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As one of America’s largest pork producers, you have a responsibility to treat animals humanely at all of your breeding facilities. Earlier this year, however, the Humane Society captured undercover footage from two of your Oklahoma facilities telling quite a different story. The shocking video showed wounded and bleeding pigs crammed into prison-like gestation crates that prevent them from whatsoever.
This is one of the cruelest practices in agribusiness and many of your competitors, including Smithfield Foods (the world's largest pork producer) and Hormel Foods (maker of SPAM and also a leading pork producer), have already promised to make their facilities gestation crate-free by 2017. It’s time you follow suit and also commit to phasing out this abhorrent animal abuse in the next five years!
The Seaboard Corporation is one of U.S’ largest producers of pork, processing about 18,500 hogs a day at their facilities before supplying to large chains like Walmart. In January of this year, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) conducted an undercover investigation of Seaboard after catching wind of appalling animal cruelty at two of their Oklahoma breeding facilities. The video footage HSUS captured revealed dead pigs and piglets in pens around the facility and sows with large sores, torn skin and ripped ears and snouts left untreated. Watch the shocking video here (please note that the images are graphic).
HSUS also found that Seaboard continues to confine their pigs in gestation crates for most of their lives. Referred to as one of the cruelest practices in all of agribusiness, these tiny crates prevent the animals from even turning around. In many cases the pigs are left amidst feces and urine, nursing bleeding sores and other injuries.
Public outcry against this barbaric practice has led many of the world's largest fast food companies—such as McDonald's, Wendy's, and Chipotle – to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains. Additionally, some of the top U.S. pork producers have also taken measures to phase out this practice. Smithfield Foods (the world's largest pork producer) and Hormel Foods (the maker of SPAM) have committed to go gestation crate-free by 2017 in all of their company-owned facilities.
Despite this precedent, as well as complaints filed by HSUS with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following the investigation, the Seaboard Corporation refuses to acknowledge this glaring animal rights issue. They have resisted going gestation crate-free, which would give pigs greater freedom of movement and a more dignified way of life.
Studies consistently show that 95% of Americans want farm animals to be treated humanely. Let’s demand that our factory farming industries behave in a way that upholds our values. The Seaboard Corporation can champion this effort by committing to phase out the use of cruel gestation crates at all company-owned breeding facilities by 2017!