Humane Society Airs Concerns At Two Oklahoma Pig Farms

Tuesday, January 31st 2012, 6:09 pm
By: News 9

An animal rights group is taking issue with a pork producer over statements contained on its website about the care and treatment of farm animals.

In a press conference in Oklahoma City Tuesday, a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States said his group has filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Paul Shapiro, the senior director of farm animal protection for the HSUS, says a document on the Seaboard Foods website makes false and misleading assertions regarding its treatment of hogs at its facility in Goodwell, Oklahoma.

Shapiro showed a video of sows housed in gestation crates and of piglets being castrated which was recorded by an undercover humane society activist who worked at the facility.

He contends that the use of gestation crates by Seaboard is at variance with statements on the company's website that it treats its animals in a humane fashion.

"Getting rid of gestation crates is one of the most important reforms that can occur within the entire agribusiness industry and certainly the most important reform within the pork industry today," Shapiro said.

However, Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr., the executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council said his organization has never been contacted by the humane society regarding the practices of pork producers in Oklahoma.

He said his group would welcome contact with the society about their views.

"What we saw today," Lindsey said, "was an attack by HSUS on one type of sow housing system. They think there's a better system out there. Our belief is that it's up to the producers to determine what type of system provides the best care possible for their animals.

Read more from both sides on the Oklahoma Farm Report!