PETA asks police to investigate local farm


A national animal rights organization has asked the Indiana State Police to investigate a local confined animal feeding operation.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has requested that action after obtaining footage of activity they deem unacceptable at East Fork Farms.

The farm is located west of Brownstown. A representative from East Fork Farms could not be reached for comment.

The footage, believed to have been filmed at the farm, shows dead piglets, workers cutting off tails and throwing pigs to each other, overflowing waste systems, decomposing pigs and more.

Dan Paden, a vice president of PETA’s cruelty and investigations department, said the video was filmed in early September and shows some of the most poor conditions the organization has seen.

“They’re likely the most disgusting we’ve seen in many years, if not longer,” he said. “This video shows absolutely nothing acceptable beyond the stretch of the imagination.”

Paden said all animal operations are dirty, but the conditions at East Fork Farms surprised him. He said the manure pit that was backed up and the decomposing piglets were some of the most disturbing parts of the video.

He said PETA receives dozens of similar videos each year, but it’s rare that videos and photographs accompany news releases.

Paden said the goal of releasing the footage is to alert the police and JBS of Louisville, which processes the hogs, to improve conditions at the farm. East Fork Farms is a supplier for JBS, which is the nation’s second largest hog processing company.

A representative from JBS could not be reached for comment.

“This also raises awareness of consumers if they are buying Swift Brands that this is the type of pain and suffering that the purchases support,” he said.

As far as who filmed the video, Paden said the organization does not know the identity of the person who sent it.

“This was not a PETA member or employee, it was from an anonymous source whose name we do not know, who provided us with the information and the video we released,” he said. “We do not know the person’s relationship with this farm at all.”

Paden said the organization was able to confirm the video was filmed at the operation by spotting "things" that identify the company, although he declined to share what the organization specifically saw to confirm it, citing the pending matter. He said the organization has not been in contact with the farm.

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police Post at Versailles said the agency is aware of the allegations and is gathering information.

“We’re in the early stages and a detective will be assigned to look into it further,” he said.

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