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Walmart likes to tout its low prices, but when it comes to pork sold in its stores, animals are left to pay the highest price of all—lives filled with misery and deprivation. Mercy For Animals has recently conducted multiple undercover investigations at Walmart pork suppliers across the country. Time after time these investigations have revealed horrific cruelty to animals.

Tyson Pork GroupOklahoma, 2013

A Mercy For Animals investigator worked at Tyson Pork Group's West Coast Farm facility between September and October of 2013 and documented:

  • Workers viciously punching, kicking, beating, and violently shaking animals and pulling out their hair
  • Piglets having their tails hacked off and their testicles ripped out of their bodies without painkillers
  • Workers slamming conscious piglets headfirst against the ground and spiking them like footballs
  • Pregnant pigs confined to tiny, maggot-infested gestation crates barely able to move for their entire lives
  • Workers shoving their fingers into pigs' eyes, hitting them with wooden boards, and throwing a heavy bowling ball at their heads
  • Piglets left to suffer and slowly die on dead piles without proper veterinary care

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

World-renowned animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin reviewed the undercover video footage and compared the abusive handling of animals to the "notorious Westland Hallmark video" that led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history.

Pipestone SystemMinnesota, 2013

Between August and September of 2013, an MFA investigator working at Pipestone System's Rosewood Farms in Pipestone, Minnesota, documented the following abuses:

  • Pregnant pigs confined to filthy, metal gestation crates so small they were unable to even turn around or lie down comfortably
  • Workers slamming conscious piglets headfirst into the ground and leaving them to suffer and slowly die
  • Workers ripping out the testicles and slicing off the tails of piglets without the use of any painkillers
  • Sick and injured pigs with severe, bleeding wounds or infections left to suffer without veterinary care
  • Workers punching, beating and screaming at animals to move them

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

"The suffering experienced by the animals is gratuitous, unnecessary, abusive, and counterproductive," world-renowned animal welfare expert Dr. Bernard Rollin said after viewing the footage. "[The use of gestation crates is] arguably the worst practice in confinement agriculture. I fully expect that, in a few years, we will see the end of the use of such crates everywhere in the civilized world."

Christensen FarmsMinnesota, 2012

Between December of 2011 and March of 2012, an MFA investigator documented egregious cruelty and neglect at a Christensen Farms facility in Hanska, Minnesota, including the following:

  • Thousands of mother pigs confined to filthy, metal gestation crates so small they were unable to even turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives
  • Pigs suffering from large, open wounds and pressure sores from rubbing against the bars of their tiny cages or lying on the hard concrete flooring
  • Workers slamming piglets into the ground and leaving them to suffer and slowly die
  • Workers ripping out the testicles and slicing off the tails of fully conscious piglets without the use of any painkillers
  • Sick and injured pigs with severe, bleeding wounds or infections left to suffer without veterinary care
  • A mother pig—physically taxed from constant birthing—with an inflamed and bleeding prolapse
  • Workers preparing to force-feed sows diarrhea and dead piglets

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Following the investigation, Costco, the second-largest retailer in America, and Kmart, the third-largest discount store in the world, announced they would begin requiring their pork suppliers to phase out cruel gestation crates. Unfortunately, Walmart continues to support animal abuse by selling pork from Christensen Farms and other producers that confine pigs to cages barely larger than their own bodies.

Iowa SelectIowa, 2011

Between April and June of 2011, an MFA investigator worked undercover at Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa, the state's largest pig factory farm.

At Iowa Select, a major Walmart pork supplier, the investigator documented the following abuses:

  • Mother sows confined to barren metal crates barely larger than their own bodies, unable to turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives
  • Workers ripping out the testicles of conscious piglets without the use of painkillers
  • Piglets suffering with herniated intestines due to botched castration
  • Conscious piglets having their tails painfully sliced into and yanked off with dull clippers
  • Large, open, pus-filled wounds and pressure sores
  • Sick and injured pigs left to languish and slowly die without proper veterinary care
  • Mother pigs—physically taxed from constant birthing—suffering from distended, inflamed, bleeding and usually fatal uterine prolapses
  • Management training workers to throw piglets across the room, comparing it to a "roller coaster ride"

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Changing Times

Confining mother pigs in gestation crates is so blatantly cruel that the practice has been banned by the entire European Union, New Zealand, and the states of Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, California, Maine, Michigan, and Rhode Island.

Recognizing their inherent cruelty, nearly all major food providers, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Kroger, Costco and Safeway, have demanded their suppliers do away with gestation crates.

Unfortunately, Walmart—the largest retailer in the world—supports blatant animal abuse by continuing to sell pork from producers who confine mother pigs to crates barely larger than their own bodies.

Walmart has both the power and ethical responsibility to reject this cruel factory farming practice by immediately adopting policies that require suppliers to phase out their use of gestation crates.

Please help urge Walmart to do the right thing. Take action here.

As MFA works to expose and end the exploitation of animals at the hands of the meat, egg and dairy industries, consumers still hold the greatest power of all to prevent needless suffering of farmed animals by adopting a healthy and humane vegan diet.

For more ways to get involved and show your support, go to mercyforanimals.org.

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