PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is calling for the Oneida County District Attorney to criminally investigate a recent incident at a slaughter house in Rome.

The call follows a report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), where a slaughter pig was shot in the head several times before it was finally deemed unconscious, on March 31, 2021.

The nature of the incident and alleged violation of law is outlined in the letter to McNamara, signed by Colin Henstock, PETA's Assistant Manager of Investigations.

Dear Mr. McNamara,
I hope this letter finds you well. I would like to request that your office (and the proper local law enforcement
agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file suitable criminal charges against Gold Medal Packing, Inc., and the worker(s) responsible for repeatedly shooting a pig in the head over the course of more than a minute on March 31 at its slaughterhouse located at 8269 Old River Rd. outside Rome. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which states the following:
“Establishment personnel were attempting to stun a large swine with a firearm. The animal was standing in the blood chute area, unrestrained. A plant employee took two rapid shots, to the head of the animal, with the .38 caliber pistol. After a slight pause (approximately five seconds) a third shot was taken. When [FSIS Inspection Program Personnel] observed the pig after another minute passed, [the pig] was standing fully alert approximately 12 yards distant from its original location on the kill floor. Establishment personnel proceeded to take two more shots, with a 9 mm caliber handgun, rendering [the pig] insensible.”1
This conduct appears to violate New York Agriculture & Markets Law § 353. Importantly, FSIS action does not preempt criminal liability under state law for slaughterhouse workers who perpetrate acts of cruelty to animals.2
Please let us know what we might do to assist you. Thank you for your consideration and for the difficult work that you do.
Sincerely,
Colin Henstock
Assistant Manager of Investigations
“This disturbing report shows that this pig experienced a prolonged, agonizing death at Gold Medal Packing,” said PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch via a news release. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation on behalf of the pig who suffered at this facility and urging all compassionate members of the public who are disturbed by this cruelty to go vegan and help prevent more animals from suffering in slaughterhouses.”
The release also notes PETA's stance on 'speciesism', the belief of human superiority over animals. Further, the animal rights group says the best way to prevent such abuses to animals - including cows, pigs, chickens and others - in slaughterhouses is to not eat them.
Oneida County DA Scott McNamara responded to a request for comment from WIBX with this:
''I received the letter from PETA. I've assigned the incident to one of my assistants and requested her to prepare a memorandum of law to whether the facts as presented constitute violation of Agriculture and Marketing laws, section 353, based upon current case law.''
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