Feds See Pig and Cow Shot Repeatedly; PETA Seeks Slaughterhouse Cameras


For Immediate Release:
December 7, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Carroll County, Md. – Following a recent federal report documenting that a pig remained conscious after multiple shots in the head at Wagner Meats LLC in Mount Airy, PETA fired off a letter today to the facility’s owner and president, Michael Wagner, calling on him to livestream video footage from the slaughterhouse in order to help prevent additional egregious violations of law.

On November 8, a worker shot a pig in the head five times—he remained standing, running around and crying out in an “agitated state,” after four blasts, and although he fell after the fifth shot, he stood up as workers attempted to hoist him upside down, and a worker then electrocuted him for 14 seconds until he was finally rendered unconscious. This followed an incident on January 21, 2021, in which a cow remained conscious after being shot, blinking and tearing “excessively.” It took a second shot to end the animal’s suffering.

“These disturbing reports show that a pig and a cow endured prolonged, agonizing pain after workers shot them in the head,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on this facility to livestream its slaughter operations publicly and reminds everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”

PETA has also asked Wagner to report the workers involved in the incidents to local law-enforcement officials and reassign those individuals to positions that don’t involve having contact with live animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Wagner follows.

December 7, 2022

Michael Wagner

Owner and President

Wagner Meats LLC

Dear Mr. Wagner:

Given the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report detailing how a severely injured pig cried out and ran around while being shot five times in the head and was still conscious while being hoisted upside down at Wagner Meats LLC, we ask that you immediately change operations there in the hope of reducing animal suffering at your slaughterhouse. That a hoisted cow remained conscious after a worker shot her in the head last year underscores the need for changes as well.

Will you please publicly livestream video from all areas of your facility where live animals are handled? Workers would take more seriously their duty to handle animals lawfully if they knew caring people were watching. As the world’s foremost expert on livestock welfare, Dr. Temple Grandin, writes, “Plants [t]hat are doing a good job should show what they are doing.” Your industry often complains that today’s consumers don’t understand how animals are raised and killed for food. You could help by enabling us to observe your workers moving countless individual animals—who value their lives as we value ours—off crowded trucks in all weather, attempting to stun them, slashing or sticking their throats, and bleeding them to death.

At the very least, will you reassign your staff referenced in the federal reports to jobs that don’t involve having contact with any live animals—such as evisceration, butchering, and packaging—and report the involved personnel to your local law-enforcement agency for investigation for possible violations of the state’s anti-cruelty statute?

Thanks for your consideration.


Colin Henstock

Assistant Manager of Investigations


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