Following the accusations against the ‘unnamed’ pork supplier, JBS USA has suspended shipments from its supplier site as the company conducts a full investigation.
The leaked footage came from animal advocacy organisation Mercy for Animals, with an investigator from the group claiming the supplier was violent towards the pigs and mutilated pigs without pain relief.
“I’ll never forget the way they [the pigs] looked up at me,” said ‘Tyler’, the Mercy for Animals undercover investigator on its website. “They all shared the same look of helplessness and fear.”
The animal rights group has now asked the public to sign a petition for JBS to ban animal abuse throughout its worldwide supply chain and to end mutilations without pain relief.
Almost 21,000 signatures have already been collected and the group has set a target to reach 25,000.
Responding to the animal welfare allegations, JBS USA said the business would not tolerate the abuse of animals under any circumstances.
“We expect all livestock to be handled in a safe and humane manner throughout our supply chain,” said a JBS USA statement. “Animal welfare is a priority for our company and our customers. We will ensure that all of our suppliers adhere to our high standards of animal care.”
JBS’ other US business unit Pilgrim’s Pride launched an investigation into the welfare standards of its chickens last year, with the company eventually terminating its contract with Plainview Farms in Hull, Georgia. Plainview Farms had been accused of inflicting “extreme animal suffering” by the Humane Society of the United States.