PLEASANTON (KCBS) – A national animal rights organization is calling for changes from Pleasanton-based Safeway after releasing an undercover video (WARNING: Graphic) with some disturbing footage from an Iowa farm.

Eddie Garza with Mercy for Animals said the daily abuses captured on video at Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa, would shock and horrify most Americans, but are standard practices in much of the pork industry.

“The cruelty witnessed included management training workers to throw piglets across the room, workers ripping out the testicles of conscious pigs, piglets suffering with herniated intestines and conscious piglets having their tails sliced in two and torn off with pliers,” said Garza.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Pregnant sows are also shown confined to crates so small, they can’t turn around.

Mercy for Animals urged Safeway to phase out buying pork from suppliers who use gestation crates by 2017.

“The state of California outlawed gestation crates by 2015,” said Garza. “So we feel this is a reasonable timeline.”

Iowa Select Farms pork is sold at Safeway under the Swift brand name.

Safeway released a statement and called the video “disturbing.” They said they have stopped buying from Swift while an investigation is conducted.

On its website, Iowa Select Farms said it’s also investigating portions of the video that show “unacceptable animal handling.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. kinu says:

    Why do they do this to the helpless little pigs??? I don’t understand why the cruelty. These people need to be “put to sleep” for their own good because they obviously have problems.

  2. Barbara says:

    As a former Safeway employee, I can tell you that they treat their employees in much the same manner.

  3. Laurie says:

    How is it fun to torture anything or anyone? People that do this are sick and need…..I’m not sure what they need….. This is very sad.

  4. Todd Smith says:

    This is a sad article and an even sadder commentary of the degradation of our society and what we consider acceptable behavior. We should ashamed of ourselves as the most “intelligent” species on the planet! Thanks KCBS for airing this article. People need to know what happens to animals that they eat. All the more reason to be proud Im a vegetarian!

  5. Julie Dunn says:

    I’m grateful to KCBS for showing this footage and for organizations like Mercy for Animals that expose the truth. Factory farming is a living hell for animals. Today was monumental because more people’s eyes were opened to the unbelievable torture these intelligent animals endure. I pray this cruelty will be outlawed soon.

  6. Gary says:

    Put an animal uder to cut tails and castrate them????
    Give me a break.
    You people that want that are ridiculous.
    You were raised in a plastic bag.

    1. Leticia says:

      Hey, let me try that on you first. Your a hillbilly that deserves to go to hell.

  7. Leticia says:

    people, you can make a difference by stop eating meat OR only eat humanly raised animals..STOP EATING FACTORY FARMED MEAT, You can get humanly raised meat at stores like whole food and trader joes..yes it’s a little more expensive but 1. you shouldnt eat that much meat anyway, makes you fat and unhealthy and 2. it’s the right thing to do. Stop saying how horrible this is and show the factory farming industry that you will not STAND FOR THIS ANY LONGER and PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS. Support your local farmers who create jobs and expand the economy with free range humanly raised animals!