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Tyson Foods Tells Farms Not to Kill Pigs With Blunt Force

The nation’s largest meat producer has announced new animal care guidelines for its pork suppliers a month and a half after NBC News showed the company undercover video of workers on one of its farms kicking and hitting pigs and slamming piglets into the ground.

On Wednesday, Tyson Foods sent a letter to suppliers requiring that some farms stop using blunt force euthanasia to kill piglets and urging that all its suppliers keep sows in larger cages, install video cameras in sow farms, and adopt “pain mitigation” methods when castrating piglets or docking their tails.

In its letter, Tyson said it recognized that killing piglets with blunt force “has been historically acceptable” to the meat industry, “but may not match the expectations of today’s customers or consumers.”

An activist for the animal rights group Mercy for Animals shot undercover video at an Oklahoma farm showing workers hitting and kicking pigs and slamming piglets into the ground to kill them. When NBC showed the video to Tyson and to the farm owner, the farm owner fired some of his workers, and Tyson ended its contract with the farm.