Hog Farm Accused of Animal Mistreatment

Published 02/20 2014 05:22PM

Updated 02/20 2014 05:32PM

Is a Daviess County hog farm committing animal cruelty? That's what the humane society of the untied states is accusing the Iron Maiden Hog Farm of.
Pigs in small cages and sick animals left without care are just some of the things they're accusing owners of.

Too small. too dirty. and too harmful for pigs.

The Humane Society Of The U.S. says pigs at the Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Daviess County suffer from harsh and inhumane practices. Among them: being locked in cages too small --

"They're immobilized," says Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States. "They're lined up like parked cars, and they could barely move an inch."

Pigs are also allegedly being fed parts of other pigs who died from the virus, PEDv, which causes severe diarrhea, and sick animals being left to die.

"If you lock animals inside tiny cages where they can barely move an inch for their entire lives put mountains of them in a warehouse,
you just creating an incubator for viruses," Shapiro says.

Humane Society officials say they first learned about these practices aren't fit for pigs, or for humans. We caught up with farm owner Jerry O'bryan earlier this afternoon. He declined to comment, but farm consultant Dr. Dale Hendrickson says some of these practices are very common.

"One, if you pen them too wide, the sow turns around in them and gets in them backwards, and then they can't get water or feed," he says.

He adds the practice of feeding parts of intestine is needed to help build immune systems to protect the animals from disease.

"It does help the well being of the herd," Hendrickson says. "It vaccinates the sows that don't have the disease and it drastically reduces the total death loss on the farm."

A spokesman with the Kentucky Farm Bureau says farmers have a moral obligation to provide for the animal's well being and that programs like the state Animal Care Standards help them stay up to date with management practices.

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