State Veterinarian: No animal abuse or neglect at Smithfield facility


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By Sara Wyant

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Richmond, VA. Dec. 20 - Responding to allegations made last week by the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) as part of an undercover investigation at a Smithfield Farms hog facility near Waverly, Virginia, State Veterinarian Dr. Richard Wilkes determined that “the facility has appropriate animal care and handling guidelines and employee training in place,” according to a statement released by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He also did not find any indications of animal abuse or neglect during the time of his visit. 


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However, the state veterinarian will continue to monitor and participate in the company's investigation of possible employee violations of its animal care and handling policies and the report of an independent animal handling specialist that will be reviewing the company's handling procedures and facility.  

In a statement released after HSUS held a press conference on the undercover video, Smithfield said that it plans to address apparent employee failures to follow policy and to review possible needs to improve the training and refresher training on animal care and handling.The firm also engaged animal welfare expert Temple Grandin to help determine the facts of the events depicted in the video and recommend any policy and procedure adjustments that may be called for.  

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