Farm owner Lonnie Herring reportedly fired all employees involved in the video, but their faces were often obscured from sight.
The disturbing footage begins with a montage of animals being hit with wooden boards, kicked, beaten and lying in pools of blood or locked in cages.
The deplorable physical abuse didn’t just stop at kicking and punching the defenseless pigs.
Piglets also endured being violently shaken, thrown through the air only to be spiked on to the concrete floor like footballs or even held by the tail and swung repeatedly into the floor.
A walkway is shown with several bloody piglets on the ground having seizures or writhing in agony, blood is splattered everywhere.
Multiple piglets have their tails removed either with a shovel swung violently down on the tail, severing it, or with a pair of shears – no painkillers are administered.
Another unfortunate piglet is also shown being held by their hind legs and having their testicles removed, again without painkillers or anesthesia.
The suffering causes it to let out a loud squeal and violently shake.
A pregnant pig too fat to move is kicked, punched and has clumps of hair ripped out.
One pig had a bowling ball thrown at its head, other had their eyes gouged out or their ears violently pulled.
Pigs barely clinging to life are tossed in piles of dead pigs, they start to rot even though they are still living.
A Reddit user who once worked on a hog farm commenting that the abuse shown in the video is far from uncommon, but that this farm took it too far.
‘Piglets are killed by having their heads smashed against the concrete because it’s quick and if done properly (which those guys aren’t doing) the piglets are dead before they even know what happened,’ said legless_kraig.
‘Pulling by the ears to get them to move somewhere specific was common and kicking in the back end was too but realistically the pigs feel nothing from the kicking,’ he continued.
‘Gouging of the eyes was something that was done to the adult pigs when they weren’t moving down the aisles or being stubborn and hard to handle,’ the Redditor further explained.
The pigs are miserable. They are mistreated, malnourished and then sent to slaughter – if they endure the torture long enough to be that lucky.
Most of the employees are miserable too, legless_kraig wrote.
‘It wasn’t a job I felt proud of doing but I was young and needed a way to get money… that last year was a struggle every day to just drive to work.’
The owner of the farm, Lonnie Herring, said he was also shocked by the video.
'I was stunned that anyone could be that callous in their treatment of any animal,' said Lonnie Herring to NBC.
'After viewing the video, I immediately returned to my farm and terminated the employees seen in the video.'
Herring said that he used approved euthanasia methods he calls ‘humane.’ He also said workers are instructed to make sure an animal is dead before they leave it.
'It is a part of the business and there are prescribed methods of euthanasia and I follow those to a T,' said Herring.
According to the Humane Society of the United States there has also been progress on its efforts to ban gestation crates.
According to the HSUS “On Tuesday, Smithfield Foods announced
it is upgrading its animal policies by providing incentives for its contract farmers to move away from gestation crates
Tyson Foods, another major pork producer, also took steps in that direction. The company, whose production is conducted primarily through its contractors and independent suppliers, has sent a letter
to all the farmers in its pork system outlining desired improvements in its animal welfare program. While the letter contains several promising points on a variety of issues, like encouraging a shift away from “euthanizing” sick or injured piglets through blunt force trauma and urging the development of pain relief during castration and tail docking, the stand-out, in our view, is Tyson’s language on the issue of sow gestation crate confinement.
“We believe future sow housing should allow sows of all sizes to stand, turn around, lie down and stretch their legs,” writes Tyson, indicating that gestation crates – which prevent those behaviors – ought to be replaced with alternative housing systems. “We’re asking the contract farmers who manage Tyson-owned sows,” it continues, “to implement improved ‘quality and quantity of space’ standards in the design of any newly built or redesigned gestation barns beginning in 2014. We also strongly encourage the hog farmers who sell market hogs to Tyson to improve quantity and quality of space standards for sows when they or their piglet suppliers re-design or build new gestation barns.”
Unfortunately, Tyson’s letter does not mandate anything of its suppliers with regard to sow housing, nor does it outline any timeline by which alternative housing systems must be in place. Nonetheless, this is big movement from an important company. Tyson may still have a ways to go when it comes to shoring up a gestation crate-free supply system, but its first steps on this issue – like all steps on the path toward a more humane way of living or conducting business – are most welcome.”