Illinois: protect pigs against widespread abuse!

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: Illinois Bureau of Agriculture & Illinois General Assembly

A recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune found that there is a rampant abuse of pigs in Illinois and the State is not protecting them at all. A dozen former hog confinement facility workers all told the same story: pigs are being kicked, whipped, beaten with rods and killed out of spite on a regular basis. Yet, the state of Illinois only prosecuted one case of animal abuse in the industry last year. We demand that the Illinois Bureau of Agriculture properly investigate and prosecute cases of animal abuse in the hog confinement industry.

Former employees told the Tribune about supervisors and employees alike are kicking and punching hogs so hard that their noses bled, they squealed in pain and sometimes couldn't even move. They also describe the gruesome way in which runt piglets are murdered; employees slam their tiny heads against the concrete. Sometimes if the piglet doesn't die immediately, workers will toss it aside and let it die slowly and painfully. Workers say pigs often were whipped so hard they bled and that they were beaten with metal bars all the time. Even more horrifying is that there are reports of pigs being murdered just because they were being difficult. Especially striking is the fact that many of these employees filed formal complaints, but clearly very few, if any, were ever investigated by the state.

The Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare is in charge of investigating claims of animal abuse, but their staff has been cut in half recently from 12 to 6 investigators. The remaining six inspectors are in charge of ALL animal abuse claims, from dead goldfish at pet stores to pregnant sows being gouged with pliers.

Obviously, the Illinois Bureau of Agriculture doesn't think that protecting animal welfare is worth the resources. When animal abuse claims do get investigated by inspectors, sometimes that only consists of an investigator calling or emailing supervisors at facilities. But what supervisor is going to admit their employees are abusing pigs? There need to be enough inspectors so that they can actually visit facilities unexpectedly and fully look into claims of abuse.

Please sign this petition demanding Illinois get serious about protecting the pigs being raised in the state. If enough of us speak out against this inhumane treatment, the state will have to respond.
Update #16 years ago
New allegations of pig abuse in Illinois have just surfaced. We need even more signatures to get the state’s attention and tell them we won’t stand for this behavior!
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