[Warning: Graphic video.]
Undercover video of a Platte County, Wyoming, pig farm shows workers kicking piglets like soccer balls, swinging sick piglets in circles by their hind legs, and striking mother pigs with their fists.
The shocking images from Wyoming Premium Farms were shot in secret by a worker with a hidden camera during the month of April for the Humane Society of the United States. The clip has led Tyson Foods to suspend its purchase of sows from the facility exposed in the video, and for an investigation into alleged abuses to be launched by the local sheriff of Platte County.
There is no word of other companies who buy from the Wyoming farm making similar commitments.
A statement provided to Yahoo News from Tyson reads:
We've seen the video taken by the Humane Society of the United Stated (HSUS) at the Wyoming farm and are appalled by the mistreatment of the animals. We do not condone for any reason the animal handling that was shown.
Contrary to the impression left by HSUS, there is no connection between this Wyoming farm and the pork we process. Tyson Foods does not buy any of the hogs raised on this farm for our pork processing plants.
We do have a small, but separate hog buying business that has previously purchased aged sows from this farm; however, these animals are subsequently sold to other companies and are not used in Tyson's pork processing business. This separate business has discontinued buying sows from the farm shown in the video.
The footage, said Paul Shapiro, vice president of Farm Animal Protection at the HSUS, also brings up a common factory farm practice: gestation cages, a standard industry practice to keep pigs in two-by-seven-foot metal containers: "They can't turn around for their entire lives." Companies like Hormel and Smithfield Foods have committed to phasing out the cages within five years.
And massive buyers like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and most recently, Safeway have pledged to stop buying from farms that use the cages, according to the Humane Society.