Smithfield Foods Investigating Animal Activists’ Undercover Operation in NC

Smithfield Foods officials said they have launched a third-party investigation of a North Carolina sow farm that an animal activist group claims is not abiding by the company’s transition away from sow gestation stalls.

The group, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), claims in a new report that pregnant sows continue to be confined in “torturous” gestation stalls — despite Smithfield saying that it completed its 10-year transition to open sow housing at all of its sow farms worldwide at the end of 2017.

In a lengthy statement, Smithfield officials defended its practices, saying that DxE ignored the group-housed barns on the farm that “they unlawfully broke into” in order to deliberately mislead consumers.

DxE, which supports “total animal liberation,” is reportedly facing felony theft charges in Utah in connection with a “rescue” of a sick turkey at a Norbest turkey farm.