The Pipestone System issued a response this week to an allegation of animal mistreatment linked to an undercover video taken by a Mercy for Animals activist. The Pipestone County Prosecutor has determiend not to bring any charges against any of the employees on the farm at this time.
The Pipestone System has recently cooperated with the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office in response to a complaint of animal mistreatment by a former employee. The complaint was lodged by Jessica Marie Buck, a former Pipestone System employee, who is believed to be an undercover activist with the Mercy for Animals organization. The Pipestone County Prosecutor has determined not to bring any charges against any of the employees on the farm at this time.
In a news release on theorganization's website, the company states,"The Pipestone System does not condone any type of willful animal abuse. The Pipestone System immediately conducted an internal investigation of alleged mistreatment and discovered certain violations of its Animal Welfare Policy that resulted in the immediate termination of one employee, reassignment of another and follow-up training of the remaining employees." The Pipestone System also requested and underwent an immediate third party external audit of the operations at this farm. “We remain absolutely committed to animal welfare and will continue to improve upon training and oversight every day,” said Carissa Odland, DVM, Director of Animal Welfare for the Pipestone System.
According to the website, all Pipestone System employees receive extensive, consistent animal welfare training which requires each employee to sign on to a commitment to immediately report any suspected abuse or mistreatment. The organization says Buck signed on to this pledge, specifically committing to report any animal welfare issues or concerns she witnessed. "Unfortunately, no report of abuse or mistreatment from Ms. Buck was ever reported. Ms. Buck’s own actions while on the sow farm clearly violated our animal welfare policy, the statement says.
“It is clear that Ms. Buck did not take specific actions aimed at protecting the welfare of the animals as the Pipestone System policies dictate, but instead was solely motivated to obtain undercover footage for Mercy for Animals without any true regard for the immediate welfare of the animals” stated Luke Minion, DVM, President and CEO of the Pipestone System.
Pipestone System is a network of independent family farmers who raise quality pork using humane and sustainable agricultural practices and state-of-the-art facilities and genetics. Ultimately, the market weight animals are sold to all of the pork packers in the Midwest. Learn more at www.pipestonesystem.com
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