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ARCHIVE - Penalize Pig Torturers At Iowa Farm

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Nicola J. Martino, County Attorney
Greene County Attorney's Office
Greene County Courthouse
114 N. Chestnut
Jefferson, IA 50129
ph: 515-386-3474; fax: 515-386-3850

Thomas F. Heater, Sheriff
Greene County Sheriff Office
204 S. Chestnut Street
Jefferson, IA 50129
ph: 515-386-2136; fax: 515-386-3911

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
1305 E. Walnut Street
Des Moines IA 50319
ph: 515-281-5164; fax: 515-281-4209

Iowa Attorney General, Environmental & Farm Divisions
Lucas State Office Bldg.
321 E. 12th Street, Ground Floor, Room 018
Des Moines, IA 50319
ph: 515/281-5351; fax: 515/242-6072

Congressman Tom Latham
1421 South Bell Avenue, Suite 108A
Ames, Iowa 50010
ph: 515-232-2885; fax: 515-232-2844

Senator Charles E. 'Chuck' Grassley
721 Federal Building
210 Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
ph: 515-288-1145; fax: 515-288-5097
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Dear Officials Of Greene County And The State Of Iowa:

I thank the offices of the Greene County Sheriff and Attorney for their probe into alleged animal abuse at a Minnesota-owned MowMar hog factory, operated by Suidae Health and Production, in Greene County, Iowa. I understand PETA investigators working at this farm filed a complaint on September 15, 2008.

Among those videotaped mistreating pigs, six people now face 22 counts of livestock neglect and abuse. I commend the prompt action of county officials and urge all Iowa lawmakers to uphold a no-tolerance policy for abuse within the livestock industry. Please follow through with the arrest and prosecution of these employees. Their egregious cruelty has garnered worldwide attention.

As you are aware, PETA's video depicts workers at this Hormel supplier battering pigs with metal gate rods. One supervisor thrusts a cane into a sow's vagina and smacks her back some 17 times. Clothespins and fingers are poked into pigs' eyes and faces. Piglet's heads are crushed against a floor and they're tossed into a bin to die.

A worker beats a piglet's face with the rim of a herding board, a method that investigators saw repeatedly. An employee even spray paints the nostrils of a nursing sow.

"Beat on the bitch. Make her cry," a supervisor advises, as he kicks a young pig's face, abdomen and genitals. The dismissive nature of these workers indicates their cruelty is commonplace.

While Iowa's livestock neglect and abuse laws are classified as misdemeanors only the arrest, prosecution and punishment of these employees sends a loud message. For those charged with aggravated misdemeanor, please seek maximum penalties of two years in prison and a $6250 fine. Employees charged with simple misdemeanor should also be penalized to the law's full extent, with 30 days in county jail and a $625 fine.

I encourage Iowa authorities to lead the way in ending senseless cruelty to animals on factory farms.

Thank you,
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UPDATE - 6/26/09: Pig Abusers At Hormel Supplier Get 1 To 2 Year Probation
SOURCE: 4 in Iowa sentenced to probation for abusing pigs

Four employees at a western Iowa farm (owned by MowMar Farms LLP of Fairmont, MN and a supplier to Hormel Foods) were sentenced to probation for pig abuse. The abuse exposed by a PETA investigator working there undercover was shown in a graphic video last year.
  • Richard Ralston, 28: One count livestock abuse: Two years probation.
  • Alan Rettig, 60: One count livestock abuse: Two years probation.
  • Greg Hackler: One count livestock abuse: One year probation.
  • Jordan Anderson, 26: One count aiding and abetting livestock abuse: Two years probation with deferred judgment (if probation is successful, his record is erased). All men but Anderson were banned from working with livestock during probation.
In Janurary 2009, Shawn Lyons, 36, pleased guilty to one count of livestock neglect and was sentenced to six months probation. The case of Shelly Mauch, also charged with animal cruelty, is pending. **While the penalties seem lame, they're progress. Charges and litigation rarely even occur in farmed animal abuse cases.

Hog Abuse Probe Moving Quickly / Undercover PETA Video Considered Key To Case
A list of charges in Iowa pig abuse case
Undercover Investigation Reveals Hormel Supplier's Abuse of Pigs
Hormel Foods Position on Humane Handling

TOP LEFT PHOTO: A sow with an open sore on her nose from a beating with a metal gate rod. MID LEFT: A worker slammed these piglets' heads against the floor and left them to die in a bin. BOTTOM LEFT: An employee sprayed paint, for over 30 seconds, into the nostrils of a nursing sow.

9/17/08: Hormel's Pigs: Slammed, Cut, Spray-Painted

UPDATE: We asked food giant Hormel to terminate employees implicated in abuse, phase out gestation crates, and install video surveillance cameras at its contracted hog farms...after PETA's undercover tapes exposed an Iowa farm battering pigs with metal rods, crushing piglets, and more. Since then, Greene County officials have charged some abusers seen in PETA's video. EVERY TIME charges are filed in "livestock" abuse, this is a mini-victory in itself since these animals are seen as commodities, not living creatures. Please thank officials for their action and urge them to follow through with arrest and prosecution.

10/21/08: The Greene County Sheriff and Greene County Attorney's Office completed their investigation into a complaint of animal cruelty reported on September 15, 2008 by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) which took place at a hog confinement facility located at F Avenue and 330th Street in southwestern Greene County. The owners of the facility are Mow Mar out of Minnesota and the site is managed by Suidae Health and Production.

Those charged were (Source - Green County Sheriff's Office):
Jordan M. Anderson, 26, of Audubon, a former on-site manager: Aiding and abetting livestock abuse-two counts, aggravated misdemeanor; and Livestock Neglect, one count, simple misdemeanor.

Greg W. Hackler, 18, of Jefferson, a former employee: Livestock abuse, two counts, aggravated misdemeanor.

Shawn M. Lyons, 35, of Bayard, still employed: Livestock neglect, one count, simple misdemeanor.

Shelly A. Mauch, 34, of Scranton, still employed: Livestock neglect, one count, simple misdemeanor.

Richard M. Ralston, 27, of Bayard, a former employee: Livestock abuse, five counts, aggravated misdemeanor.

Alan B. Rettig, 60, of Scranton, a former employee: Livestock abuse, five counts, aggravated misdemeanor
DISCLAIMER: Information in these materials is verified with original source. Kinship Circle does not assume responsibility for accuracy of information or for consequences of its use. Nothing on this website intends to encourage illegal action in whatever country you are reading it in. Kinship Circle does not engage in, nor support, any form of harassment or unlawful action. Nothing in this alert serves to promote such conduct.

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