Walmart is under fire after an investigation by Mercy for Animals revealed inhumane practices at a plant operated by one of its pork suppliers, Christensen Farms. The non-profit sent an investigator to a Christensen plant in Minnesota who came away with video evidence documenting several practices, including gestation crates and tail-docking, that are widely condemned by animal advocates and banned in a number of states. Watch it (warning for intensely graphic content):
Christensen, one of the largest pork producers in the country, claimed its practices are “within standard animal welfare practices.” Both a veterinarian and an animal behavior expert who reviewed the footage disagreed in strong terms. One said, “what I saw in this video is all too familiar to me from other factory farm footage I have seen: it is an unremitting hell on earth.” Gestation crates — the impossibly small cages that cause much of the pain documented in the video — are being phased out in the EU after a comprehensive expert review of the harm they do to animals.
Mercy for Animals has had success working with corporations to stop doing business cruel suppliers in the past. A campaign against egg producer Sparboe Farms caused both McDonald’s and Target to drop the company. Costco recently decided to end its relationship with farms that employ gestation crates, though the company claims the decision was unrelated to Mercy for Animals’ investigation. Many other major restaurant and grocery corporations have voluntarily asked suppliers to stop using gestation crates.
Mercy for Animals is circulating a petition asking Walmart to end its relationship with Christensen.