The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) released May 25 undercover footage obtained at a pig breeding facility in Nebraska owned and operated by The Maschhoffs LLC that depicts animal neglect and violations of laws protecting both consumers and animals.
The Maschhoffs is the third-largest pig producer in the U.S., and according to company reports, one of its largest customers is Hormel Foods.
According to ALDF, the footage shows long-term neglect and lack of appropriate veterinary care.
In response, The Maschhoffs said its animal welfare policy is straightforward: "We have a zero tolerance for any abuse or mistreatment of our pigs, and this instance is no exception."
Maschhoffs president Bradley Wolter said, "As a family-owned, long-standing hog production company, we recognize our ethical obligation to provide for the well-being and humane care of our animals, as do our customers. To that end, we are investigating these allegations and will take immediate and swift corrective actions to address them, including fully cooperating with authorities in any criminal investigation.”
Also, Hormel Foods noted that it has a strict supplier code of conduct and policies relating to animal care and will not tolerate any violation of these policies.
As such, Hormel has issued a suspension of all of Maschhoffs' Nebraska sow operations while a thorough investigation is completed. Hormel has dispatched certified third-party auditors to these Nebraska farms and to additional Maschhoffs sites to verify that they are adhering to animal care requirements.
The Maschhoffs, headquartered in Carlyle, Ill., is a hog production company with about 218,000 sows and associated market hog production in 10 states.