Greene County, IA, authorities on Wednesday charged six farm workers with animal abuse in connection with a video obtained by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that showed employees abusing pigs.

New owner of the farm at Bayard, IA, MowMar Farms, expressed surprise and outrage over the images of animal mistreatment depicted in video footage released by PETA on Sept. 16, 2008, one month after MowMar acquired the farm.

Representatives of MowMar immediately met with PETA to review their allegations and the next day, Sept. 17, publicly committed to implement a series of investigative, disciplinary and corrective actions.

MowMar’s ongoing internal investigation resulted in the termination of some employees, including all six employees charged by the Greene County Sheriff and county attorney.

Based on new evidence, Suidae Health and Production, the farm management firm, has terminated the farm manager as well. All existing and new employees receive extensive and ongoing training to ensure that MowMar Farms’ zero-tolerance policy with respect to mistreatment or abuse of farm animals is upheld.

MowMar officials said they “share the goal of ensuring that all animals managed by our operations are treated in a humane manner, guided by policies that meet the highest legal, ethical and industry standards for animal husbandry.”