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Indiana farm cleared of charge of abuse; video taken elsewhere



BROWNSTOWN, Ind. — An Indiana pig farm has been cleared by Indiana State Police after investigators determined a video showing animal abuse had been taken elsewhere.

  On Oct. 9 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released what they described as an anonymous video during a press conference at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville, Ky.

PETA reported the footage was taken at East Fork Farms near Brownstown in the southern part of the state.

A week later, ISP Sgt. Stephen Wheeles of the Versailles post said shorter segments of the video appeared to have been taken at East Fork Farms but no signs of neglect or abuse were contained in those images.

          Wheeles said the brunt of the video, including portions illustrating widespread abuse, was taken somewhere else.

          Where the footage containing images of sick and injured pigs was captured remained under investigation.

          The producer of the video was also unknown.

          “Part of it we’re sure was taken somewhere else and possibly some of the clips were staged,” he said.

          Pigs with bloody open sores, mother pigs so injured they could barely move and piglets unable to be reached by mothers trapped in gestation and farrowing crates were among the images contained in the video.

Dilapidated sheds littered with rats, maggots, roaches and other insects along with decomposing carcasses, including those of piglets, were also depicted in the footage.

PETA said the video was taken in early September by an anonymous source.

          East Fork Farms with 1,200 sows and 4,000 piglets was reported to be a supplier for the JBS USA slaughterhouse in Louisville.

JBS USA is a maker of Swift brand pork.

In response to the release of the video, JBS USA said it doesn’t buy directly from East Fork Farms but had taken steps to eliminate any chance of a pig from the CAFO winding up in its supply chain.

          “We take this matter very seriously and do not condone violations of our animal welfare standards anywhere in our supply chain,” JBS USA said.

          Wheeles said the determination was based partially from investigators during their visits seeing nothing about the farm that resembled the operation depicted in the video.

He said ISP is working with PETA in hopes of getting to the bottom of the video.