A Pipestone, Minnesota, hog operation is the target of an undercover video shot by an animal rights group. In it, Mercy for Animals claims workers are treating pigs poorly.
Video of Pipestone-based Rosewood Farms can be found on an anti-Walmart website. The video is violent; now the farm's owners are speaking out.
The CEO of Pipestone Systems first saw the video a week ago, and while some of the actions are standard, he is not happy with the actions of his employees.
"Yeah, the video's disturbing to the general public. Some of it's actually industry accepted practices such as castration and tail-docking; those are things when we raise pigs. The things that are violations of our policies, the method of how we euthanize pigs, we do use blunt force trauma, but it wasn't done correctly. So that obviously is not something we condone," President and CEO Luke Minion said.
Pipestone Systems sends out monthly quizzes to the farms to make sure they understand the company policies. They also personally visit the farms to make sure everything is done properly.
"We do have internal welfare audits where we go out and we look through all the farms. We also have a third party audit company that comes into our farms once a year," Director of Animal Welfare Carissa Odland said.
Minion is upset with how Mercy for Animals handled the knowledge of the poor treatment of the animals.
"If they were really concerned about the well-being of the animals, they should have reported this to me and to our team so we could have taken corrective action sooner," Minion said.
Pipestone Systems has done its own investigation and either fired, relocated or offered more training to the employees involved.
"This is an isolated incident. The fact that we had this incident, I'm responsible. We take that seriously; we've taken the corrective action that we know to take and we'll get better," Minion said.
The Pipestone County Sheriff and an independent veterinarian did go out to search Rosewood on October 9 and they found no sign of animal cruelty and no charges were filed.