(BROWNSTOWN) – The Jackson County Prosector’s Office has cleared East Fork Farms in Brownstown of any wrongdoing.
The hog farm was under investigation after PETA, (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) a national animal rights organization’s call for an investigation into the farm’s practices.
Indiana State Police began their investigation on October 9th after PETA released a video and photos that show injured pigs abandoned to suffer in filth, dead piglets rotting on the floor, and a trash can teeming with maggots and overflowing with piglets’ bodies.
A second video was released later in the month showing similar conditions with a letter from a whistleblower who took the videos. The person refused to identify themselves.
However, when police and a veterinarian went to the farm they found none of the conditions featured in the video and found the farm met industry standards. A second veterinarian with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health visited the farm on a different date and found no evidence of animal abuse. Police say the veterinarians did provide farm owners tips on how they could improve the facility and better care for the hogs.
According to the police news release, the investigation showed that an unknown person or persons illegally entered the farm on multiple occasions in September and October and captured video inside the facility at night when no workers were present. Detectives determined cameras were then hidden inside the facility to capture daytime operations.
Investigators believe some clips were staged and that some were even filmed at another facility. Police have not been able to determine who filmed the videos.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement Thursday afternoon after the conclusion of the police investigation:
PETA vehemently disagrees with the conclusion that it is not cruel to leave piglets to drown in pools of waste and shriek as they’re pinned against cage bars and to allow mother pigs to watch as their babies suffer, die, and decompose just out of their reach. It is now up to all of us to take personal responsibility for such intense suffering and to choose not to eat pigs or other animals. PETA stands ready not only with videos of the animals’ misery but also with free vegan recipes and assistance in choosing a kind lifestyle.
More information about PETA’s exposé – including additional footage and a letter provided by the whistleblower is available here,