom is a vegan. I remember sitting across from him at Thanksgiving; as I enjoyed a slice of turkey he commented how “your body is loving that right now”. He often said that most people could not and should not be vegans. Extreme diet practices that are not evolutionary are not the answer. The current practices of the meat industry are indeed atrocious, however, suggesting that veganism is a viable answer for the human race is ridiculous. There are humane ways to raise pork, it’s called pit raising and it does not lend itself to factory farming.

  • TP

    Since we are all evolved from pigs are was it some other animal, ones as good as another.
    And since 30,000+ children die each day from hunger, neglect, etc.
    This might be a good starting point.

    • Rollingsworth_T_Vestibule

      Hahaha, evolved from Pigs? That made me laugh. Thanks TP.

  • MareCadTITANIC

    How can the human race get any more evil???????????????// Stay tuned.

  • Rosa Caldwell

    I wonder what more proof that they need. My goodness. Very sad story.

  • Rollingsworth_T_Vestibule

    Everyone knows that you MUST castrate a Pig or else it gets mean. On the other hand you have to remove their tails while they are small, succulent and yummy for chew toys for our REAL pets, the Dog. I HAE Vegetarians who try to push NORMAL people around by lying about meat and/or meat eating ORMAL people. Wanna eat Rabbit food and think it makes you somehow better than anyone else, great have a nut, a butternut sandwich and STFU. No one wants to but your heroin, Todd. It was PCP, NOT Heroin. So what, you know it was Druge (I mean Drugs) that made you a Vegetarian in the first place. How do you like it when people spread LIES about you, Todd? or Dan

    • anitagjen

      huh? your post makes no sense…..

      • Rollingsworth_T_Vestibule

        I know. I was trying a Vegetarian Diet and it messed me up real bad, I had to eat a half of a Chicken in one setting just to get right enough to write this.

  • Arthur Hamann

    This is so sad. I can’t even watch the full video.


  • Rollingsworth_T_Vestibule

    Calm down Mr Ziffle. I was only foolin’. Go ahead and “rear” pigs any old way you like. I get mine where I do all my Hunting, Safeway.