Officials with the Oklahoma Pork Council say producers care for their livestock and follow established procedures and guidelines from the state's veterinary authorities at their pork producing facilities.
This, after the Humane Society complained about "gestation crates" and other procedures used at a couple of pork production facilities in the town of Goodwell. The farms were part of the Seaboard Foods and Prestage Farms companies.
The Humane Society claims Seaboard is the nation's third largest pork producer, while Prestage ranks fifth.
Gestation crates apparently house pregnant sows in rather close-quarters, and the Pork Council maintains that it's just one of many accepted ways to handle the housing of production pigs on the farms.
Roy Lee Lindsey at the Oklahoma Pork Council released this statement to NewsRadio 1000 KTOK's sister network, the Oklahoma Agri-Net:
"The Oklahoma Pork Council and Oklahoma's pork producers take seriously our ethical responsibility for the proper care of pigs. Responsible pork producers condemn the mistreatment of any animal. We urge everyone to view the video carefully, however, because some of the practices shown can be taken out of context by those not familiar with livestock production. An example is the use of gestation stalls as one of many sow-housing solutions that, overseen properly by animal care workers, can be beneficial to the animal's health and safety. Pork producers constantly seek new and better ways to care for their animals.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss animal-care practices, but we object to organizations that look for isolated incidents in an attempt to undermine the work of caring livestock farmers."
Humane Society officials say they took their complaints about Seaboard Foods to both the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. They say they have had little contact with officials at Prestage Farms.