For Immediate Release:
September 21, 2023
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Twin Falls, Idaho – Following a just-released federal report documenting that 221 pigs arrived at Independent Meat Company near Twin Falls after an overnight journey in subzero temperatures without food or water—leading to the deaths of 10 of the animals—PETA sent a letter today to Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant P. Loebs calling on him to investigate and file appropriate criminal charges against those responsible.
According to the report, the trailer carrying the animals arrived at the slaughterhouse after the 33-hour trip—during which overnight temperatures dropped to 4 degrees below zero—on the afternoon of January 30. It took two hours for the last of the pigs to be unloaded. Two were found dead, seven were unable to walk, and eight more died overnight. A similar incident occurred in March 2022, when a driver admitted to depriving pigs of water for four hours while on a trailer at a slaughterhouse—in addition to their deprivation while in transport.
“More than 200 pigs were crammed together on a freezing truck and deprived of food and water for a multiday journey that left 10 animals dead and ended with the survivors’ throats slit in Independent Meat Company’s slaughterhouse,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “This report paints a horrifying picture, and PETA is calling for an investigation in these pigs’ behalf—and urges everyone to help prevent animals from suffering on trucks and in slaughterhouses by going vegan.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—points out that pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do. The group is pursuing charges under state law because federal officials haven’t prosecuted any inspected slaughterhouses for acts of abuse since at least 2007.
For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Loebs follows.
September 21, 2023
The Honorable Grant P. Loebs
Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney
Dear Mr. Loebs:
I’m writing to request that your office (and a law-enforcement agency, as necessary) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against those responsible for denying 221 pigs food and water for at least 33 hours en route to Independent Meat Company, located at 2072 Orchard Dr. E., near Twin Falls. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in reports that the agency recently made available to the public. (See the attached table.)
According to the report, on January 30 at approximately 2:50 p.m., a trailer carrying the animals arrived at the slaughterhouse. According to the FSIS agent, “[P]aperwork indicated that this load of hogs was loaded on the truck … at 6am on January 29,” nearly 33 hours earlier. Another two hours later, the last of these pigs—who had been confined for 35 hours—were removed. Two of them died, and another seven were unable to walk. The FSIS agent “asked the Plant Operations Manager if the hogs had been provided food and water. He did not believe they had been.” Another eight of these pigs died overnight into January 31.
Although beyond the statute of limitations, a similar incident occurred in March 2022, when a driver admittedly deprived pigs on her trailer of water for four hours at the slaughterhouse—in addition to their deprivation while in transport.
The January incident appears to violate Idaho Code §§ 25-3504 and -3505. Please note that FSIS’ action carries no criminal or civil penalties and does not preempt criminal liability under state law for acts of cruelty to animals. Given that the FSIS hasn’t initiated a criminal prosecution of a licensed slaughterhouse for inhumane handling since at least 2007, charges under state law are these victims’ only chance at a measure of justice.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis
Cruelty Investigations Department