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The Kroger Co. has suspended its pork supplier pending an investigation into accusations of animal cruelty stemming from hidden-camera video obtained by an animal rights group that’s alleging abuse by the vendor.
“We are concerned by what we have seen in the video. We have asked JBS Swift, our supplier, to immediately investigate the allegations,” said Keith Dailey, spokesman for the Cincinnati-based grocer. “While the investigation is being conducted, we have instructed JBS Swift to suspend supplying Kroger with product from the facility that is shown in the video.”
The video released by Mercy for Animals, filmed at Iowa-based JBS Swift Pork Co., shows pigs confined in crates barely larger than their own bodies and piglets being thrown across rooms, slammed headfirst into the ground, Columbus Business First reported. It also reportedly shows animals having their testicles removed and tails cut off without painkillers.
“Kroger has strong animal welfare standards which are discussed in our annual sustainability report,” Dailey said. “We require our suppliers to meet or exceed the Food Marketing Institute’s Animal Welfare standards. In addition, we work closely with an independent panel of animal science experts to help us make recommendations on how we can work with the industry to improve animal welfare. We convened the panel in 2008 and the experts meet with us at least annually.”
Confining mother pigs in narrow “gestation crates” has been banned in seven states. Ohio is scheduled to phase out the crates by 2025.