IOWA: Animal welfare group uses undercover video to pressure grocers to stop buying from hog farm
Posted: June 29th, 2011 - 10:44am
Source: Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa -- An animal welfare group that has used undercover videos to generate public outrage over the treatment of livestock said it now plans to use secret recordings to pressure large grocery chains to stop buying from farms that use practices it considers abusive.
The effort seemed to be working as several chains viewed the video and then either halted purchases from the targeted Iowa hog farm or expressed concern even before Chicago-based Mercy for Animals formally unveiled the recording at news conferences planned Wednesday in four cities.
Earlier this week, Mercy for Animals met with or sent letters to officials at Costco, Hy-Vee, Kroger and Safeway and provided links to its 2½-minute video, then asked them to stop buying pork from Iowa Select Farms. The group said it secretly recorded its video between April and June at an Iowa Select Farms operation in the small town of Kamrar, about 50 miles north of Des Moines.
Nathan Runkle, Mercy for Animal’s executive director, said his group and others have used secretly recorded videos to raise public awareness, but this was among the first major efforts to use such recordings to pressure retailers. The group previously used another video to convince Costco to change its policies dealing with veal obtained from an Ohio producer, he said.