Soon, no more pigs will be jabbed, beaten with chains, and repeatedly electro-shocked at the Southern Quality Meats, Inc. (SQM), plant in Pontotoc, Mississippi: The sordid slaughterhouse, which supplied meat to Mississippi and Alabama schools, will be closing its doors in June.
Last year, a whistleblower provided PETA with video footage captured inside the slaughterhouse. The footage shows one SQM worker jabbing pigs with electric prongs normally used to stun them prior to cutting their throats and even putting the prongs on one apparently stunned mother pig’s lower abdomen and/or genitals.
And that was just the suffering that was caught on video. A whistleblower also saw SQM workers beat downed mother pigs on the face and head with chains, drag them to the kill floor, and electro-shock and jab them for up to 30 minutes at a time.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) records revealed that during a January 2013 inspection, 100 percent of the pigs observed by an FSIS official moved around in the facility’s “knock box,” which made stunning them difficult. Then, after an investigation in July 2013, the FSIS found that the slaughterhouse was breaking federal law by ineffectively stunning pigs in their final, terrifying moments. PETA alerted Alabama and Mississippi school officials to the mistreatment of pigs recorded at SQM and asked them to stop using taxpayer dollars to purchase meat from the slaughterhouse.
The SQM plant will close and merge operations with another facility in Alabama. However, suffering and cruelty are inevitable in slaughterhouses. In factory farms piglets often have their tails cut off and genitals removed without painkillers, and mother pigs are often forced to languish in cramped gestation crates, where they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably.