End Forced Cannibalism on Hog Farms

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Target: Jerry W. O’Brien, owner of Iron Maiden Hog Farm

Goal: Stop factory farm from feeding piglets to adult pigs

A hog farm in Owensboro, Kentucky has been feeding piglets to unknowing adult sows, which are often the piglets’ own mothers.  The farm, Iron Maiden Hog Farm, has been afflicted with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, also known as PEDV.  According to covert videos taken by the Humane Society of the United States, when this factory farm finds piglets infected with PEDV they routinely kill them, grind their bodies into a “smoothie,” and feed this “smoothie” to the adult sows.  This is done in an effort to inoculate adult pigs against PEDV.

This practice is in violation of Kentucky law, and possibly federal law as well.  According to NPR, “The Swine Health Protection Act prohibits feeding untreated garbage, which may include animal material, to pigs, unless it’s ‘household waste.’”  A representative of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians has claimed that the practice is necessary to keep adult sows healthy in an environment overrun with PEDV. However, this is not an acceptable excuse for breaking the law and subjecting both the piglets and the sows to unimaginable cruelty.

While PEDV has been sweeping through industrial hog farming operations for the last year, forced cannibalism is not the only answer to stopping the disease.  With more space, more humane conditions, and fewer stressors, pigs would be able to develop stronger immune systems, possibly fighting off the disease altogether.  However, pigs at Iron Maiden do not experience such conditions.  Like in many factory farms, the hogs here are kept in small gestational crates that allow for little to no movement and which can quickly become filthy and toxic environments.

Iron Maiden Hog Farm has disregarded the law and the welfare of the animals they raise.  By valuing profit over the lives of baby piglets, they have allowed their operation to become one of the worst examples of animal cruelty today.  Demand that Iron Maiden Hog Farms owner Jerry W. O’Brien cease the despicable practice of feeding “piglet smoothies” to sows immediately.


Dear Mr. O’Brien,

The practice of feeding ground piglet intestines to the piglets’ mothers is cruel and inhumane.  There is no excuse for putting the lives and health of animals at risk for the sake of profit.

Not only is this practice unnatural, it is also illegal.  According to Kentucky state law no farm may feed garbage or waste, including animal remains, to healthy animals.

I am insisting that your business, Iron Maiden Hog Farm, cease this practice immediately and apologize to consumers who may have unintentionally consumed pork made from sows forced to eat their young.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Tim Geers via Flickr

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  1. sickening practice, barbaric.

  2. Anne-Mari Gavin says:

    Mr. O’Brien – Would you like to feed your children or grandchildren to others to survive??? DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WANT THEM TO DO UNTO YOU – and that is ANIMALS AND HUMANS!!!! How do you sleep at night. Please read this in your Bible – Job 12:7/8 Job 12:7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
    Job 12:8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.

  3. Julie van Niekerk says:

    How low in character are these farmers?

  4. elizabeth tangvatchrin says:

    We are in the USA, such an advanced nation on so many fronts, but when it comes to animals’ welfare and best interests we might as well be thrown into the same league as the Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc. Why can’t politicians and the government do more to protect animals well-being? I’m so sick of our society!

  5. WiZaRd Of The Wolf Nation says:

    Jerry W. O’Brien, we should have you ground up
    and fed to a school of piranhas, you piece-of-$#i+!!

  6. That is f@cked in the head Jerry W. O’Brien and all the workers at this so called ‘farm’.
    Sickos! You deserve the same fate!!!!!

  7. Garth Mills says:

    This is a hideous and sickening practice, if proper care and decent feed was given to these animals there would be no disease and sicknesses, this farmer and his farmworkers are a rotten stinking disgrace and should be very heavily penalised, hit the b$&&#@d and his employees where it will hurt the most in their pockets, feeding animal products to other animals is a very dangerous practice, Jakob Kereuztfeldt Disease comes to mind in the UK it is known as Mad cow Disease, humans can be affected by this disease of which there is no known cure and is fatal.

  8. Why not find out who his buyers are and complain to those food companies, he will be out of business within a month

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