Quality Pork Processors, the pork supplier to Hormel Foods Corp.’s Austin plant, said Friday it has instituted “significant corrective measures” after an undercover video showed questionable animal welfare practices at its slaughterhouse.
The video of the killing room at Quality was taken earlier this year and released Wednesday by the animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it was investigating the company. Hormel itself demanded many of the changes that Quality now plans to make.
“We want to assure Hormel Foods and all of its customers that we care about animal welfare, and are committed to taking steps that will bring about positive changes for the industry as a whole,” Quality said in a press statement. Quality is based in Dallas, but its one slaughterhouse is in Austin, next to its one customer, Hormel. The video was titled “Horrors at Hormel.”
Quality said it’s taking further disciplinary action against employees who exhibited aggressive and inappropriate behavior to pigs, and that it’s retraining all employees on proper animal handling. The company said it’s increasing third-party audits. And “humane handling officers” will be in the plant to observe all animal handling.
Hormel itself plans to put “humane handling officers” in the Quality plant, the company said in a statement late Thursday. Hormel said in that same statement that it was “extremely disappointed and concerned to see the recently released undercover video detailing instances of aggressive animal handling and employee insensitivity.”