Two large pork production companies have responded to allegations by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) of animal abuse of pregnant sows.

HSUS posted a video on its Web site of sows lying or standing in crates and pigs being tail docked. It called on the two production systems to provide sows more space in group housing.

Ron Prestage, DVM, offered this response for the North Carolina-based company.

“Prestage Farms has production systems for both group housing and individual housing,” Prestage says. “Whether raised in groups or individual housing, we are committed to sound animal care.”

Seaboard officials issued a statement that they “strongly dispute” any allegations of abuse and indicated they are pleased that employees are following proper industry-supported procedures for animal care.

“In direct response to the recently released video by the Humane Society of the United States, Dr. Temple Grandin, who is also quoted in the video, stated that ‘there was no bad behavior by people’ in the operations depicted at Seaboard Farms,” the Kansas-based company said.

Prestage adds his company is investigating the Humane Society’s allegations to determine if there was any employee wrongdoing.

“We will take disciplinary action as appropriate, including termination of employment, as is provided in our animal welfare policy. This has been done before when a violation of our policies has been identified,” he says.