In response to allegations from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) of alleged animal abuse at a Smithfield Foods pig farm in Virginia, Smithfield has issued this statement:

“At Smithfield Foods our number one priority is care and safety of our hogs and our employees at all of our facilities,” says Dennis Treacy, company chief sustainability officer.

“The company’s well-defined animal welfare policy and the procedures have been in action in the form of an ongoing investigation since this weekend, when we first learned of a possible incident at one of our facilities through our employee animal welfare hotline.”

Treacy says Smithfield has engaged renowned animal welfare expert Temple Grandin to help review the facts depicted in the HSUS video and “recommend any policy and procedure adjustments that may be called for.” Virginia state veterinarian Richard Wilkes, DVM, will assist in the investigation.

“Should the investigation yield any wrongdoing on the part of any Smithfield Foods employee, we will take appropriate action up to and including termination, pursuant to our animal welfare policy,” Treacy says.

He goes on to say: “We provide regular training to our employees on our animal welfare policies and procedures, and we have zero tolerance for any behavior that does not conform to our established animal well-being procedures. We will publicly release the findings of the investigation as soon as it is concluded.”

For more information and updates, visit www.smithfieldfoodstoday.com.