For Immediate Release:
October 19, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Scotts, Mich. – Following recently obtained federal reports documenting workers kicking a pig, chasing and electroshocking another, and denying cows and lambs water at the Scotts Hook & Cleaver slaughterhouse near Scotts, PETA fired off a letter this morning to Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey S. Getting calling on him to investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the workers responsible.
According to the reports, on June 28 a federal agent saw a slaughterhouse worker kick a pig in the left shoulder with “the full swing of his leg.” On November 9, 2021, an inspector saw a worker chasing a pig around the slaughterhouse and repeatedly electroshocking the animal. On June 15, a federal inspector found cows with no potable water—as the temperature reached 90 degrees—“due to the extent of fecal material floating and covering ¾ of the … surface” of the water tank. On March 16, agents found five lambs without access to water. And on February 14, an agent found a cow in a pen with only frozen-solid water available.
“This slaughterhouse is hell on Earth for animals, where pigs have been kicked and electroshocked and cows and lambs left without fresh water to drink,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on the prosecuting attorney to prevent more illegal suffering by bringing appropriate charges—and reminds everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”
PETA points out that pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do. The group is pursuing charges under state law because federal officials haven’t prosecuted any inspected slaughterhouses for acts of abuse and neglect such as those at Scotts Hook & Cleaver since at least 2007.
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 Getting follows.
October 19, 2022
The Honorable Jeffrey S. Getting
Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Dear Mr. Getting:
I hope this letter finds you well. I’m writing to request that your office (and a law-enforcement agency, as necessary) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the individuals responsible for kicking a pig, repeatedly electroshocking another pig, and denying lambs and cows water at Scotts Hook & Cleaver Inc., located at 8713 S. 38th St. near Scotts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incidents in reports that the agency recently made available to the public. (See the attached table.)
According to the reports, on June 28 a federal agent saw a Scotts Hook & Cleaver worker kick a pig in the left shoulder “with the full swing of his leg.” On November 9, 2021, FSIS staff saw a worker “chasing” a loose pig around the facility and repeatedly electroshocking the animal with a device meant to stun a stationary animal.
On June 15—as the temperature hit 90 degrees—an inspector found cows with no potable water, “due to the extent of fecal material floating and covering 3/4 of the … surface” of the water tank nearby. On March 16, FSIS staff found five lambs deprived of water at the facility. On February 14, a federal official found a cow confined to a pen with only a “frozen solid” water source.
This conduct may violate MCL § 750.50b(2)(b) and § 750.50(2). The documented acts are not the lawful killing and use of livestock otherwise exempt from prosecution. Please note that FSIS’ action carries no criminal or civil penalties and does not preempt criminal liability under state law for acts of cruelty to animals.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis
Cruelty Investigations Department